Archive for the ‘bloc voting’ Category

By BARTOLOME C. FERNANDEZ JR.

June 2, 2014

Posted on Philippine Daily Inquirer

I am intrigued by recent news reports disclosing that the government, through the Philippine Postal Corp., has authorized a special issue of commemorative postage stamps to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC). The design of the stamp shows a portrait of Felix Y. Manalo and the main temple building of the INC in Quezon City with the words “Iglesia ni Cristo Centennial and First Executive Minister” inscribed thereon.

An interesting constitutional question that is provoked is whether or not the issuing of said stamps violates the constitutional ban against the appropriation and payment of public funds for the benefit or support of any sect, church, sectarian institution or system of religion (Section  29(2), Article VI, 1987 Constitution) which is a direct corollary of the principle of separation of church and state (Section 6, Article II, 1987 Constitution).

The INC is unquestionably a religious sect, church or sectarian institution. As I see it, the issuance of the stamps in question is assailable on constitutional grounds insofar as it entails the appropriation and payment of public money that redound to the benefit and support of the INC. It is evidently the purpose of the stamp issue to focus attention on the INC religion. The publicity engendered and the resulting propaganda received by the INC are quite obvious.

I see no legitimate secular objective of the appropriation of public funds for issuing the stamps in question. Nor am I aware of any government event, occasion or activity of public interest or significance to be commemorated thereby. There is, in fact, every reason to assume that the issuance of the INC stamp is per se inspired by a sectarian feeling to favor or benefit the INC.

In all candor, I am intolerant of any attempt, such as the issuance of the stamps in question, to infringe a constitutional inhibition. I cannot relish the idea of our government undertaking an activity that may trigger the belief that it is taking sides or favoring a particular religious sect. I am even tempted to assume that the functionaries concerned made use of poor judgment or were ill-advised in issuing the stamps in question.

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INC dapat makipagdebate kay Bro. Eli Soriano

Old post, Standing issue. The challenge of Bro. Eli Soriano to the INC. Reporter Bening Batuigas said>>

Kung ako ang tatanungin parang nakikinikinita ko na sa susunod na mga araw, itong si Soriano ay sa kalaboso ang babagsakan. Hindi biro ang impluwensiya ng INC, di ba mga suki? Dapat sigurong tanggapin na ng INC itong hamon na debate ni Soriano para matapos na ang sigalot na namamagitan sa kanila.

(TRANS: If I would be asked, as if I can see that in the coming days, this Soriano will be imprisoned as his fate. The influence of the INC is not a joke, right? Perhaps the INC should accept now the debate challenge of Soriano to settle the differences between them.)

By Ron B. Lopez

October 14, 2013 (updated)

Posted on Manila Bulletin

 

The wide medical mission of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) on Monday drew criticisms and disappointments from commuters and workers as it caused heavy traffic situations in the whole Metro Manila, prompting commuters to walk extra miles or take different routes to reach their destinations.

While recognizing the good intention of the medical mission which was projected to attract 1.6 million INC followers, affected public criticized the huge inconvenience that the event brought to the whole metro, which also prompted local government units to cancel classes, including some colleges, in thirteen cities and one municipality in Metro Manila.

Human Rights lawyer Harry Roque turned to social networking site Twitter to expressed his frustration over the event. “Iglesia ni Cristo holds medical mission and I lose on tuition money that I’ve paid? I want my kids to go to class!” Roque said.

Most people have criticized the day and venue of the medical mission which was set at Quaipo, Manila, with simultaneous activities in other areas in Manila.

Rolando Dalisay gave a piece of advice: “Hope INC will consider doing all these not simultaneously to avoid disruption of people movements, it is counter-productive.”

Writer Norman Sison asked: “If the INC medical mission really about public service, why does it have to cause necessary public disruption?”

Meanwhile, Rain Balares “smells” something on the medical mission of the religious group. “Government allowing this Manila-wide INC medical mission on a weekday, resulting to(sic) backbreaking traffic. Smells like 2016 elections to me,” he said.

Even the Supreme Court Spokesperson Theodore Te was affected by the INC mission. A seemingly annoyed Te has turned to Twitter to vent his questions seeking a “LOGICAL reason” on why the event was permitted by the authorities. He specifically mentioned Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino, and Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas who have the power over the area.

“Two hours for a drive that usually takes 20 minutes. Thank you to the mayor and vice mayor of Manila and the peripherals like the @MMDA,” he tweeted.

The Supreme Court itself has been affected by the event as Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno “ordered the suspension of work for the SC and CA including the SB and CTA plus the courts of Manila and QC only, starting at 1:30 PM today,” according to the announcement of the SC Public Information Office.

On the other hand, Popi Sunga asked “how many billions of pesos this INC activity will cost us” considering that based on a study, “the average daily traffic jam in Manila costs P2.4 billion,” he said.

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago said that “There is a message behind the INC event today,” and that “if you are a politician and you don’t get it, you are a fool.”

 

READ MORE: http://www.mb.com.ph/inc-medical-mission-draws-heavy-flak/

Inquirer columnist Randy David spoke of a “gridlock culture” in his Feb. 29 commentary in relation to the Iglesia ni Cristo prayer rally that paralyzed Metro Manila traffic the previous day.

We might as well speak of a political gridlock arising from the propensity of some politicians, such as Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, to throw their weight around—literally and figuratively—as we have seen in the ongoing Corona impeachment trial.

Prosecution lawyer Vitaliano Aguirre is right: If you demand respect, you must see to it that you yourself deserve respect. Santiago has lost all credibility by lawyering for Corona even as she sits as a senator-judge. I think she is a teacher by negative example to the 3,000 Bar passers whom Chief Justice Renato Corona vainly tried to recruit to his defense team, but whose sense of propriety prevented them from doing so.

As to the Iglesia ni Cristo, they may be contributing to the political gridlock as well by mixing politics and religion, but after a fashion. Or not too well. They said that the Luneta prayer rally was a purely evangelical event. But we all know it plays politics come every election, in exchange for political concessions, such as appointments of members to certain positions. The group held a similar prayer rally that was an undisguised show of support for Erap when he was impeached in 2000, but look what happened. I wonder how it would react if Corona is unceremoniously booted out of his Padre Faura office kicking and screaming after the Senate impeachment court is through with him?

—NORMAN YANUS,

normanyanus@yahoo.com.ph

FIRST PUBLISHED HERE: http://opinion.inquirer.net/25785/miriam-inc-and-corona