Centerlaw warns DOJ against overreaching in INC case

Centerlaw release
Reference: Prof. Harry L. Roque, Jr. 09175398096


The Center for International Law (Centerlaw) cautioned the Department of Justice yesterday against overreaching in its investigation on the allegations of an expelled minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo against the influential indigenous Filipino church.


“The freedom of expression and of religion occupy the highest rungs of our constitutional values,” said Prof. Harry L. Roque, Jr., chair of the free expression advocacy group. “In fact, the people’s right to freedom of religion is stymied if they are denied their right to express such freedom.”


Prof. Roque stated, “In a modern society, the state and the church must recognize the principle of differentiated responsibility. In this case, the state recognizes that it has no competence to rule on theological or doctrinal disputes. But at the same time, the church must also see that it is the legitimate interest of the state to investigate where a crime has been committed.”


The idea of differentiated responsibility – or the recognition of the sovereignty of each sphere of society within its own orbit – is crucial to the survival of a pluralistic and just society.


Prof. Roque said the DOJ cannot prevent members of the church from practicing their faith, unless it is shown that “there is a clear and present danger” that what they are doing is already injurious to the life, liberty and property of others.”


“Freedom of expression is central to our communal quest for the truths that animate who and what we are as a society,” he said. “We deny such freedom, we tell ourselves we are afraid of these central truths and find no relevance for them in our daily lives, and to the meaning of our existence.”


3 comments on “Centerlaw warns DOJ against overreaching in INC case

  1. Diosdado S. de Leon says:

    “Give to Caesar what is to Caessr and Give to God what is to God.”

  2. Mariquit Soriano says:

    I lost one day of work (night shift) getting caught in a standstill traffic all around EDSA, onto C5. One day for me means a measly wage not far different from a taxi driver’s. I can cite at least a hundred like me whose daily grind depends on free access to safe and unblocked roads. No one is preventing the INC from practicing their faith, and choice of worship — the lost of productivity to many caused by their rally is not only injurious but could be reason to lose our job.

  3. Red_Butterfly says:

    Hi. I am no attorney, so I would like to ask help in understanding this matter. I really hated the rally the INC did. I know it’s their right, but many people were inconvenienced because of it. People including young students had to walk for hours just to get home. A father missed his son’s birthday. Employees who are exhausted from work arrived home at an ungodly hours, thus having too little time to sleep before they set off to work the next day. Someone even died because the ambulance couldn’t get through.

    Anyway, INC members say that the reason they rallied is not because they don’t want their ministers to be investigated but because De Lima didn’t follow due process. I’d like to ask, is it really illegal for De Lima to take a look at the case?

    Regardless if it’s illegal or not, I still believe the rally was wrong. Yes they have the right to rally, but that right comes with a responsibility. And what they did was they disrespected ordinary commuters who had nothing to do with their issues. Nonetheless, I also hope to understand the reason of their protest better, if De Lima did cross a line.

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