Hataman to INC: Abide by rule of law PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 31 August 2015 14:38

Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao joined Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas in urging members of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) to abide by rule of law.

“Freedom of expression and freedom of religion do not imply immunity from suit,” Hataman told Zamboanga Times via text message over the weekend.

Droves of INC members began to assemble on Padre Faura in Manila last Thursday on order of their leaders to protest what is for them interference by Justice Secretary Leila De Lima in the sect’s internal affairs.

De Lima said she had ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to look into a complaint of serious illegal detention filed by an expelled INC member against leaders of the group.

“The government’s law enforcement activities affecting religious groups should not be unduly construed as interference in religious affairs,” Hataman said.

Traffic chaos in the surroundings of the central office of the Department of Justice is expected in the coming days as Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada allowed the INC to stage rallies in several parts of the city until Sept. 4.

Hataman said being a member of any religion cannot be made an excuse from the country’s justice system.

Hataman is presiding chair of the ARMM’s inter-agency, multi-sectoral regional peace and order council.

The autonomous region covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, which are both in Central Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.