INC holds global charity walk for ‘Yolanda’ victims

1
Iglesia ni Cristo members fill up the stretch of Roxas Blvd. in Manila. An estimated 400,000 people joined the charity walk staged by the religious group to raise funds for Yolanda victims. PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

Iglesia ni Cristo members fill up the stretch of Roxas Blvd. in Manila. An estimated 400,000 people joined the charity walk staged by the religious group to raise funds for Yolanda victims. PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

HUNDREDS of thousands of members of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) took to the streets in Manila on Saturday in a charity walk to raise funds for survivors of the country’s deadliest typhoon.

Advertisements

Members of the INC poured into Roxas Blvd. in response to the politically influential sect’s appeal to help compatriots caught up by Super Typhoon Yolanda’s onslaught.

All those taking part bought special white t-shirts, costing P250 to wear during the march, with all proceeds from sales of the garment being donated to help those in need, pensioner Laodiseo Santos, 78, told Agence France-Presse.

“I paid for this T-shirt to help our countrymen rebuild their homes . . . Some of our wealthier members purchased in bulk,” he said.

The retired cashier, his five grown-up sons and daughters as well as several grandchildren completed a three-kilometer walk in late morning.

Police estimated the crowd at about 200,000, though the figure could not be independently confirmed.

Yolanda tore across 171 towns and cities in central Visayas on November 8 last year, killing at least 6,200 people and leaving nearly 2,000 others missing, according to an official count.

The typhoon, one of the strongest ever to hit land, also left more than four million people homeless.

Many of them are still living in tents and other temporary shelters supplied by an international humanitarian effort led by the United Nations.

“This is an organized march, and there have been no untoward incidents,” said Chief Insp. Alejandro Yanquiling, a senior Manila police officer who oversaw security for the event.

The INC has at least three million members in the largely Catholic nation of 100 million.

The conservative sect is courted by politicians because its members tend to vote as a block.

AFP

Share.
loading...
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

1 Comment

  1. Why did INC have to raise funds for the Yolanda victims when foreign aids were already enough? What’s needed is helping the victims with the money and rehabilitation. First time we heard of INC raising funds in public. Usually, donations are made during the worship services. First time I heard they sold T-shirts to raise funds. If one T-shirt costs P2.50, then imagine how much one million members paid. What about those members abroad? Are the INC funds that could afford to build the Philippine Arena not enough to help the Yolanda victims that they now have to raise funds like other churches? I thought INC brags about the only church that does not accept donations from non-members of other private or government organizations. No raffle, concert, bingo, casino. Of course there were also non-members who attended the event because INC invited non-members. Did they accept their donations by buying the T-shirts?

    While INC’s intention was laudable, it came at a time when one would wonder what the real motive was. Was it to add funds to the Philippine Arena that they’re rushing in time for the church’s Centennial Celebration this year? How would the funds raised be monitored meaning how much really go to the Yolanda victims? Remember churches are tax exempt. Of course we don’t expect the government to look into this. The government never dares to check the religious groups’ assets and property for obvious reason