PNoy beats the INC, can he beat us all?

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WHILE various interested parties were praying the four-day Iglesia ni Cristo protest rally on EDSA/Shaw Boulevard would further build up, and more INC members were on their way from the peripheries, it was abruptly called off on Monday, prompting a spiral of speculations that a secret deal had been struck between Malacañang and the INC.

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This was the talk even in Davao, where I flew on Monday, and thousands had been picketing the Hall of Justice from Saturday. Both sides have denied the suggestion, but no one believes the denial. Some sources claiming to have a direct line to the INC said the organizers had miscalculated the cost of their mobilization, and had run out of money. But I can’t say even those saying this believed their own story.

The more persistent theory is that a deal was struck when Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa met with the INC top leadership behind closed doors in Quezon City on Saturday. No announcement of any kind was made about that meeting, but the rumor spread like wildfire, and it apparently became the meat of the discussion during Aquino’s emergency meeting with select members of the Cabinet at the Pangarap presidential residence on Sunday.

Malacañang has confirmed the Pangarap meeting and identified the participants to include Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., presidential political affairs consultant Ronald Llamas, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Hernando Iriberri, PNP Director General Ricardo Marquez, among others.

The INC protest march had been prompted by the allegedly extraordinary interest and attention given by De Lima to a complaint of serious illegal detention, harassment, grave threats and coercion filed by “expelled” INC minister Isaias Samson, his wife Myrna Dionela and son Isaias Jr. against the members of Sanggunian, the INC’s all-powerful administrative body.

Last July, Samson, a former editor-in-chief of Pasugo, INC’s official publication, was accused by his adversaries of running an anti-INC blog under the name of “Antonio Ebangelista.” He denied the accusation, but came under “disciplinary action” from his accusers. He and his family, according to himself, were prevented from ever leaving their residence. They were finally able to escape by pretending to attend an INC religious service and finding their way from there to a safer place. Unconfirmed reports said they got some friendly foreign help to relocate.

After the INC Executive Minister, the Sanggunian members are said to be the most powerful INC personalities. The Samsons’ charges against them have yet to be investigated, and there is as yet no finding of probable cause. But serious illegal detention alone is a non-bailable offense; Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged “pork barrel queen,” has been recently convicted of it, even before she could be tried on her alleged role in the so-called “P10-billion pork barrel scam,” which had preoccupied the Senate and the media for months on end. Therefore those charged with it had every reason to be worried.

Many who had expressed support for the INC march from the sidelines had no real understanding of the real issues involved. They had no suspicion that it was all internal to the INC, and limited to De Lima’s handling of a complaint filed by one “expelled” INC minister against the leaders of his church.

This, they thought, was something that could shake the Aquino government to its roots. But upon closer scrutiny, nothing in the placards borne by the marchers nor in the statements coming from their spokesmen said anything about B. S. Aquino 3rd’s tyranny or incompetence, or his rotten government.

Despite their angry criticisms against De Lima, they took great care, in their placards and speeches, not to ask her to step down. And they took even greater care not to ask PNoy to fire her from her position. They accused her of violating the constitutional separation of Church and State for paying attention to the complaint of the Samsons. But it seemed to have no bearing whatsoever on the case, which alleged certain crimes committed by some INC leaders against their own fellow members. Many who had never thought much of De Lima found themselves cheering her for standing her ground. The INC backlash was real.

Of course, there were some personalities who had come to the site to ride on the INC carousel; their opportunism shone like long-dead mackerel on a moonlit night. Eager to use the anti-De Lima show to rouse the rabble against the blundering PNoy, one eager-beaver character mounted the stage to execute the equivalent of a clumsy knife-throwing act, only to be told by a high INC personality as soon as he was off stage that the march was not meant to offend or oust the tyrant. We all misread the signs.

So what was the deal? Against the continuing denial of such a deal by both the INC and Malacañang, qualified sources insist that the parties had agreed to take De Lima off the case, by allowing her to resign soon, along with the other Cabinet members who would be running for the Senate in the May 2016 elections. Whether or not this has any basis at all should become clear in the next few days. So we wait.

What is clear though is that the “agreement” to end the march on Monday, as announced by INC general evangelist Bienvenido Santiago has prompted the legal counsel for the Samsons to express fear of a possible whitewash. Lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles was quoted as saying that unless the details of the “agreement” were revealed to the public, the Samsons would have every reason to fear that justice would be sacrificed.

Would a whitewash not provoke a more massive general protest march, led perhaps by the Samsons, whose group is said to include a number of former INC ministers supportive of Ka Eduardo’s mother and brother who were earlier expelled from their church? It is possible the end of one INC march could be the beginning of another?

One question that seems foremost on the minds of the public and our politicians is this: What would be the immediate and long-term effect of these developments upon the INC’s ability to impose political discipline among its members in the next elections? The usual practice has been for the INC leadership to provide a list of preferred candidates whom the INC members are asked to vote for as one community and one church. This has accounted for the INC’s tremendous political power all these years.

But given everything that has happened, will that discipline still hold? Will the leadership be able to continue to impose it upon its members, after invoking the “constitutional separation of Church and State” in the Samson case?

And for PNoy, will his ability to disband the INC march through clever deal-making prevent the greater population from staging a bigger march—- not necessarily to get rid of any of his Cabinet members, but to oust the entire regime?

fstatad@gmail.com

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22 Comments

  1. sana maintindihan ninyo mga iglesia ni kristo na ang pagsasaka ay parang daanan patungo sa gulgotha na puno ng pasakit at pagdurusa!!! malilit na magsasaka nawalan ng pag-asa dahil sa kasakiman at kamunduhan sa paghahari sa sanlibutan? hoy DAR saan na kayo!!! Hoy DENR imbestigahan ninyo ito… sana walang gahaman sa mundo kung turo ng Diyos ay isa puso at galangin ang karapatan ng ibang tao…

  2. Sana po matingnan nag issue na inilabas ng ABS-CBN dito sa Alangalang, Leyte. kawawa ang mga magsasaka na nakinabang sana sa CARP ngunit itoy kinuha sa kanila dahil pinagtayuan ng dambuhalang gusali ng wala daw pusong iglesia ni Kristo…
    kung marapatin lang sana ang area na iyan sa bario langit ay protected areas dahil ito ay peatland na idineklara ng gobyerno pero ito’y kinalbo ng iglesia ni kristo! ito ho pa nag turo ng iyong relihiyon ng wala man lamang respeto sa kapakanan ng iba? ito ho ba ang turo ng reliheyon ninyo na walang pagalang sa saligang batas? saan na po ang gobyerno? walang magagawa ang maliliti na magsasaka? imbestigahan sana ito….

  3. What most people understand is the amount of integrity and unity that binds the Church of Christ. The general public is for the most part unaware of this because, for better or for worse, the Church of Christ is very dismissive of public opinion. The Church has seen worse days in its 101 years of perseverance through persecution and misconception, standing strong in spite of everything. Have you ever wondered how from one man, a truly hated, ridiculed organization could have stood the test of time? You owe yourself to find out.

  4. ang malinaw sa ngayon ay wala na ung kaso ng DoJ laban sa INC. Ayaw magsalita si Delima tungkol dito, ang tanging sinasabi nya “walang deal” at “mag-reresign ako sa takdang panahon.” sa madaling salita, nakamit ng INC ung gusto nila.

  5. If your father told you to stay put and you are grounded for doing wrong, and the only guard you have is the guard in front of the whole compound because your house is not the only house in the compound so technically there is a guard in the main gate for the security of all the residents in the compound, and you are free to go out anytime without escort and some sort (CCTV is the proof)…is that illegal detention?

    • What your implying is the grounding of a minor by his father, right. If it’s so, then I agree. But the Samson situation was totally different. According yo the complainant his whole family were detained against their will. Even their passports were allegedly taken. That to me is very disturbing.

  6. INC as they claim will not be divided it will continue to grow as a force to reckon with, the number keeps growing and growing day by day and that is why local politicians respect the INC.

    Our faith stands and we will be united as one.

  7. I think INC beat pinoy and not pinoy beat INC. Manila was obviously held hostage by INC paralyzing edsa and manila. INC won pinoy and the rest of us lost.

  8. Hanggang ngayon,hindi pa din nauunawaan ng marami bakit patuloy na sumusunod ang lahat ng kaanib,sa bawat pasya ng namamahala sa kanila,
    Bawat tao, bago umanib Sa INC, isa-isang itinuturo at malinaw Na ipinapaliwanag ang aral na dapat mong sundin at ang pagbabagong buhay,
    Pati ang pagtitiwalag,inaalis lang ang kaanib,kung siya ay ayaw na at lumalaban na!
    Nagiging Inc lang ang isang tao,kung kusa at sumasampalataya siya sa aral!
    Mas mahalaga Ang pananampalataya ng isang INC sa ano mang bagay!
    Kung kaya niyang ipagkatiwala ang kanyang kaluluwa ano pa kaya ang pagboto ng pagkaisahan!
    Kaya lang naman ginalang at lalong nakilala at lumakas ang INC dahil sa kaisahan!
    Kaya hindi na ito magbabago!
    Kung gusto mong igalang at tingalain kailang ang pagkakaisa!
    Walang ibang tao ang sinusunod ng INC,maliban sa nangangasiwa!

    • “Nagiging Inc lang ang isang tao,kung kusa at sumasampalataya siya sa aral!”

      …or kung kailangan nya makapasok ng trabaho ng mabilisan. Kagaya ng SM?

    • “Walang ibang tao ang sinusunod ng INC,maliban sa nangangasiwa!”

      … Eh mag-kano naman kaya nabibili ang nangangasiwa? Posible ba na ginamit kayo ng nangangasiwa para hindi siya maipa-kulong ni De Lima?

    • Michael c DeLima ay tumiklop na..ni ayaw n nga nya na magsalita kc baka mamisinterpret na naman daw sya…igalang mo ang sinabi ni DeLima

    • To : Marcospolo

      Sir,
      Matanong ko lang po di po ba bahagi ng doktina ninyo na madalas ninyong sinasabi at itinuturo ng mga nangangaral sa inyo na di kayo bahagi ng sanlibutan? at ang pag asa ninyo ay sa makalangit eh bakit nakikibahagi kayo sa politika.Natatandaan ko pa noon na pagdalo palang sa mga sayawan hindi na pwede lalo na sa junior and senior prom eh bakit ngayon nag ra rally na kayo? mula pa noon wala akong natatandaan na nag rally ang INC ang tanong ko nag karoon na ba ng pag babago? at kung ang aral nga ay ang makalangit na pag asa bakit kailangan pang mag pagawa kayo ng napakalaking phil. arena para saan? maraming mga naghihirap na kasapi ninyo bakit di ninyo sila tulungan? at ano ba ang purpose nito ang pag paparangya sa tinatangkilik sa iba di ba masama yun? at di ba ang sabi nga ninyo at madalas ninyong sinasabi sa mga pangangaral ninyo na mag imbak ng kayamanan na di masisira na nasa itaas at wag sa lupa eh bakit kayo nagpagawa ng napakalaking arena na wala rin silbi sa daraating na araw dahil sisirain din yan pagdating ng ng tamang panahon.Bakit di na lang ituon yung pansin sa pagpapalawak ng gawaing pangangaral dahil marami ang aanihin pero kokonti ang mag aani.At isang halimbawa diyan bakit walang nailimbag ang INC na salin ng bibliya sa ibat ibang lenguwahe at dialect dahil mas mauunawaan ito ng mga tao pag ganap nila itong nauunawaan isa pa paano makakaalam ng katotohanan ang mga may kapansanan sa pag dinig ang mga bulag may gawain ba kayo rito? Balik tayo noon sa panahon ni kristo may mga ulat ba noon na nag payaman ang mga nag lilingkod sa kaniya? di po ba wala?
      Kaya naisip ko po na baka yan ay babala lang na sana magbago ang landasin na dapat tahakin at ibalik sa dati.

      Salamat po

  9. Oust Malakanyang! Now NA! Otherwise, everyone will have to wait for ELEKSIYON-2016, which is not good. ELEKSIYON-2016 means even Zamboanga and Abra, Naga and Gensan City participate with their votes. No good, now NA! Tayo-tayo lang.

  10. This is just the beginning – NOT THE END

    The expelled ministers will soon go to EDSA
    to ask – WHAT IS THE DEAL?

    This second INC group will march to EDSA
    supported by the Filipino People and the NTC.

    I WILL SUPPORT THIS SECOND GROUP
    SEEKING JUSTICE.

    The end will show!

    • Kelly Ong and company….Ito ang sagot namin sa inyo:

      Sa kanilang lumalaban, sila ay mapapahiya at malilito.-.

      Ipinahiya na kayo ng Diyos ng Iglesia….

      Sige, tawag kayo ng vigil/rally para mapahiya ulit kayo, libu-libong alikabok na attendees just like those in Angel’s compound.

    • Hindi iyan magagawa ng Samson’s camp since administration ang nasa likod ng kaguluhan… di nila magagawang ilaglag pa lalo sarili nila sa kahihiyan. Dahil tama lang na ipaglaban ng INC ang kanyang pananampalataya at kahit kelangan di magpapadikta sa administrasyon kung sino dapat iboto ng INC.

    • “This second INC group will march to EDSA
      supported by the Filipino People and the NTC.”

      Really? Are you sure kelly ong and company?

      Well, if God will permit this second group kuno to do rally, It would only mean one thing – Ihahayag na Niya ang lahat ng mga nasa fake accounts at ang mga mapanghimagsik na puso upang tuluyan ng malinis ang Iglesia.