You think Grace Poe, Chiz Escudero and Jojo Binay are the only ones rushing to mollify the powerful Iglesia ni Christo? Think again.
There’s been an amazing display of “Selective Justice” all around. From Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, all the way up to Malacanang.
Yes. Grace Poe was dead wrong. As was Francis Chiz Escudero And Binay … But they are not alone.
Everyone is tiptoeing around the INC. And we know why. a) Because deals matter b) Because you’re scared of people who know where your skeletons are c) Because you’ve knelt too long before the doors of power.
Check out the quotes from all quarters as gathered by TV5 broadcaster Jove Francisco.
The INC is like the Ampatuan clan, only more powerful because its tentacles extend nationwide. Like the Ampatuans, the INC accepts homage from all political parties. How many untouchables under the Aquino administration? How many surprising cringe-worthy appointments that shoved aside the meritorious? The strings will probably reach all the way back to Commonwealth Ave.
Don’t forget: The INC endorsed the Aquino-Roxas tandem in 2010. http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20100505-268197/Iglesia-ni-Cristo-endorses-Aquino-Roxas-tandem
Let’s get this straight. Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) members have a right to protest. They have the right to voice out their grievances. If they want to mobilize a million people, they’re welcome to that.
But numbers do not make them right. Nor should these numbers – and the prospects for votes in 2016 – scramble the brains of politicians who ought to know better. (Though it may be too much to rely on their brains on the issue of INC, since we do know that most of them grovel at the doors of that white building on Commonwealth hoping for the easy blessing of a bloc vote.)
The INC is wrong to frame its protest as a matter of defending religious beliefs.
While I’m not impressed by the dissenters – who have yet to come out and expose their Church’s involvement in systemic corruption – they have raised serious allegations of abduction and grave threats to their families. There have been news reports of a Bicolano INC minister disappearing and then reappearing in a Cavite jail.
I am not judging the INC leaders. They are entitled to a legal defense. But neither they nor their followers are entitled to command a halt to legal processes on criminal charges. And a process that hasn’t even moved that much — as opposed to, say, warrantless arrests against activists in Bukidnon.
Demanding that government ignore a legitimate plaint for justice is exactly what INC members are asking as they mass on Padre Faura.
Vice President Jejomar Binay has said a lot in defense of the INC. He makes the INC sound like some poor, down-trodden heroine in a soap opera.
The truth is, the government isn’t oppressing the INC leadership. Hell, the government pussy-footed for sometime even as desperate calls for help were being raised by the dissenters. Had it not been for a very noisy public would they have even bothered to investigate those cases? The case is at the preliminary investigation stage.
I even have a suspicion — since officials backed by the INC are being promoted across the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) — that nothing much but posturing is happening. I have no illusions either about Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. Her record is sterling in its mendacity.
So, what’s the fuss all about?
An internal leadership squabble is nobody’s business. But the tactics used in the struggle – including abduction and holding entire families hostage – is our business. We cannot shrug these off just because it’s an INC matter. Just as we shouldn’t shrug off serious human rights violations because the victims are militants and suspected communists.
(On the other hand, to jump on these cases simply because the villains are INC – and thus, not of our faith – isn’t the right attitude. And many of the comments on social media reflect religious bigotry rather than an actual concern for justice.)
Not that I’d give serious thought to what Binay says. But the younger Chiz Escudero and Grace Poe truly disappoint with their knee jerk reactions to the INC controversy.
I like Grace – probably more than any presidentiable. But in this she is wrong. Dead wrong.
Since when has belief that Mamasapano is important been an excuse to ignore other important cases?
That is a line of reasoning exactly like the one used by Malacanang to justify the sloooooow pace of investigation into the pork cases.
Grace, you should know that in this country “priorities” are always used as an excuse to let friends go scot-free. Review the Freedom of Information bill and its fate under President Benigno Aquino III. You should know better than to fall for that trite and self-serving argument.
Hammer on the need to file charges against those involved in Mamasapano. Go, we’ll back you on that. (And while you’re at it, why don’t you say something about the plight of lumads being hunted down on Mindanao’s mountains or the fact that their children are systematically being deprived of the right to education.)
But do not sweep aside serious charges of rights violations against the INC leadership. This has nothing to do with religion – unless you want us to believe oppression is acceptable when packaged as part of religious belief.
That was disappointing. Hoping you change your mind.