Roxas seen courting INC vote despite apparent fallout


LIBERAL Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II is still likely to court the endorsement of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) despite the apparent fallout between the two parties last year, his allies said Saturday.

This according to Dasmariñas Rep. Elpidio Barzaga, of the National Union Party, and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., of LP, in light of pre-election survey frontrunner Sen. Grace Poe meeting top INC Minister Eraño Cordera this week.

“I would think Mar would also seek the INC’s support, just not out in the open,” Barzaga told The Manila Times in a phone interview. “All candidates would court the support of all sectors of society, especially the INC.”

Roxas spoke against the INC, a known influential religious group, last year after its members clogged Metro Manila’s major thoroughfare of Edsa as they staged a rally in support of their leaders against a complaint filed by a former INC minister.

INC is known to practice bloc voting – a scheme wherein the INC leaders dictate their followers on who to vote for in both local and national posts during elections. It is estimated to guarantee at least 2 million votes for a national candidate.

In return, INC lobbies for the appointment of its members in juicy posts in the government.

“Seeking INC’s support is a matter of tradition and necessity, whether you are trailing [in surveys]or in a close race,” Barzaga said. “And, right now, the race is too close to call.”

In the Pulse Asia survey commissioned by ABS-CBN and released Friday, Poe topped the presidential race with 28 percent, a four percentage-point ahead of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who got 24 percent. Vice President Jejomar Binay is a close third with 23 percent, while Roxas settled for fourth place with 19 percent.

“All the candidates would do that [seeking of INC’s bloc vote],” Belmonte, Roxas’s campaign manager, said in a text message. “It’s a close fight, so every vote counts.”

Given INC’s influence, its members mounted a human blockade in the busy EDSA corner Shaw Blvd. for four days in Aug. 2015 in an aim to stop the Justice Department, then headed by Leila de Lima, from probing the INC leaders over an illegal-detention complaint filed by Isaias Samson Jr., a former INC minister.

The INC’s mass action choked off the metropolis’ major thoroughfare, leaving stranded passengers and exhausted commuters stuck on the road way past midnight for days.

Roxas was the lone presidential candidate who spoke against such INC’s action.

“While all citizens have the right to be heard and to peaceful assembly, the exercise of these rights cannot impinge on the rights of others or cause inconvenience to anyone, especially our fellowmen who are going home to rest and spend time with their families,” Roxas said in a statement then.

Roxas got INC’s endorsement in the 2010 polls when he ran for Vice President and as a running mate of then fellow senator Benigno Aquino III.

But Roxas lost to then Makati Mayor Binay by 700,000 votes, despite him leading in all pre-election surveys. LLANESCA PANTI



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  1. Llanesca Panti……Bago ka MAGSULAT alamin mo muna kung tama o totoo o kaya makatarungan ang iyong isusulat???????, hindi kaayaaya sa nagbabasa na ang iyong sinulat sa MANILA BULETTIN ay kung nakakasakit sa nagbabasa o nakakayamot, dahil wala ka na mang pruweba sa iyong PANGHUHUSGA ! Ang INC ay nagkakaisa sa pagtupad lalo na sa mga aral nang DIOS na aming sinasampalatayanan…dahil dito namin naipapakita ang PAGSUNOD nang PAGKAKAISA dahil itoy utos nang DIOS na kami ay magkaisa sa lahat nang bagay tungkol sa ESPIRITUAL at mga tagubilin….dito ang hindi magagawa nang ibang religion, dahil ang IGLESIA NI CRISTO ay BAYAN NANG DIOS……Kaya ikaw Llanesca Panti i correct mo or magsorry ka sa iyong sinulat sa MANILLA BULLETIN………….Annette from SWEDEN

  2. Hafa Adai from Saipan,

    I’m a proud member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo here in Saipan, CNMI, USA. I read this article of a certain LLLANESA PANTI in your newspaper. As I read through it, I found some probably un-researched words and phrases she used that I took offense to. I am giving her the chance to correct her mistakes coz I believe she is greatly misinformed. If her purpose is to detract, then here is her answer.

    (1) Saying that bloc voting is a “scheme dictated” by the Church administration is a misinformation. All candidates are evaluated from the local thru the national level and are voted on before a mandate/decision is made whom to vote for…We always based our decisions on God’s teaching from the bible, that’s the fact. We have never meddled in the affairs of the gov’t. except where they infringe on our rights, that’s a fact.

    (2) “In return, INC lobbies for the appointment of its members in juicy posts in the government”? Where did she get this idea? Is she a privy to Noynoy or higher ups in the gov’t. who told her this? Does she have her proof?

    Please get your facts right before publishing articles like this. I’m sure, there will be more emails coming her way. Good luck to her.

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to give the INC’s side as I believe is the truth.

    • Clearly this writer is a hater of the INC look at what was said about the EDSA Rally. Aren’t we Citizens of the Philippines? Aren’t we taxpayers too? Then why question our use of EDSA. Aren’t we democratic country? then why can’t we voice our laments when a public official does something beyond her jurisdiction? This article is just so unfair and conclusive. What kind of journalism do we Filipino Nation now have? Prejudiced statements are the new norm? It is so sad that journalism have gone down to unethical and dirty journalism… this is Philippines now… full of incompetent writers.

    • Roxanne Castro on

      Very well said, sis. Llanesa Panti should not be allowed to write an article for manila times as she has not done her research very well. I suggest she goes back to journalism 101, doing an in-depth research before even attempting to write something that obviously she knows nothing about. For one, we are not dictated who to vote. Voting as one is a teaching based on the bible. We have lawyers, Doctors of Philosophy, we have prominent people in our Church. Do you think these people can be just dictated upon who to vote? However, since they all know we should obey what the bible teachings are, we all should vote as ONE. We do not ASK for anything in return. Why not ask Former Pres. Estrada, VP Binay and even Davao Mayor Duterte. Ask Sen. Bongbong, even Sen. Drillon, Sen. Sotto or even PNoy. We have never asked them anything in exchange for our votes. Ms. Panti should learn to write based on facts. It is so pathetic when a writer writes about something based on hearsay and makes it appear like she knows what she’s saying. That is so unethical and very offensive.

    • ang Pagkakaisa ay masasabi kong tulak ng BIBIG kabig ng DIBDIB dahil halos lahat ng tumayong lider sa alinmang organisasyon ay nangarap ng pagkakaisa sapagkt alam nila na kung saan merong pagkakaisa ay may kapayapaan at pagtatagumpay, subalit marami ang tutol dito at binibigyan ng malisyosong pangunawa, kailanman ang Pamamahala ay di ginawang diktahan ang mga kaanib kung sino ang iboboto sapagkat buong puso naming hinihintay kung sino ang pagkakaisang iboto ng mga INC at wala ring sapilitan sapagkat ito ay ginagawa ng mga INC ayon sa kalooban ng Diyos na ang lahat ay magkaroon ng IISANG PAG-ISIP at PAGHATOL at hindi rin totoo na walang kalayaang pumili ang mga INC sapagkat higit sa lahat ang pinipili ng mga INC ay pasya ng Pamamahala sapagkat batin naming ito ang pinakamabuti sa IGLESIA, kaya ang masasabi ko syo Llanes Panti, magsuri ka muna sa Iglesia para maging kredibilidad ang panulat mo.

  3. Jerome Suarez on

    INC cult only bloc votes candidates who are top on the surveys. those who are below the top of the survey are just wasting time and money courting INC cult’s endorsement because whatever they do the cult will only vote for candidates who are number 1 from presidential up to local government posts.

    • e ano naman sa iyo kung sa papaano kami mag-block vote??!! ang kataga mong kulto e nakakatawa,,,e ano itatawag mo sa kinabibilangan mo? PAGANO??HEHEHE WHATEVER,,the best thing that you can you is keep your stinky mouth shut!!!! use your little mind…

  4. Correction, it wasn’t to stop the probe entirely but merely to prevent De Lima from violating more protocols than she already did.