Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) Executive Minister Eduardo V. Manalo has been appointed by President Duterte as special envoy to the President for overseas Filipinos concerns.
Manalo’s letter of appointment dated February 13 was released on the heels of Philippines’s move to ban the deployment of new hires to Kuwait over reports of Filipino workers suffering abuse and exploitation.
Manalo’s appointment began on January 30, 2018, and will expire on January 29, 2019.
The INC threw its support behind Duterte and former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for vice president in the 2016 elections. It was Manalo who called on the members of the sect to vote as one.
Unofficial estimates put the number of the sect’s members at 2.25 million. Today, the membership of INC comprises at least 110 nationalities. It maintains about 104 ecclesiastical districts in the Philippines and in 100 more countries and territories, according to its web site.
Manalo is the eldest son of the late-Eraño G. Manalo. He is the third generation of the Manalo family to lead the church, following his father Eraño and grandfather Felix Y. Manalo.
Prior to being the executive minister, Eduardo Manalo has held positions as deputy executive minister, coordinator of Metro Manila districts and assistant dean of Evangelical College, the predecessor of the New Era University-College of Evangelical Ministry, now known as Iglesia Ni Cristo School for Minister.
Manalo graduated high school from the Jose Abad Santos Memorial School and took his Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of the Philippines Diliman.
Duterte also appointed Herman Billones Jumilla to the Department of Budget and Management, replacing undersecretary Gertrudo de Leon, former Department of Budget and Management legal and liaison group undersecretary, who was sacked over allegations of corruption.
Duterte also appointed eight directors and 20 local government operations officers of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and 16 prosecutors of the Department of Justice.