Yasay figures in church row
- Ramil Bajo, Rey Galupo (The Philippine Star) - June 11, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A faction of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP)-Cosmopolitan Church is accusing former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Perfecto Yasay Jr. and his group of allegedly raiding and illegally occupying the church.

In a position paper given to The STAR Saturday, Cosmopolitan Church pastor Phoebe Dacanay and her group said Yasay and his group locked the church premises in the wee hours of May 1 after he was disqualified from being elected as an official of their congregation.

Yasay, however, told The STAR in an interview Saturday that the UCCP’s National Commission on Discipline and Conflict Resolution (NCDCR) locked the church building to prevent Dacanay and her group from ransacking the office because they allegedly have plans of breaking away and setting up a separate church.

Barred

According to Dacanay, members holding a prayer vigil in the church “were driven out” last May 1 and have been barred from entering the premises.

She said the dispute developed after the nominations of Yasay and the wife of Philippine Christian University president Oscar Suarez were rejected by the church’s nomination and election committee.

Dacanay’s group said Yasay caused the friction by bringing the issue to the UCCP’s NCDCR, which ordered the suspension and dismissal of Dacanay and four other pastors.

Dacanay’s group, which claimed to have the support of 80 percent of the church’s members, proceeded with the election of officers in December 2011 but the NCDCR declared the Cosmopolitan Church in contempt.

Countercharges

Yasay said the NCDCR ordered the church building locked because Dacanay defied the NCDCR’s decision suspending and dismissing her from the UCCP.

He said Dacanay’s ploy to disqualify him and the other nominee was part of a plan to remove members who did not support her.

“They have all but openly declared their secession and separation from the UCCP church with the intent of taking the assets, properties and funds of the church with them,” Yasay added.

He said the situation in the church became so volatile the NCDCR ordered last May 8 the expulsion of Dacanay and her pastoral team from the Roll of Ministers of the UCCP and directed that they “be immediately barred from entering and staying in the church and its premises.”

Dacanay’s group was also ordered to “relinquish the documents and gadgets illegally taken from the church offices and peacefully vacate the church sanctuary,” he said.

CHURCH COSMOPOLITAN CHURCH DACANAY DISCIPLINE AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION GROUP NATIONAL COMMISSION OSCAR SUAREZ PERFECTO YASAY JR. PHILIPPINE CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY YASAY
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