Did the peaceful INC protest end in a deal?

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THE protest action of the Iglesia ni Cristo has mercifully ended without an untoward incident and heartbreak. This transpired because both the government and the church group kept their heads before braggarts could turn the protest into something dangerous.

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How the situation was defused bears lessons on how government should handle equally testy situations in the future, and how protesting groups ought to behave in order to settle issues amicably.

Thinking the situation through
One clear lesson is that it pays to let each side think the situation through, instead of their hurrying to regale the media and publicize demands.

After a thorough and thoughtful assessment of the situation, the INC leadership reached its decision to ask their protesting members to end the mass action and go home. It did not insist on its demand that Justice Secretary Leila De Lima should resign her post.

The government for its part adopted a more conciliatory stance after President Aquino called for an emergency meeting with top Cabinet officials and advisers on Sunday evening to discuss the INC protest.

During the meeting, the consensus emerged that it would be best for the government to meet with the INC leaders to discuss their issues. It came out of the discussion that INC’s main grievance – that De Lima had taken an inordinate interest in the complaint filed by one dismissed INC minister – may have no basis, because the DOJ may not file charges.

It is apparent that there was a substantial meeting of minds for INC to call off the protest action and ask their members to go home, and for the government to desist from putting pressure on the church group.

Was there a quid pro quo?
One thorny point to examine is why De Lima was personally in the frontline in handling the alleged complaint. Why was the justice secretary herself handling the matter. Why was it not given to a DOJ prosecutor for proper handling?

Surely this is not how de Lima acts on every complaint filed at the DOJ, including things that are routinary and inconsequential. What induced De lima to get involved is plainly the politics of the situation. INC is a church group with a lot of clout in our elections because of its policy of bloc voting. De Lima plans to run for the Senate, and LP standard bearer Mar Roxas desperately wants the INC’s endorsement.

Was there a deal between INC and the LP/Aquino/Malacañang – no charges in return for INC support for Roxas and De Lima?

INC: Leave us alone
This is proper because in the same way that Secretary De Lima insists that she was just doing her job, INC is also insisting that it is firmly in the right.

Massive negative propaganda was mounted against INC by administration allies, crony media and social media in a concerted effort to damage the public standing of the church group.

The Iglesia’s response through its spokesman came out strong and clear when he asked the public for understanding on behalf of the church. He declared:

“We are appealing to you for understanding. We won’t stay here permanently. This will also end.”

The spokesman then explained that they were only forced to rally because their request for a fair process under the law was not granted.

“There wouldn’t have been a gathering in Padre Faura if we were given a fair process of the law and it was not manipulated.” he said.

He also had one final message to the authorities: “ We want to ask the authorities to leave us alone…We are not causing any problem to them. So, please leave us alone.”

Strong words. The request to be left alone should be heeded, and should not be mocked by demagoguery, which falsifies everything.

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12 Comments

  1. Iglesia Ni Cristo member believe and always reminded to be a law abiding citizens, God fearing and always fallow the rule of law.
    Jesus Christ him-self is a law abiding Citizens, God fearing and always fallow the rule that’s why he said Well, then,” Jesus said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” His reply completely amazed them. Even we all know by now that he is innocent off all the accusation made to him but still he fallow the rule.
    Jesus Christ did not order his Apostles, Number of his Church member to appeal to Caesar ‘There grievances instead he submit himself.
    So let’s make the rule of law takes its course! If God is with us the truth will come out
    God bless this Country from the corrupt.

  2. Gregorio Del Pio on

    After everything that happened, the Church will stand firm in our principle that we will NOT BE CONTROLLED by the government’s political agenda. We are UNDER the LAW in which GOD commands us to follow the LAW OF MAN as long as it does not conflict with the LAWS OF GOD. Certainly, the Iglesia Ni Cristo will not let another INC rally to happen because of the unrespectful move of the DOJ so the Church won’t vote for ANY of those involve in the what we called CHURCH PERSECUTION. Cross-out Mar and De Lima, those two won’t get the vote of the Iglesia Ni Cristo. They’ll reap what they sow.

    • I concur with your premise that your belief is anchored on the LAWS of GOD.
      But you whether you like it or not, you have also to follow the laws of men, because you are obligated to follow BOTH. The case in question is about corruption and illegal detention which are both against the LAW OF GOD and LAW OF MEN. The Law of God is seldom violated but the law of man is abuse because some people believes that because of their Religious Belief they are always right.
      Kung ayaw ninyong sumunod sa UTOS NG TAO sa langit kayo manirahan.

  3. Gregorio Del Pio on

    So why did De Lima did not handle personally the Mamasapano Case as swiftly as how she handles the INC case? Do not use this issue as a political agenda for your Senatorial Race.

    • Gregorio Del Pio on

      It is not a political force. It is just that because of its bloc voting every politician wants to get involved in the INC affairs. You can’t call INC as a political force because if it is why did they not participate in EDSA 1, Edsa2 and why are they forbid to have political affairs? The reason for their bloc voting was for the purpose of SHOWING THEIR UNITY as what their doctrines states that the followers of Christ will be known for their UNITY as the followers of DEMONS cannot exercise UNITY. They also shows how to ACT as ONE BODY also from their doctrines that the Church is the BODY OF CHRIST and they are only ONE PERSON, CHRIST as the HEAD and the CHURCH as the BODY.

    • Is there a crime commited? We do not know. That is why there a dept. Of justice. Do we have the right to dictate which case should be first and which is second? No we do not have the right. First in first out is an accounting term. There is also lifo last in first out. To dictate what system to use is bs

  4. The protests are simply OA.
    A criminal complaint was filed and considering the gravity of the complaint and the accused, I find no wrong for a DOJ Secretary to look into the case.

    • It is not OA The followers were blind they did not see the big picture. The big picture is to delay or avoid the criminal complaint. This is a simple case of blind leading the blind. The problem is the blind leader is a wolf in sheep clothing.

  5. I just have a few questions: Is De Lima prohibited by law to handle a high profile complaint like serious illegal detention? Why should De Lima’s supposed handling of an INC minister’s complaint be linked to politics when everybody knows that De Lima is not yet a candidate and has not yet made even an informal announcement of her being one? Is the so-called protest rally not tantamount to obstruction of justice?

    • I guess It is unfair to both the gov’t and Sec. de Lima to be tagged as biased to the attention that was given to the case filed by the former Editor-in-Chief of PASUGO, Mr. Samson with the DOJ, when there were several cases the DOJ handled with dispatch i.e. Vhong Navarro’s case, Janet Napoles etc.

      INC just simply panic when Mr. Samson was just trying to get redress from DOJ about the injustice he got from INC leadership.

    • Of course, De Lima is not prohibited by law to supervise the case personally but you know what, a person using his/her office for politicking sans his/her formal declaration as a candidate or an official candidacy is not unheard of, and to think otherwise is just plain naive.