Younger Manalo arrested for illegal possession of firearms

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(File photo) Angel Manalo, the grandson of Iglesia ni Cristo founder Felix Manalo

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Angel Manalo, brother of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo, continues to be detained in Camp Caringal, Quezon City, after he and 31 others were arrested on Thursday.

The younger Manalo, who is also being investigated for an indiscriminate firing incident that allegedly took place at his compound on Monday, was arrested for illegal possession of firearms. Two security personnel were reportedly hurt in the alleged shooting incident at Manalo's compound on Monday.

According to Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Director Guillermo Eleazar, two policemen were also wounded during the service of search warrant on Thursday, but investigators have yet to find out who fired shots.

"Tayo kapag nag-apply tayo ng search warrant hindi natin pinipili kung sinong dapat applyan ng search warrant, kung sino dapat hindi. 'Di ba, it's like any other crime committed," Eleazar said.

[Translation: When we apply a search warrant, we don't choose people we're applying the search warrant to. It's like any other crime committed.]

The PNP reportedly recovered high-powered firearms in Manalo's compound. Eleazar, meanwhile, maintains their operation was legitimate.

"Bakit may nasugatang gwardya in the first place, bakit may pulis na kritikal ngayon? Kung ganoong ang sinasabi nila, tignan natin ang sitwasyon. The point is it is a legitimate police operation," he added.

[Translation: Why were there security guards wounded, why are there cops who are now in critical condition? If that's what they're saying, let's examine the situation. The point is it was a legitimate police operation.]

Angel Manalo's supporters and families of other expelled members of Iglesia ni Cristo continue to wait outside the detention facility, hoping the PNP would release those arrested.

The Quezon City police has until tomorrow morning to file charges against Manalo and others who have been detained.

Supporters claim harassment

Manalo's supporters said there is no way any member of Manalo's family in the compound could have started the shooting incident.

They also said INC's leadership has been harassing the family and recently demolished their house.

"Awang-awa kami," said supporter Daisy Gutierrez. "Hindi naman sila masasama. Isang taon nang walang tubig, walang pagkain. Dinemolish ang bahay, Monday, Tuesday."

[Translation: We pity them so much. They're not bad people. They have had no water, no food for a year. They're house was demolished on Monday and Tuesday.]

Angel and Cristina "Tenny" Manalo - brother  and mother, respectively, of INC's Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo - exposed a rift within the religious organization in July 2015 as they accused the INC leadership of holding them hostage in their home in Tandang Sora, Quezon City.

They posted a video on YouTube addressed to their supporters seeking help.

Angel, Tenny and some of their supporters and ministers were expelled from the INC for allegedly trying to divide its members.

Also read: INC wants expelled Manalos out of church compound

INC leadership, hands-off Angel's case

In a statement, INC spokesperson Edwil Zabala, said they are leaving police operation matters to rightful authorities.

"It was a legitimate police operation and so, it would be proper if the answers to your queries will come from the police authorities," said Zabala.

Zabala added, they are also praying for the speedy recovery of police officers who were injured. He also said they thank the policemen for their professionalism.

"All I can say is we pray that the police officers injured by the gunfire will speedily recover, and thank them and their co-officers for their professionalism in the performance of their duty," Zabala said.

CNN Philippines' Trisha Terada and Camille Abadicio contributed to this report.

Also read: Court orders eviction of ex-INC members in Tandang Sora property