THE Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday expressed elation over the decision of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) to end their five-day long protest vigil in select areas in Metro Manila.
At the same time, the Philippine National Police (PNP) also said the alert-status of PNP offices in Camp Crame have been downgraded from full-alert status to heightened alert as the INC members ended their mass action on Monday morning.
“The alert status of Crame-based offices has been downgraded from full-alert to heightened alert effective at 12 noon on August 31, 2015,” a statement coming from the PNP Public Information Office (PIO) said on Monday.
The PNP has raised the alert-status of its forces in Metro Manila at the height of protest from INC members denouncing the apparent interference of the Department of Justice (DOJ) in internal affairs of the religious sect.
In a statement, Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd said they are happy that the INC protest in Metro Manila has ended peacefully and that its (INC) members have started to disperse and go home.
“Ngayong umaga ay inanunsyo ng Iglesia ni Cristo ang pagtatapos ng kanilang kilos-protesta sa EDSA at nagsimula na silang magsiuwian [This morning the Iglesia ni Cristo has announced the conclusion of their peaceful EDSA protest, and its members have started to go home],” the interior secretary said in a statement emailed to Camp Crame reporters.
Roxas added that the PNP and other government agencies have tried their very best to ensure that the INC protest remain normal and peaceful and end at the soonest possible time.
“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa mga kawani ng PNP, MMDA, sa local at barangay officials sa kanilang pakikipagtulungan sa gitna ng pagod, malakas na ulan at matinding init para manatili ang kaayusan, [We are thankful for the PNP, MMDA, and local and barangay officials and personnel for their continued support and hard work amid the unpredictable weather conditions just to maintain order in the streets],” the interior secretary said in the statement.
The interior secretary added, “There were many who wanted to exploit the protest for their personal ends, mahalagang naging mahinahon ang lahat para maiwasang may masaktan kung magkaroon ng kaguluhan [It is important that everyone stays calm in order to avoid violence and casualties in case something bad happens].”
Roxas also said that in the past days, the government has silently communicated with the leaders of the religious sect in a bid to find peaceful means and get the clearer picture of the issue being protested by INC members.