Iglesia ni Cristo worker seeks asylum in Canada

  • Page Views 21711
  • Fearing for his life, Lowell Menorca II, one of the main figures in the public rift within the influential Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) in the Philippines, has fled to Canada.

    In his first media interview after his arrival, Menorca said in a global exclusive by the ReyFort Media Group on April 26, 2016 that he has filed for refugee status. In the interview, he was solemn and tearful as he related his journey of almost ten months. His voice broke and stops retelling his story when he relates his fear for his wife and daughter who were not able to travel with him. Menorca was not able to bring along his pregnant wife and two-year-old daughter. The two are waiting for him to be able to bring them to Canada.

    LowellMenorcaTearyEyedMenorca related to Rosette Correa, editor of ReyFort Media Group’s Philippine Asian News Today and anchor of Philippine News Canada, that from the Philippines, he and his family travelled to Vietnam. From there, they proceeded to Thailand. They stayed in Thailand for a few weeks, finally deciding to apply for a visa to Canada, where his sister lives. While Menorca was granted a visa, his wife and child were denied. Despite the difficult decision, Menorca went on with his Canada application, praying that his family will follow him soon.

    “I’m just hoping that I will get my family,” Menorca said in the interview.

    Previously, Menorca had accused the INC leadership in the Philippines of posing a threat to his life and safety.

    The INC worker is being suspected by the INC hierarchy of being part of a campaign to discredit the leadership with issues of corruption and other irregularities.

    In his first Canadian interview, Menorca denied participation in such campaign against INC leaders.

    However, Menorca also said that there are many INC members who are now calling themselves Defenders.

    “These are people like me who are standing for the truth, who want transparency,” he said.

    According to the 39-year-old father, the problems within the INC have “not been resolved”.

    “It’s getting worse,” he said.

    “My personal advocacy, which is being embraced by a lot of Defenders all over the world, is transparency,” Menorca said. “This is what we and other Defenders pray for for the church we have known as children, the church we know that teaches love, compassion, truth and fairness.”

    Menorca has been expelled by the church.

    The INC rebel has a mother and sister in Vancouver.

    He arrived in Vancouver on April 1, the birthday of his mother. He filed a refugee claim upon his arrival before the Canada Border Services Agency. His papers were processed and completed early the next day, April 2, which was his birthday.

    In a statement on April 27, Menorca said that he was “granted conditional refugee status”.

    “I am now scheduled for a hearing in front of the Immigration Refugee Board on May 26. My pregnant wife, child and sister-in-law are still in Thailand where we fled due to threat on our lives,” he related.

    According to him, they decided to leave the Philippines after “finding a death threat note” against his young daughter, Yurie Keiko Menorca.

    “Please help us,” Menorca pleaded. “We are appealing to your government because our own government has failed us. The politicians are more interested in the solid bloc vote INC has been known to deliver than protecting the rights of its own citizens. INC is being wooed by Presidential candidates and aspirants at other levels of government.”
    20160427_114736

    “I am just one man standing for the truth and what is right against a very, very powerful institution,” Menorca also said. “I am no match for them. This is why we are begging your good government to grant us refuge. We are in dire need of protection from a government such as yours, whose law enforcement is faithful to its duty to protect and serve its citizens.”

    “I sincerely believe that I am right in the choice I have made to seek the help from the government of Canada. I implore the Canada Immigration to allow them to come here as soon as possible. My hearing on May 26th might be too late for them. Please grant my family, including my unborn child, my sister-in-law, brother, his wife and our household help refuge and protection in your country.”

    PNT has attempted to contact the INC leaders in Canada but they have yet to reply.

    Watch Preview of the interview

    Story by PNT News Services

    Share

    Related Post

    Related Blogpost

    New Posts Recently publish post More

    • 04 April 2024
      3 weeks ago No comment

      Filipinos report racism in Canadian community sports

      Filipinos are likely to experience or witness racism during community sports in Canada. This finding was part of the data released by Statistics Canada following its latest survey of participation and experiences in community sports. The national statistical agency defines “community sports” as “organized sports, including those played in ...

    • 21 March 2024
      1 month ago No comment

      Canada eyes space cooperation with Philippines

      The Philippines held its first space cooperation conference on March 19, 2024 as the country seeks to explore opportunities presented by the heavens. The conference was organized by the Stratbase Albert del Rosario Institute for Strategic and International Studies, a Metro Manila-based think-tank; the fledgling Philippine Space Agency; and ...

    • 14 March 2024
      1 month ago No comment

      Mable endorses campaign for Benson Flores marker

      Mable Elmore is supporting the campaign to raise funds for a memorial marker for pioneer immigrant Benson Flores. Elmore is the Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia for Vancouver-Kensington, which is also home to Mountain View Cemetery where Flores is buried in an unmarked grave. MLA Elmore ...

    • 07 March 2024
      2 months ago No comment

      Quiboloy church linked to fake marriages in Canada

      Some 100 allegedly fraudulent marriages in Canada are connected to the religious group led by the spiritual adviser of now former Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte. This stunning allegation was made on March 5, 2024 by Dindo Maquiling, a former follower of Apollo Quiboloy. Maquiling is a former executive director ...

    • 07 March 2024
      2 months ago No comment

      MP Valdez Visits Vancouver

      Liberal MP Rechie Valdez visited Vancouver to meet with BC Business owners at the Dubai National Air Travel Agency (DNATA) Catering in Richmond recently. The meet and greet was an opportunity for local businesses to dialogue directly with Valdez whose portfolio includes small businesses. The roundtable discussion was led ...

    %d bloggers like this: