Last Thursday members of the influential religious group Iglesia Ni Cristo trooped to Padre Faura to demand Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to take her hands off the alleged internal conflict inside INC.
The group alleged that SOJ De Lima is meddling with their internal affairs which according to them is a violation of their constitutional rights of the Separation of Church and State.
The conflict arises from former-INC minister Isaias Samson’s Illegal detention complaint against some member of the INC’s Sanggunian. Samson was expelled from the church after coming out on public detailing the wrong doings inside the INC organization. He then ask the help of DOJ to investigate the matter which angered the religious groups leaders.
What supposed to be a contained rally in Faura was transferred to EDSA Shrine Friday August 28. Assembling there without necessary permits, the group paralyzed EDSA Ortigas northbound traffic as they gather in the middle of the highway with their buses and cars also parked there. Since Friday up to Sunday, the group occupied the stretch of EDSA from EDSA Shrine to EDSA Shaw Crossing.
With this happening, several politicians who are perceived and have announced to run in the 2016 Philippine elections were sought for their comments. Those who gave their comments regarding the matter include Vice President Jojo Binay, DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, Senators Grace Poe, Chiz Escudero, Bongbong Marcos and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Here’s what they have to say about the ongoing INC Rally.
“Religious Freedom is guaranteed by our constitution. Yet the administration chose to trample on this sacred right. What we are seeing are people fighting for their faith” – Vice President Jojo Binay.
“Huwag nating mamaliitin ang importansya ng relihiyon. Para sa akin, ang mga tao na yan, ang dinedepensahan nila ay ang kanilang paniniwala. Nirerespeto natin yan at kailangan pangalagaan din ang kanilang mga karapatan” – Sen. Grace Poe
“While all citizens have the right to be heard and to peaceful assembly, the exercise of these rights cannot impinge on the rights of others or cause inconvenience to anyone. Lalo na yung mga kababayan nating pauwi sa kanilang mga tahanan para magpahinga at makasama ang kanilang pamilya” – DILG Sec. Mar Roxas
“The INC certainly has the right to stage a peaceful mass action to express their sentiments in defense of their faith” – Sen. Bongbong Marcos
“It may be a prudent to first let the leadership of the INC resolve what appears to be purely internal matter. Ayaw nating makita na may pagkakahati-hati at hindi pagkakaunawaan sa panahong ito” – Sen. Chiz Escudero
“For as long as the public is also given equal right to the court and the terminal, if that is assured, then the members of the Iglesia ni Cristo can hold their rally in front of the Hall of Justice. Kausapin ko ang army at pulis, na pumunta sila sa Iglesia ni Cristo so they can arrange for an orderly assembly. That is police work.” – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte
Many netizens who are frustrated at what’s going on didn’t take some of the politician’s views positively. Many concluded that since election is coming most of these politician running for higher office in the 2016 Philippine election are out to please the INC in exchange of getting their most coveted endorsement.