OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
As of this writing, an expelled member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, Jose Norilito “Lito” De Luna Fruto, a veteran faith defender and human rights advocate, was shot dead at close range at 1:30 AM, May 24, 2017.
On May 24, 2017, Jose Norelito De Luna Fruto, an outspoken critic of the Iglesia Ni Cristo Church Council, was ambushed while driving in his car from Pasay City to his home in Cavite. Initial reports say this incident happened around 1:30 in the morning. His car was riddled with bullets, his body hit numerous times and his face unrecognizable from the bullets sprayed by high-caliber automatic firearms. Onlookers observed that whoever performed this task made sure it produced none other than a dead body. He had visited his cousin earlier that night and according to our sources, Lito received a few text messages from someone wanting to meet with him on his way home. Details will be released regarding this information later on.
Lito is an American citizen who stayed in the Philippines for a long time to raise his son. In 2015, his life turned around when he expressed his willingness to help the family of the late Executive Minister of the INC, Bro. Eraño G. Manalo. Since then, social media became his platform in addressing and exposing his life changing encounters with the Sanggunian of the INC whom he accused of threatening, persecuting and prosecuting him.
His Facebook Account showcases an array of Iglesia Ni Cristo alleged anomalies and corruption by featuring known Faith Defenders such as Antonio Ebangelista, Sher Lock, and Kelly Ong among others. He also frequently posted updates on cases hurled at him by the Council Ministers which later on rendered a positive decision in his favor that only all the more infuriated and agitated the powerful and influential church leaders of the INC.
Here are the some of the publicly broadcasted interviews of Lito Fruto:
(Transcript English Translation: Fruto-Interview-Transcipt)
Lito Fruto’s family, along with his surviving son and friends are currently mourning and seeking justice for this inhumane act allegedly perpetrated by Christian-professing church members of the cult-like Iglesia Ni Cristo, headed by their Executive Minister, Eduardo V. Manalo who is known worldwide as the church leader who allegedly teaches members of the church to follow his example in allegedly forsaking and oppressing his own mother and siblings to cover up the anomalies in the church.
Excerpts from Interviews regarding Lito Fruto:
“Hindi ako makapaniwalang ganito ang ginawa nila sa anak ko. Hindi makatao, at lalong hindi makaKrisityano.Idinadalangin ko sa Ama na ihayag Niya ang lahat ng masasamang tao na nasa likod ng walang-awang pagpaslangsa aking anak para magkaroon ng hustisya ang pagkamatay ng aking anak." - the Mother of Bro. Lito
"Bro. Lito is a one of a kind person. You can seldom find a person like him. He was feisty, unhindered and unstoppable in his opinions and he always boldly expressed his thoughts on what he believed was right. But at the same time, he was a very kind hearted man. He will always be remembered as a staunch defender of the faith." - Bro. Louie Cayabyab
"One word perfectly describes Brother Lito. Fearless. His courage stems from his selflessness. He fought not for himself, but for those who have been forgotten and neglected. He courageously gave voice to the oppressed even at the cost of his life, epitomizing what it means to be a true friend, a true brother, a true Christian. Many made attempts at his life but he did not back down. Rather, he became more engaged in the fight. This is because his courage and strength not only comes from his selflessness but also from his reverent fear of God. His fear of God has negated every other fear. And so he marched on. I owe much to Brother Lito. His courage opened my eyes, and his persistence amidst danger stirred up my heart. Though he is gone, his example lives in the hearts of all defenders throughout the world, encouraging them to be also fearless. The wicked tyrants responsible for his death may be gloating and rejoicing here on earth, but I believe that God in heaven is smiling and saying, “Well done my son. You have finished your race.” And in the end, it's what God says that matters." - Bro. Rolando Dizon
"Ang marahas na pagpatay kay kapatid na Lito Fruto ay lalong nagpapatibay sa mga paunang pahayag ng Diyos sa pamamagitan ng Kapatid na Erano G. Manalo noong sila ay nabubuhay pa ukol sa magaganap sa Iglesia sa mga huling araw. Dahil dito, ang lahat ng mga kapatid na sumasampalataya sa kanilang kahalalan ay lalo aasa at manghahawak sa mga kabutihan at mga pangako ng Diyos. Mananatili sa ating puso magpakailanman ang pag-ibig, pananampalataya at paninindigan ni kapatid na Lito Fruto, ang mga ito ay magagamit natin sa patuloy na paninindigan sa panig ng Diyos." - Kelly Ong
""Nang walang awa nilang paslangin ang ka LITO FRUTO dahil sa kaniyang pagsisiwalat ng mga katiwaliang nagaganap at kasamaan sa bayan ng Dios, ang buong akala nila ay natapos na ang kaniyang pakikipagbaka. Maaring nagawa nilang tapusin ang kaniyang buhay, pigilin ang kaniyang paghinga, patikumin nang tuluyan ang kaniyang bibig sa pagsisiwalat ng mga nalalaman... Subalit ang hindi nila alam, patuloy na mamamalagi ang kaniyang pakikipagbaka. Humahanga ako kay ka Lito sapagka't kahit sa huling sandali, mga huling hininga niya ay hindi siya umurong sa kaniyang paninindigan, na sana ay maging isang huwaran. Ang buong pag-asa ng mga taong nagpapatay sa kaniya ay matatakot na ang mga taong naninindigan sa panig ng katotohanan at panig ng Dios. Ang hindi nila nalalaman ay lalong nagpupuyos ang damdamin ng mga naninindigan sa panig ng Dios na lalong magpatuloy sa pakikipagbaka at paninindigan. Dahil lalo lamang nilang pinatunayan ang kanilang kasamaan! Ngayon... Oo, nagbibilang sila ng mga isusunod na papatayin, tuluyang patatahimikin... Subalit sa bawat tao na kanilang ipapapatay ay lalo lamang magliliwanag sa marami ang totoong nangyayari! Ang kanilang kasamaan ay lalong masisiwalat sa buong sanlibutan!"- Dante Daguman
“Bro. Lito was one of the bravest people I know who fought on for the sake of the truth. His written testimony to the Canadian Immigration Refugee Board was instrumental in shedding light on the truth about the Iglesia Ni Cristo in the Philippines and abroad. Because of his unwavering support, not only forme, but also for the oppressed family of Bro. Eraño G. Manalo, he became a prime target for the church leaders. When the church leaders failed to hamper him, they have chosen to silence him completely. The church leaders’ hands are tainted with blood from their crimes against humanity. Hopefully, many more brethren will now completely open their eyes on how evil the church has become under the current leadership so that Bro. Lito’s death will not be in vain. We just lost a comrade at arms, this is a sad day for truth-loving Christians all over the world.” - Bro. Lowell Menorca II
“I am in shock although not surprised by this violent development. It only shows that the threats are real and we are dealing with people who do not have any regard for human life at all! The whole country must be outraged by the present day church's hostility to the former conventionally clean religion turned Mafia- Style organization through its present administration. May Bro. Lito's martyrdom bring about many more men and women courageous enough to rise against this opposition party to God, who prefer to harbor and protect criminals and cold-blooded killers over those who expose them." - Rovic Canono
“Lito is a man of strength on every angle you one can possibly think of. Although he never fully disclosed to me what he suffered when he was in the hands of his oppressors, I knew he only came out stronger and more courageous to fight for his principles. He was ready to fight till the end to the point of losing his life. Many of us can attest that he has lived his purpose and his sacrifice will make a profound difference for our cause.” - Liezl Deocampo
"Noon pasimula pa lang ang A.E., at iilan-ilan pa lang kaming nasa SOCIAL MEDIA na lantaran naglalabas ng mga anomalya sa Iglesia, si Ka Lito ang unang-unang nakatuklas kung sino ako. Kasi siya yung una ring na meet ko ng personal. Actually, kapag tumatawag siya sa number ko di ko sinasagot kasi ayoko ngang malaman niya na babae ako. Pero di talaga pede eh, lalo na nung kailangan niya ng tulong dahil nga sa may mga sumusunod sa kanya. Kaya, nalaman niya na babae pala ako, nang marinig niya ang boses ko, NAGKATAWANAN na..yan ang start ng aming pagtatagpo. Ilan beses din kaming nagkita, personally, mabait siya, walang ka-ipokritohan sa sarili. Kung ano ang gusto niyang sabihin, wala siyang pakialam, kasi yun siya eh. Hindi siya nagtatago ng emotion nya. His famous word na TANGA, totoo naman yun dahil nga sa ang pakikipaglaban nya walang halong kaipokritahan. Napaka mabuting TATAY sa anak, kasi everytime na ihahatid nya ako, naririnig ko tinatawagan nya anak niya para sabihin pauwi na siya at ano gusto niyang pasalubong, burger or anything na pagkain na bitbit nya para sa anak niya. NOON pa man, inihanda na rin niya sarili niya sa kung anong masamang gagawin ng kalaban sa kanya. For me, kahit anong sabihin NEGATIBO sa kanya, wala akong PAKIALAM dahil hindi ganun kadali magbuwis ng buhay para sa PANININDIGAN. WINNER siya para sa akin, at LOSER ang kalaban. Dahil kahit anong sabihin ng KALABAN hindi nila napasuko ang isang DR.LITO DE LUNA FRUTO. Bakit??? Ang paninindigan niya ay galing sa Ama at hindi sa tao....NA WALA sa sinoman sa nasa loob ng OWE na alam ang TOTOO pero takot MANINDIGAN. Bagkos nagpapagamit pa sa pagpapatay ng mga taong ang nais ay MAGLABAS ng katotohanan at ipagmalasakit ang dapat ipagmalasakit. MAPALAD si Ka Lito dahil natapos na nya ang kanyang takbuhin...naipaglaban nya ang kanyang kahalalan laban sa mga taong nagtatago sa likod ng biblia. SALUDO ako sa iyo Ka LITO tunay na matapang kang DEFENDER ..at hindi masasayang ang lahat. Hanggang sa muling pagkikita." - Benito Affleck
"To a Valiant, Fearless defender of the True Faith who fought till the very end, Brother Lito De Luna Fruto, rest well dear brother. You have fought a good fight, you were there from the very start, you never backed down, you inspire a lot of us, your sacrifices and sufferings will never be in vain. Our vow to God to defend His Last Nation against her enemies who think they successfully ruined her, is a vow we made until death. Sweet rest, dear brother, for once you wake up from your slumber, we will all see each other, no more tears, nor pain, nor heartache, only the singing of praises and worship to our Father in heaven. The fight is on and we are not backing down!!! This is for God, nothing, not even the Most Important Person can STOP the truth from coming out, and Judgment is close by........ until we see each other again...." - Katnize Eagledeen
"From the very beginning of this Great Tribulation, Ka Lito Fruto sacrificed everything, his life and his family, to defend God's truth, expose the corruption of the INC EVM Administration, and never failed to always put Ka Erano G. Manalo's family first before his own. He also made many sacrifices to help the persecuted ministers and their families, and fellow Defenders. May God grant us justice and absolution for Ka Lito's very brutal and violent murder, as he already foresaw what would be done to him by a very wicked Administration, and justice for Ka Erano G. Manalo's family and for all Defenders! Should we not see each other here on this earth anymore, my beloved Defenders, see you all in the Holy City! Philippians 1:21 "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Our deepest condolences to the family of Ka Lito Fruto." - Sofia Salem
Here are some of the gruesome images of the heinous crime caused by religious intolerance:
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Here is the initial Police Report:
- From the family of Bro. Jose Norilito De Luna Fruto