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March 25, 2012

show of FAITH not "show of force"

Many media reports said that the Feb. 28's GEM of the Iglesia ni Cristo at Quirino Grandstand was a show of force for Chief Justice Corona.

Was that true?

Ofcourse not. The Church Administration already made their official statement saying it was a pure religious evangelical work. But still, people have already made their own judgment in their minds that the gathering is really political. Well, we cant change their views and convince them to know the truth but that is IMPORTANT.

Want the truth? Here:

Sect says "mission" not show of force
Security was tight as tens of thousands of people belonging to the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) or Church of Christ sect flocked to Manila today from nearby provinces for a gathering dubbed a “grand evangelical mission.”
As of 3 pm (0700 GMT), police estimated the crowd to have swelled to almost 150,000. Authorities kept watch from a distance as buses carrying INC members arrived as early as 2 am.
National police spokesman Agrimero Cruz said authorities expected the crowd to reach a million participants.
The INC, considered the largest ethnic Christian organization in the Philippines, boasts a membership of two million, though pollsters estimate actual membership at about 1.5 million.
INC leaders today denied newspaper reports that the event was a show of political force by the sect.
“This religious activity is one of the means by which the Church propagates the teachings of God in the Bible,” said spokesperson Bienvenido Santiago.
News reports, however, quoted an INC insider saying that the event is “more than just a grand evangelical mission.”
The source said it is also meant to serve as a message to President Benigno Aquino and his allies that the INC was “not happy” with how Aquino had been running the government.
“This is just another way to show our displeasure,” the source told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Aquino said he would not attend the event.
“I was informed that my presence might … give a political tinge to the whole event,” he said. Aquino said the INC activity is apparently a preparation for the sect’s centennial celebration in 2014.
The president said INC leaders informed the presidential palace that the activity was “part of their religious obligations and part of their faith.”
Impeached Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona is also not attending the gathering, said his spokesman Midas Marquez.
“The Chief Justice will not attend the prayer and evangelical mission to avoid accusations that he is using the prayer rally for political purposes,” Marquez said.
Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz, a vocal critic of the government, said he was invited to attend but declined because he is not clear about the purpose of the activity.
source: ucanews.com

INC prayer rally snarls traffic
THE Iglesia ni Cristo said the Grand Evangelical Mission it held yesterday is meant to preach the Word of God, and not to show support to anyone.
INC spokesman Bienvenido Santiago belied reports that the gathering was meant as a show of force for Chief Justice Renato Corona who is facing an impeachment trial and whose defense team is led by an INC member, former justice Serafin Cuevas.
"Hindi ito para sa kaninong tao kundi para sa kapurihan ng Panginoong Diyos, para sa kaligtasan ng lahat ng tao na sasampalataya sa aral ng Diyos na ipangangaral namin," he said at the sidelines of the event at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.
The event at the grandstand, which started at 5 p.m., had gathered at least 600,000 members as of 6:45 p.m., according to the Manila Police District.
The program proper ended a few minutes before 7 p.m. but traffic in the area and surrounding areas was still heavy at around 9 p.m.
Traffic in several parts of Metro Manila was snarled even before noon.
Santiago said the event was a purely evangelical gathering that will involve their members as well as guests.
"Siguro masasabi natin na nagkataon lang yun," he said referring to the political angle the event has generated over the past few days.
"Ito ay isang purely religious gathering. At hindi katulad na sabi ng iba, at gaya ng nakikita ngayon, ang mga kapatid natin na naririto, kasama ang panauhing inimbita para makapakining sa salita ng Diyos na aming sinasamplataya," he added.
Corona did not attend the gathering despite an invitation.
He heeded the advice of Supreme Court justices and some friends who said he "might just be accused of using this (event) for political purposes, although all justices were invited," said SC spokesman and administrator Jose Midas Marquez.
The INC has not officially declared support for Corona but some members have locked horns with the administration of President Aquino who wants Corona ousted from the tribunal.
Ironically, the group which is known for its bloc voting during elections, made a last-minute endorsement of Aquino in the 2010 elections.
Aquino, at the sidelines of the 4th National Congress on the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations at the UST, said everyone was invited but he had been advised that his presence might give a political color to the event.
"Ang pagkasabi ho sa akin lahat imbitado dito dahil, hindi ba, parang ito nga iyung part of the evangelization work? Although at the same time parang may pinarating naman na my presence might make, give a political tinge to the whole event which detracts from the religious intention of this activity," he said.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda the other day said as far as they know, there had been no formal invitation sent to MalacaƱang or Cabinet members.
Asked about reports that the INC gathering was a show of support for Corona, Aquino said the administration has its own supporters.
"How about the number who are supportive of our efforts? I think you should also mention that. Pero huwag natin kalimutan, pinaaalala rin sa atin 2014 marks their centennial…These are the building actions towards that very grand event that they want. So there are others who are saying that there is a political dimension here. Their official communication to us is this is part of their religious obligations and part of their faith," he said.
Aquino reiterated he has a good relationship with the INC.
"I was supported by the church in 2010 and also in ’07 so nandoon iyung ‘thank you.’ I am sure that they have been partners like when I was still a congressman in Tarlac…iyung mga cleanliness drives, iyung a lot of their warm bodies on the street actually performing for the members of their church," he said.
Santiago reiterated there is nothing irregular with the gathering as they have been doing this for many years.
Similar grand evangelical missions were conducted at the Quezon Memorial Circle in 1995 and at the Amoranto Stadium in 1996.
He explained that similar gatherings have been conducted in the past, majority of which were held on a smaller scale.
Santiago said even the reported invitation to political figures was just incidental as the INC leadership did not send invitations.
The invitations were made by members. "Hindi organization ang nagi-invite. Mas episyente kung members ang nagi-invite," he said.
Among those who attended were Marquez, Pangasinan Rep. Gina de Venecia, sacked NBI director Magtanggol Gatdula, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, former senator Ernesto Maceda, Navotas Rep. Tobias Tiangco, former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Laguna Gov. Emilio Ramon Ejercito.
The event was marked by hymn singing from a choir, prayers, and a two-part sermon from preachers.
The Quirino Grandstand was just one of 20 venues for the evangelical mission, the INC said Monday. The grandstand was for members from Metro Manila, Bulacan and the Calabarzon region.
Among other areas where similar gatherings were held were the provinces of Isabela, Tarlac and La Union and the cities of Bacolod, Cebu, Tacloban, Cagayan de Oro City and Davao.
Bus loads of INC members came from Metro Manila as well as the province of Bulacan and the Calabarzon Region as early as 6 a.m.
Traffic was snarled on roads leading to the grandstand.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino said public and private vehicles ferrying INC members started arriving as early as Monday night to early morning Tuesday.
Tolentino said the MMDA set parking areas at the north wing of the Quirino Grandstand, and another at the South Drive from Roxas Boulevard to Independence Road for those with car passes.
However, hundreds of vehicles parked in the area and occupied lanes of Roxas Boulevard and secondary streets near the Quirino Grandstand, resulting in traffic problems.
In an advisory on its Twitter account, the MMDA said. "Yung mga nag-park po kasi umabot na hanggang Cuneta Astrodome ang nasasakop ng INC vehicle kaya sinara muna natin yung portion ng area sa traffic." – With Evangeline de Vera, Jocelyn Montemayor and Ashzel Hachero
source: malaya.com.ph


What did the INC members show last Feb. 28, 2012?

Its called SHOW OF FAITH or SHOW OF UNITY and not a "show of force"

Why not it shouldnt be called "show of force"?

Simply because its not an all-INC gathering. The attendance in the Grand Evangelical mission nationwide last Feb. 28 were half INC members and half nonmembers.

Who are those people who claimed it was a "show of force" or a "strong message for P-Noy"?

Well, im not bias, that is why i will tell you what i had observed. Whenever i read news about INC associated to politics, or the name of the INC was dragged on political issues, i observed that media quotes some "high ranking INC official" or "INC insider", that's how they call them, they are the one's who claim something and so made as sources of news of media reporters while in the first place, they are not authorized to speak on behalf of the church.

Best example was the recent news saying Feb. 28th's GEM was a show of force and a strong message to Pnoy, those INC members made as sources of the news doesnt have the authority to make any statements especially affecting the integrity of the church. I just hope those "INC insiders or high ranking INC officials" should STOP doing such things because they are not helping the church, they are DAMAGING the church.

See this: (doesnt came from the official statement of the church admin. but only to those "INC insiders")

“The INC leadership and most of our members are displeased with how the [administration] is treating some of our brethren,” said the source, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak on behalf of the sect.
“It seems that this [administration] is only interested in exacting revenge against its political opponents [instead of] bringing meaningful reforms for the good of the Filipino people,” he said.
Asked if the INC hierarchy would issue a statement against Mr. Aquino, he said: “Do we really have to say the words? The number of INC members who trooped to the event is enough indication of our position.”
source: inquirer.net

I know what those "INC insiders" or "high ranking INC officials" say were their opinions and views about politics. It contradicts the official statement came from the church that says:

Santiago said the event was a purely evangelical gathering that will involve their members as well as guests.
"Siguro masasabi natin na nagkataon lang yun," he said referring to the political angle the event has generated over the past few days.
"Ito ay isang purely religious gathering. At hindi katulad na sabi ng iba, at gaya ng nakikita ngayon, ang mga kapatid natin na naririto, kasama ang panauhing inimbita para makapakining sa salita ng Diyos na aming sinasamplataya," he added.

Is it a political rally or purely religious?

I really wonder why nonmembers and the media keeps on saying it was a political rally where no marks of politics happened in the event. Ministers didnt even mentioned about politics in that time. Grand evangelical Mission was a regular activity of the church happens many times in a year in different venues and locales around the world.

Its just that it was held first time in Quirino Grandstand because of the ever increasing membership in the church. So, what is the connection of propagating of God's words to the impeachment trial of CJ Corona? Any guess?

If the news were true that some INC members participated in the rally in front of Supreme Court last Feb. 10, 2012 what's the big deal? I thought there is a democracy in the Philippines? If it is true that the INC supports CJ Corona, so what? Does the INC admin. have no right to show their view about some issues in the government?

Note: Showing of political views is different from what media alleged to the INC saying the church is influencing some senator judges and so on in the impeachment trial. It was a mere lie.

The bible says:

"The men answered, "Caesar's." Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and give to God the things that are God's." Mat. 22:21

Feb. 10th's rally event, let us say "a support for Corona" (Give to Caesar)

But Feb. 28th's GEM was a purely religious work. (Give to God)

MANILA, Philippines — The massive Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) gathering at the Rizal Park Tuesday was not a political rally but purely a religious activity to spread the word of God.
This was the assurance of INC leadership headed by its Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo, allaying speculations that the mammoth religious activity, known as the Grand Evangelical Mission, had political color and was held as a show of force to influence the ongoing impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.
Over two million INC members and guests attended Tuesday’s gathering, paralyzing major thoroughfares in Metro Manila.
As early as midnight Monday, hundreds of buses carrying INC members from nearby provinces were already seen in the vicinity of Luneta.
Most of those who joined in the Bible exposition at the Quirino Grandstand came from the local churches in Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog, and Central Luzon.
This was the biggest Bible exposition this year of the influential religious group, held simultaneously in 18 selected cities and towns nationwide.
The grand evangelical mission was held as the INC leadership declared 2012 as year of massive propagation of God’s words in preparation for its centennial celebration on July 2014.
Since last week, a circular signed by Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo was read during the INC’s worship services, urging all members to invite non-INC members to attend the grand Bible exposition that started at 5 p.m.
INC lay leader Moises Tolentino said the invitation was sent to all Filipinos, including government officials, justices, and legislators. “This is open to everybody as we want them to hear God’s word about the salvation of mankind come Judgment Day,” Tolentino said.
Aquino, Corona Skip Rally
Despite getting a general invitation to the event, President Benigno S. Aquino III and Chief Justice Corona skipped the annual gathering of the INC to avoid giving a political color to the religious affair.
The INC leadership explained that the huge religious gathering was held Tuesday instead of weekend as Tuesday is the only free day for the INC. The INC has worship services every Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday while classes for those taking ministerial courses are being held on Monday. On the other hand every Friday is reserved for visitation of INC members and locales and meetings of officers.
The last time the religious group held a big congregation was in 1989, the 75th INC anniversary where more than four million members trooped to its central headquarters in Quezon City that paralyzed traffic in the whole of Quezon City.
Traffic Paralyzed
Because of the mammoth gathering, traffic buildup was experienced on all roads leading to Quirino Grandstand in Manila owing to the number of people who joined the religious gathering, an official of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said several buses and other vehicles that ferried INC members started arriving from all parts of Metro Manila and the provinces Monday night until Tuesday morning that resulted in tangled traffic in the metropolis, particularly the cities of Manila and Pasay.
“INC members have started flocking to the Quirino Grandstand area as early as Monday night to join their grand evangelical mission even if it was still scheduled to start on Tuesday afternoon. There were buses that arrived from Quezon, Bicol and Central Luzon,” said Tolentino.
“Because of the influx of motorists, difficulties were experienced and some people were forced to walk,” said Tolentino.
According to Tolentino, private vehicles and buses that ferried the INC members were stationed in the area and occupied the lanes of Roxas Boulevard and secondary streets near the Quirino Granstand.
Emerson Carlos, assistant general manager for operations, noted that the agency did not close portions of Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) and Roxas Boulevard but was impassable for a certain period Tuesday due to the heavy volume of traffic heading to the religious gathering.
“All parked vehicles have reached parts of Roxas Bolevard up to the Cuneta Astrodome,” the MMDA official.
The stretch of Katigbak Drive, South Drive, and Independence Road were closed starting Tuesday noon onwards to manage traffic in the area.
Carlos said the agency also deployed “Libreng Sakay” buses on Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City and other parts of Metro Manila because of lack of buses during the morning.
“The INC rented a number of public utility buses that stranded some commuters but deployed buses were enough to transport them to their schools and offices,” he added.
To cope with the expected swell in the number of vehicles, the agency beefed up its traffic enforcers in the area, adding 700 more enforcers plus rescue workers. (With reports from Genalyn D. Kabiling and Sarah H. Velasco)
source: mb.com

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