The main accusation of restraint of press freedom arises from the church's seeking to stop the publication of writer Ross Tipon's book, The Power and the Glory: The Cult of Manalo. The INC says the book contains "outright blasphemy" towards the late founder Felix Manalo by likening the INC to a criminal syndicate. However, Tipon, represented by lawyer Fervyn Pinzon, said stopping the publication of the book infringes on his freedom expression rights. An attorney representing the INC, Abraham Espejo states "direct assault on freedom of religion and seeks to destroy the image of the INC" and "The publication of the criminal manuscript will trigger social unrest, Millions of people may come out in the streets and this may lead to violence." The Iglesia ni Cristo alleges that the book has defamed its organization and Felix Manalo. The INC seeks PHP1,000,000 in damages from Tipon and the unknown publisher.
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Ross Tipon is a freelance author based in Baguio City, Philippines, who formerly wrote a column for a now-defunct daily publication in Manila called Philippines Newsday.
His later works are mainly political in nature, being a critic of government corruption in the Philippines and an advocate of Philippine recolonization by the United States.
In July 2005, Tipon published a book entitled The Power and the Glory: The Cult of Manalo, which is critical of the Iglesia ni Cristo., a politically influential Philippine-based religion. The INC promptly filed a lawsuit claiming that the book was defamatory of its organization. The INC further claimed that the publication of Tipon's book will cause social unrest. For his part Tipon accused the INC of suppressing his rights to free speech.
The Power and the Glory: The Cult of Manalo catalogued what he believed to be the INC's un-biblical doctrines. Critics of the INC believe members of the INC and the public should be free to study educated criticisms directed at any doctrine of any religious group in the spirit of the free speech and religious freedom.
The eventual publication of The Power and the Glory: The Cult of Manalo has effectively challenged the limits of the INC's perceived influence among political leaders in the Philippines.
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