• INC transparency

    23

    I WATCHED In awe as the members of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) came out in droves insisting that we care about what was going on with its church. It’s the first time – at least if memory serves – that we have become privy to what goes on in this organization, other than the fancy weddings of celebrities that we’ve seen.

    Yes, Gladys Reyes is celebrity to me.

    The Manalo mystery
    It makes for an exciting movie actually, in the tradition of 10,000 Hours – that Robin Padilla movie inspired by the time when Ping Lacson was on the run.

    Because what does one make of that (in)famous YouTube video of the brother of the leader of INC, declaring that he was being kept against his will in the house he lived in with his mother and sister? What of the mother, whose aged voice implored INC leader Eduardo V. Manalo to speak with her. What of those cryptic questions about ministers gone missing, or being kept against their will?

    This might have been the first time we could even form an opinion about INC, without feeling like we were stepping on their freedom as religious institution. Because even when it was later revealed that the Manalo siblings and their mother were only being told to leave the house – instead of being detained there against their will – it was still beyond me how anyone at all could put an aged and ailing mother under such distress.

    It didn’t help that what we were being told was that electricity and water services had been cut; and that no one could leave the house lest they be disallowed from returning.

    Cut to the story of the missing – and escaped – minister. One Isaias Samson Jr., an ex-INC minister, who has alleged that he and his family were illegally detained by eight members of the INC leadership, aka the Sanggunian. Both Samson and Manalo’s brother Angel have spoken about corruption within the INC, putting into question the credibility of the current Sanggunian.

    Yup, an infinitely more exciting movie than the Felix Manalo biopic could ever be.

    And the plot thickens
    It is the first time that so much has been revealed to the public about the workings of the INC – and from those within the organization’s higher echelons. It’s why it is difficult to ignore the current leader’s brother and mother; it’s why it is hard not to listen to what ex-Minister Samson has to say.

    It is also why watching INC members assembling in such a public space, declaring in such a public way their love for their current leader, seemed like nothing but an attempt to show us all that a majority of INC followers stand firm on one side of the fence. They stand by the current leadership and no one else, YouTube videos and a case of illegal detention be damned.

    One wonders if the INC leadership knew that this was risky business. And no, not because a majority in the country would be inconvenienced, which might mean a public less sympathetic to their cause. It was risky because that stage, the gen sets, the free snacks and water, the teary-eyed audience, the hosts that were wont to be hysterical – all these could be the undoing of this organization which was doing these not in the name of God, nor the name of some supreme abstract being. Instead they were speaking of and for one leader, EVM! EVM! they chanted, reminding us all that at the heart of this was not even the issue of the separation between religion and state, but really the protection of one Eduardo V. Manalo.

    It was fanaticism like no other. Fascinating to watch. But also really scary.

    Who else is INC?
    At some point it became clear that where the INC is concerned, it’s them versus us, them versus whoever so much as puts into question the leader they so love, them versus the rest of non-INC Philippines.

    Which forces us to ask the question: who are the members of INC in government? Recently, it has been said that Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa is an INC member – which he has yet to confirm. But pray tell, who else is a member of the INC in the president’s cabinet? In the various departments? In the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines?

    Because if there’s anything the INC gathering of last weekend revealed, it’s that when push comes to shove – and when shit hits the fan – these people who are in positions of power in government will not choose to do what is right and lawful. Because they can only choose to do what is right by the INC.

    In this instance, how many policemen could not have dispersed the crowd even if they were ordered to do so? How many local officials could not deny them a permit? How many local officials had no choice but to say yes to this gathering for one man?

    It seems that if there’s any separation at all that we must now demand, it’s the separation of government office and INC membership, because for the first time it has been revealed how in the end it is being INC member that will take precedence over any other role they might play in government office or police service.

    It seems that if there is anything we needed to learn from last weekend’s grand display of love for INC’s Manalo, it’s that we must now demand that our public officials declare their INC affiliations on their curriculum vitae. At least then we’ll know who they are truly loyal to. And nope, it can’t be nation, nor public service.

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    23 Comments

    1. sabi ng inc “LABAS NG IGLESIA AY WALANG KALIGTASAN” kasama ana natin ang NANAY ng lider nila na 6 YEARS NA HINDI KINAKAUSAP. at mga kapatid niya na kasama niyang lumaki at nagmalasakit sa kanya. out of billion people 2.3 million lang ang maliligtas. hay…. ang selfish naman nila.

    2. Hahaha the yellow government minion este the yellow media. Don’t ask! Do your research, If you can’t bakit di mo basahin ang ibang dyaryo. This is not about inc vs. Non inc. Pwede na Ito for creative writing, but I had fun reading your piece. Thanks.

    3. Simple, they are one in mind, spirit and belief, that’s what I observed most!… its strange if you are not understand their doctrines…

    4. Singling out a person vying for or being considered for public office by virtue of his religious affiliation? Now, that clearly is to advocate discrimination! It is like saying that whatever one’s credentials are–his or her education, experience, etc.–should just be disregarded and he/she should be banned from holding such office because he/she is a member of a religious group perceived to be so loyal to the faith of his choice.

    5. Be objective of the issues. huwag mong ilihis ang tanong?. kundi ninyo kayang panindigan?.ang sanggunian ang ipasagot ninyo..? KUNG SI PINOY TUWID NA DAAN KAYO HINARANG ANG DAAN SA EDSA at katotohan sa inyong kapatid na hinostage ninyo!.huwag magtago sa katotohanan.. yan sagutin ninyo.. iglesia man rin ang may reklamo huwag mo idamay katoliko sa usapan dito?.kayo ang magdepensa kayo namn sumulat sa artikulong ito..? kaya mag-isip-isip…

    6. No offense meant, Katrina, but I hope you are not suggesting that other religious organizations or any organization for that matter are wart-free? I don’t know if all these recent revelations about the INC are true or overblown for political purposes, but will you mind if the artists guild of the Philippines did the same thing to protest their unfair employment contracts with, say, the powerful ABS-CBN even if we know that some of their leaders are not exactly saints themselves? It really boils down to the question of whether or not one has the power to demand action for grievances- lets assume all grievances are legitimate from the point of view of the aggrieved. If you have then just do it. If not then I guess the next best thing is to issue press releases about one’s grand summits and pompous manifestos all calling for transformation without really going anywhere unless its all in the advancement of some hidden agenda. The lesson here is as old as mankind: do not trample on the powerful, even if he is the devil himself, or maybe I should say, especially if he is the devil.

    7. Ang turo ng reliheyon ninyo ay pagmamahal, kapatawaran at paglilingkod sa kapwa pero paano kung sariling nanay at kapatid ay hindi nila mapatawad at i hostage pa… di ba kabaliktaran yan? saan na ang pagmamahal?.kung ikaw rin ay itakwil sa sarili mong dugo ano kaya ang iyong damhin?.ang reliheyon ay tinitingala na maging gabay sa araw- araw na pamumuhay… kawawa naman ang taong nagsulong sa pagbabago sa sariling tahanan pero minarapat at itinakwil na hindi manlang pinakinggan.Grabe ang reaksyon ninyo… kung maka asta parang kayo lang ang tao sa pilipinas?.

      • May batas ang Panginoong Diyos ukol sa pagmamahal natin sa magulang na dapat silang mahalin at igalang. Ngunit mayroon ding batas ang Diyos na mas lalo nating pahalagaan. Dahil ang sinuman na umiibig sa magulang na higit pa sa pag-ibig sa Diyos ay hindi makarating sa Kaharian ng Langit. Ang pag-ibig sa Diyos ay mas mahalaga kaysa pag-ibig natin sa magulang,.

        God has a law about love for our parents and that we should give them love and respect. But God also has a law that we should give more priority. That whoever loves the parents more than God Himself will not reach the kingdom of Heaven. Our love for God should take precedence over that of the laws and notions of men.

      • wala sa batas ng diyos na huwag mong kakausapin ang nanay mo ng ilang taon dahil sa galit mo sa kanya. kundi “igalang mo ang iyong ama at ina upang mabuhay ka ng malaon sa lupa” at BAGO MO ITIWALAG KAUSAPIN MO MUNA KUNG BAKIT NIYA NAGAWA ANG MGA BAGAY NA IYON.

    8. eh, Anung gusto niyo…na kayo nalang ang masusunod at walang gobyerno….kung gawin yan sa pamilya mo maging happy ka! at di nalang kumibo…eh, ano kaya kung ma missing yan sila… saan kayo pupunta?.wala lang… kaya tayo may batas. kaya pala ang ginawa ninyo pagsira sa bundok na nasa alangalang, leyte na idiniklara ng gobyerno na protected areas at ginawa ninyong new era…ay wala man lang nag-imbestiga kasi natakot sa inyo? kawawa naman ang magsasakang maliliit at inagawan ninyo ng lupa…mahiya naman kayo sa turo ng reliheyon ninyo…gawin lahat makuha lang ang gusto.

      • alam mo tumingin ka sa salamin at tanungin ang sarili mo. Yung mga pari ng katoliko nang ri rape at nagnanakaw, binibenta ang mga simbahan nyo, walang ginagawa ang member nito, di kayo nagkakaisa para papanagutin sila. Meron diyan, naman nang rape at inuubos ang pera ng kunwari niyang religion, nasan na, ayun nagtatago sa brazil takot umuwi ng pilipinas kasi may warrant of arrest. Ang INC kaya nagpunta sa EDSA, para ipaglaban ang aming karapatan sa pananampalataya at pagiging pilipino. Tanungin mo si Mar Roxas, bakit nya pinipilit ang INC na iboto siya sa susunod na election. WALA KANG ALAM. Nagpunta rin kami sa EDSA, dahil hindi sinunod ni delima ang protocol sa paghahain ng kaso. Alam mo ba ang ibig sabihin ng protocol.? Hindi rin ibig sabihin ng pagpunta namin sa EDSA ay hindi namin kaya ipagtanggol ang aming sanggunian o hinahadlangan namin ang pagsasampa ng kaso. Magbasa basa ka muna, hindi yung puro ka Facebook.

      • Mr. Vic,
        Protocol? ikaw nakita mo ba kung paanu na-process yung complaint ni Mr. Samson na nag file ng complaint sa DOJ. Sabi nyo nakikialam ang government sa religion ninyo cum cult. But the truth of the matter ay si Mr. Samson ang nagpunta at nag file. It was only received and stamped and it was not even raffled off to any of the prosecutors of the DOJ. Kaya anung protocol ang pinag-sasabi mo? At ang pinaka totoo sa lahat ay dahil sa pag file ni Mr. Samson na dati nyong ministro at editor in chief sa PASUGO for 40 years ay nagsumbong ng katiwalian sa INC pero anung ginawa ng leadership ninyo ay inunahan ninyo para hindi makalkal ang inyung kabulukan diyan sa loob. Kaya ang issue, Isang ministro laban sa INC leadership and members. At dapat lang talgang pag-dudahan kayo kasi pati ang Nanay ni Eduardo Manalo at ang kanyang kapatid ay nagsalita sa You Tube tungkol sa kabulukan ninyo sa INC. Ang malaking tanung? Nasaan na kaya yung mag-ina na ka Tenny and Ka Angel? Hindi kaya pinatahimik????

      • Wala kaming kagustuhan na kaming mga Iglesia ni Cristo ay siya lamang ang dapat na masunod. Ang mga sinasabi mo ay bunga lamang ng mga masasamang inggit at mga kumukulong paninibugho ninyo sa amin dahil sa mga tagumpay namin dahil sa tulong ng aming tunay na Diyos na hindi gawa sa mga kahoy. Ang mga diyus-diyosan ninyo na kung sa paglipas ng panahon at sa katagalan ay nagiging mga duling at walang kabuluhan.

        We are not into deposing a duly constituted government nor we have an iota of intent to have De Lima resign from her government post. We were asking for fairness and justice for everyone including members of the outside religions. Sumasakay ka sa isang bintang ng taong itiniwalag dahil sa tahasang paglabag sa mga alituntunin ng Iglesia ni Cristo. Hindi naming kiniwestiyon ang batas kundi ang mga maling hakbang at balakyot na mga hangarin ng mga nagpapatupad ng batas.

        Pati ba naman ang mga ginawa namin sa Alang-alang, Leyte ay kinuwestiyon mo? Saan ka naman nakakuha ng tsismis na ang dakong yaon ay idiniklara ng pamahalaan na “protected area”? Gaano ka ba talaga kainggit dahil hindi mo nakita ang mga mapagmahal na hakbang ng Iglesia ni Crsito sa ikabubuti at ikauunlad ng aming kapwa?

        Kayo walang ginawang kakbang at nagbulagbulagan at nagbingi-bingian. Hindi ninyo naipalibing ang mga iniuod at inuuwak na mga bankay ng mga kapatid ninyo sa pananampalataya. Hindi rin kayo agad gumawa ng kaukulang mga hakbang upang maibsan ang matinding gutom na nadarama ng marami bunga ng mga sakuna.

        Mahilig kayo sa kahambogan. Laging satsat at walang gawa. Ni ang kinatatayuan o dako kung nasaan ang Purgatoryo ay hindi ninyo maibigay upang magkakaroon ng matuwid na kaisipan ang inyong kapuwa na mananampalataya.

        Nasaan kayo noong nagsisigaw sa gutom ang mga bata ng Leyte, Samar, at Cebu? Kailan ba kayo dumating? Ang tunay na pagkaka-alam ng marami ay unang dumating ang mga tumutulong sa panig ng Iglesia ni Cristo. Itanong kay Ginoong Romualdez na siyang Alkalde sa lunsod ng Takloban.

    9. Rabble rousers who peddle influence
      should not be able to hold government hostage.

      This is a result of a former president and her daughters paying homage to their leadership so her son could become senator.

      • The rabble rouser belong absolutely to a Justice Department Secretary who lacks the qualities of competence, fairness, and integrity. For her office is awash with old-age but unsolved cases that need to be solved first but instead, she gave preference to a later case involving an internal problem of a religion though she knows pretty well that the law on church and state separation is inviolable.. She allowed the complainant to air his side of the complaint with malicious impunity and with accompanying “Witness Protection” without proper investigation. And in defense of the Iglesia ni Cristo scores of thousands came to air their grievances.

        It is not our fault if politicians would pay visits to our Central Office. None of them were being invited for the purpose of gaining influence and affluence . Their visits are all voluntary. We do not depend on the wisdom and power of men but on the promises of God long before there was Creation. And these have fulfilment as could be seen in the glorious statue of the true Church of Christ and Her massive expansion all over the world which is comparable to a pent-up stream driven by a blast of wind.

    10. Please ask Mar Roxas what is the true meaning of “Separation of Church and estate”. Maybe he would give you a very transparent and true meaning. Do your research and investigation. Donot get carried away by your emotion. Why is EDSA still heavy traffic until now when INC have already left that place.?

      • Yes I know the true meaning of Separation of Church and State, “State” po at hindi estate “estate kasi ang meaning ay property, domain, wealth etc. while “state” meaning government etc. Okay Mr. Vic? please do your investigation and research. See this in thesaurus.

        The true meaning of Separation of Church and State, “Every citizen has the right to exercise his/her freedom of religion but in the exercise of this right no one has also the right to “impinge” with the rights of others. “Impinge” meaning to intrude,impose, interrupt etc. sa filipino language po ay walang sinu mang puede makialam or maging sagabal sa karapatan ng iba. Karapatang gumamit ng EDSA o Padre Faura ng walang masyadong sagabal. Naiintindihan mo ba Vic?

      • Brother boni garcia:

        What we are not aware with is that INC has in their by-laws, established internal rules to follow and these laws have been in existence since time immemorial which early founding members have ratified. Isaias Samson is a high ranking soldier of his faith with compensation provided by his church and his job is to defend & stand up for the INC no matter what it takes. Isaias Samson not merely fall short in his undertakings but even sow & propagate intrigues (in military parlance initiated a mutiny) & in so doing committed treason instead of protecting it. Disciplining members is solely rest of the Sanggunian. You may articulate that accusing the 8 managing persona of the church is not akin to the indictment of the whole INC. It is one and the same since those accused personality joined and worked together in arriving to the verdict disciplining Isias Samson/Antonio Evangelista. They represent the entire church as mandated by INC internal rules moreover pointing a finger at them is much similar to condemning the entire religious organization of wrong doing. INC organization has suffered much in these accusations and the right to defend themselves is their only prerogative.

      • mas traffic nong nag rally ang INC without reason,love GOD FIRST BEFORE PARENTS, WHO IS YOUR GOD , IT IS EDUARDO V. MANALO and not JESUS CHRIST.

    11. “we must now demand that our public officials declare their INC affiliations on their curriculum vitae.”
      sorry Miss Santiago, won’t happen. INC has always been, is, and will be the one pulling the strings. Solution? make Catholics faithful as they are, an impossible task though. Hehe.

    12. Justaskingseriously on

      Right on, Radikal chick! Inisist on your insightful nationalism for the sake of “pagkakaisa” that INC members arrogate unto themselves at the expense of one nation, one Philippines, one rule of law!!! Pagkakaisa belongs to all Filipinos, not to the INC alone. Calling on the Justice Department to make sure that INC in public service do serve the public now that it is clear that INC is only for the INC!!!!!

      How about the NBI looking into the alleged big wigs at the Bureau of Customs involved in big time smuggling? Why do they seem to be “untouchables”? An INC commenter always writing in Pilipino in this online edition has brazenly branded catholic public officials robbing this “catholic” country’s treasury with impunity. Yes, start with the employees of the Bureau of Customs to make them declare in their curriculum vitae their religious affiliations!!! Then let the whole world see who is robbing whom. Make a policy of lifestyle check on all employees at the Bureau of Customs. Better yet, make all public servants from President, cabinet members, congressmen, senators, down to the barangay officials sign waivers to have their lifestyles checked anytime by the NBI. In this digital age, it should not be difficult for the NBI to have in their files SALNs (Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth) of every public servant. Of course, include those in the Armed Forces, National Police Force, and the NBI in the category of public servants.

      Somebody in Congress as people’s representative ought to sponsor a bill to make this declaration of religious affiliation in the curriculum vitae of every public servant put into law. The recent INC demonstration and consequent blogs make the whole thing as “aid in legislation”.