Leaders of the Jesus Christ River of Life Church has issued a statement denouncing criticisms spreading on social media against the church and its leader, Pastor Romeo Nuñez, who is currently facing a sexual abuse complaint in court

In a statement sent to Palawan News, leaders of the Church denied a claim that Nuñez had “demanded” from them a Ford Raptor as a gift.

The statement was referring to a Facebook post by a certain Zamora Cha, which has since gone viral, claiming that Nuñez “demanded” the vehicle from his church.

“Ang sasakyan (Raptor) na tinutukoy ni Ms. Zamora sa kanyang post sa Facebook kung saan ay idenemand umano ni Ptr. Nuñez bilang birthday gift sa kanya ay walang katotohanan. Sa katunayan, ang mga lider mismo ng church ang nag meeting kung saan napagkasunduan ng lahat na i-bless si Ptr. Nuñez sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng sasakyan bilang Christmas gift noong taong 2019,” they said.

The church leaders also clarified the issues raised against their church activity that allegedly required each leader to pay P2,000.

“Patungkol naman sa Encounter Weekend na activity ng church, ang lahat ng goals and fees regarding sa nasabing activity ay pinag usapan at sinang ayunan ng lahat ng leaders. Ang perang nalilikom dito ay ginagamit bilang pambayad sa venue at pagkain ng delegates para sa nasabing 2-day event. Ang encounter ay kina-conduct ng iba’t-ibang churches,” they explained.

The Jesus Christ River of Life Church said that nobody was forced to participate in their ministry as it is a “personal decision” and a “selfless act”.

“Sa usaping paglilingkod sa Diyos, ang mga taong aktibong nakikibahagi sa ministry, (i.e. pagsheshare ng word of God, pag engage sa mga trainings, pagsama sa mga meetings at fellowship) ay personal na desisyon ng bawat isa at ginagawa nila ito ng walang kapalit,” they pressed.

In the end, the church leaders emphasized that they issued the statement in the hopes to put an end to the slanderous attacks against their church.

“Ang pahayag na ito ay mula sa mga leaders ng simbahan. Sa pamamagitan nito, kami ay umaasa na mabigyan ng katarungan ang paninirang-puri na ginagawa sa amin,” they underscored.

Nuñez was arrested on March 27 on charges of acts of lasciviousness. He had paid a P36,000 bond to avoid detention.

The church leaders did not reply to the references on sexual abuse also made by Zamora Cha in her post.