The Inbox

INC’s Davao version of Rizal Park rally


By Karlos Manlupig, VERA Files

It was not only in Manila that the Iglesia ni Cristo made a show of force last Feb. 28.

In Davao City, thousands of INC members  traveled for hours, some of them suffered blown out tires to attend a prayer rally that was part of the religious group's nationwide grand evangelical mission.

They filled the Agro Soccer Field, which had a crowd capacity of 100,000 persons.  Under the heat of the sun, they participated in the "Bible Exposition" and stayed put even when there was a sudden downpour.

A farmer from Mati City, Davao Oriental, who asked not to be named, said that as members of the real Church of Christ, they would do anything and follow every command of their leaders in Manila.

"We are always taught that we are one under the Iglesia ni Cristo. The Bible says that that we should unite with the true church of Christ and follow God's commandments," he said.

A former member of the Roman Catholic Church and now a member of Iglesia ni Cristo for more than two decades, Abelino Beraque said that he will always remain loyal to this church because he believes that this is the only way to salvation.

"Nothing pushed me to be converted to INC. I was enlightened after I read a particular passage in the Bible that says that only members of Iglesia ni Cristo will be saved. No member of other religions will be saved. Only the followers of the real Church of Christ will have salvation," said Beraque.

Just like the Rizal Park INC rally in Manila that caused traffic jams and shortage of buses, the Davao  City rally also left many commuters stranded as traffic came to a halt caused by  trucks and buses that brought INC members from neighboring towns and provinces  to the event.

Rey, a student from Ateneo de Davao University, said the 15-minute ride from his residence to school became one hour." I do not blame the INC for the traffic but the Traffic Management Council should have provided alternative routes," he said.

Joy Villanueva, who regularly takes the one-hour bus ride from Panabo City to Davao City, said the bus shortage resulted in jam-packed buses. " A seat that has a seating capacity of two persons became a seat for three persons. I wish that I was able to anticipate the effects of the INC mobilization so that I was able to travel earlier to avoid the unnecessary hassles," she said.

Rally marshals and the local police had a hard time controlling the crowd rushing out of the stadium after the rally. Some children were reported missing while there people who fainted and were rushed out in stretchers.

A few days before the event, they were speculations that it would be an INC  political statement  on the  impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona, which the INC denied asserting that the  gathering, held all over the country, is a religious activity.

The INC, which was founded in the Philippines by Felix Manalo on 1914, started with only a small number of members in Punta, Santa Ana, Manila. By the 80's, the sect had grown to more than one million spread over 67 countries across the globe.

Today, Eduardo Manalo, the founder's grandson, Eduardo Manalo, presides over  more than three million loyal followers which is said to vote as a bloc during elections.

Politicians court the INC votes which a survey firm has put to at least one million.

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for "true.")

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ‘Get SAF 44 killers before BBL passage’
    ‘Get SAF 44 killers before BBL passage’

    Lawmakers are demanding the arrest of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters involved in the killing of 44 policemen in Mamasapano before the approval of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in Congress. Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, chairman of the 75-member ad hoc committee in the House of Representatives deliberating on the BBL, prodded the Department of Justice (DOJ) to speed up its investigation and file charges against the MILF guerrillas as the Aquino administration …

  • Pinoys dance for Earth Hour
    Pinoys dance for Earth Hour

    The Philippines once again displayed its support Saturday night for the worldwide observance of Earth Hour by hosting a dance party after turning the lights off from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. to save energy and make a statement on various environmental issues. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said widespread participation proved anew that no individual action on climate change is too small and that no collective vision is too big with celebrations in over 7,000 hubs in 170 countries. The WWF said …

  • Phl offers Sabah to win Malaysia’s support for UN case vs China
    Phl offers Sabah to win Malaysia’s support for UN case vs China

    The Philippines has offered to downgrade its claim on Sabah in exchange for Malaysia’s support for its case against China before the United Nations. The quid pro quo was contained in a note verbale the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) handed to a representative of the Malaysian embassy last week, a week after the visit of Malaysian Defense Minister Dato  Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein. The note verbale, a copy of which was obtained by VERA Files, referred to the May 6, 2009 joint submission …

  • Maysak to enter Phl Wednesday
    Maysak to enter Phl Wednesday

    A typhoon with international name Maysak is expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Wednesday and bring rains over Northern Luzon by weekend, the state weather bureau said yesterday. Aldczar Aurelio, weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said the typhoon was 2,810 kilometers east of Mindanao as of 10 a.m. yesterday. “This typhoon is still too far to affect any part of the country,” the weather …

  • Nonviolent disciplining of kids pushed

    Child rights advocates called on senators to pass and strongly endorse a law that will institutionalize positive and nonviolent methods of disciplining children.The Child Rights Network (CRN), Plan International Philippines (PIP), Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLPCD), and Lihok Pilipinas Foundation led the call for the enactment of the Positive Discipline Bill.Several Quezon City Council members led by Majority Floor Leader Jesus Manuel Suntay, Victor Ferrer …

  • Method to their madness

    [caption id="attachment_256768" align="alignright" width="212"] Illustration by Rod Cañalita[/caption] EMMANUEL PORTUGAL Country Manager for the Philippines, VMware I look after the garden. I’d like to think that I have a green thumb—no plants have died so far! The ones I like now that I planted a few months ago is the Blue Iris. Like the town in the movie, my Blue Iris shows up in the morning and only appears for one day. …

  • JGFP Summer Tour on today

    The summer tour for local junior golfers kicks off with the holding of the ICTSI-JGFP Baguio Junior Open today and tomorrow at the treacherous Baguio Country Club course in Baguio.Sixty players aged 6 to 17 years old are entered in the 36-hole tourney serving as the opening leg of the summer circuit organized by the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines with the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. Foundation as main sponsor. ... …

  • PH now market ready to absorb infra bonds

    The Philippine market is now ready to absorb infrastructure bonds that will be issued by private companies amid a growing pipeline of infra-related projects under the government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program. President Benigno Aquino III last week said the government is still committed to spend more on the country’s infrastructure, with 16 PPP projects currently on the pipeline and nine that have already been awarded. Over the years, some of the country’s biggest infrastructure …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options