Philippine Fugitives Able to Secure Refugee Status Using Fabricated FB Posts

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  • Lowell Menorca II and Rovic Canono, both expelled former members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC), faced numerous court cases in the Philippines before abruptly vanishing from the radar in 2016.

    They were simultaneously facing charges of rape, domestic violence against spouse and children, adultery and other heavy criminal offenses.

    Instead of facing the country’s judicial system and proving their innocence, however, these two discredited persons left the country secretly and under suspicious circumstances to evade prosecution.

    Menorca also left in his wake a habeas corpus case he filed with the Court of Appeals which gained him media attention, but was seen as hollow and baseless by Filipino legal experts. Eventually, Menorca abandoned the case, left the CA hanging and the next thing the public knew, he boarded a plane to Vietnam with his family almost literally in the dark of night.

    Both Menorca and Canono eventually appeared in Canada, where they applied for and were eventually granted asylum.

    Based on obtained documents relating to their asylum application, Menorca and Canono painted a picture of persecution and harassment, which supposedly prompted them to leave the Philippines.

    A careful reading and analysis of the asylum decision and related documents shows, on the other hand, that Menorca’s and Canono’s statements made to the Canadian government were all self-serving.

    Their narrations before the Canadian asylum board did not enjoy the benefit of independent verification and confirmation from objective and unbiased outside sources. No one from the Philippine government nor from the INC was allowed to dispute their fantastic claims of political and religious persecution and supposed threats to their safety and security.

    For example, in their desperation and utter selfishness to be granted asylum, Menorca and Canono narrated deep-seated corruption in many agencies of the Philippine government.

    While they were in the Philippines, Menorca and Canono actively sought legal relief from Philippine courts and demanded assistance from law enforcement authorities because according to them their lives were in danger, but these two persons discredited and embarrassed these very institutions in their asylum application when it was convenient for them and suited their needs when they arrived in Canada.

    Not coincidentally, after obtaining asylum, Menorca and Canono chose to leave their wives and children hanging and unattended in other countries, showing a consistent pattern of neglect and abuse that gave rise to the cases filed against them in the Philippines.

    Menorca and Canono are in no hurry to have their families join them in Canada. Perhaps these two do not want their spouses to know what they are doing now in their new safe haven?

    What exactly are Menorca and Canono doing in Canada? They live the high life and rely on the generosity of shady funders and patrons. Equally despicable, Menorca and Canono still peddle themselves as INC, without any legal nor moral authority to do so.

    They continue to denigrate the INC leadership despite barely finding an audience for their activities. Such is their hypocrisy. They claim fleeing the Philippines to escape the INC, but they live and speak INC within their comfortable confines in Canada.

    Menorca and Canono should be reported to the Canadian government. They need to be exposed. They are abusing the kindness and generosity of Canada, and they are sullying the good name of the INC with the Canadian people.

     

    By Don Orozco

    Don Orozco can be reached at orozcoaugusto@gmail.com. He is a contributing writer for Philippine News and Fil-Am Star newspaper circulated in mainland USA as well as a business reporter and online marketing head of pinoyparinkami.com. He is a licensed Notary Public in the State of California and a deputized Sherriff of the Santa Clara County.

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