Peaceful Assembly of the Church of Christ (Iglesia ni Cristo) Members in EDSA

I am one with the Church Administration, I am a part of the body.  Arriving meters away from the venue in the dawn of  Monday Aug. 31, 2015. My teary-eyed feeling of happiness that I am there along with the other brethrens who felt dismay of the DOJ Secretary’s flagrant support to the case filed by former INC minister and church member Isaias Samson.

We, as members of the Church are taught to respect the laws of the government, workplace etc. We are admonished NOT to join LABOR UNIONS that is why church members’ in Hacienda Luisita known to be maltreated by other co-workers who called for revolt against its administrators –they were not accepted for a ride, they were not sold food and other merchandise they need (Years ago,  the Church Administration has decided to buy a land to relocate them in Laur, Nueva Ecija –the Baranggay Maligaya). That is just one example of how we are being obedient and peaceful citizens of this homeland.

INC members have been good society players too – we are encouraged to live peacefully and avoid vices like drugs and alcohol so we would not become delinquent members of the community. The
 Church members’ have been very supportive of all government projects and advocacies; reminders on voters’ registration (are even read on our Worship Services), keeping the country clean and green (thru various clean-up drives made throughout the country’s scenic spots and shores/tree planting on mountains and in areas that needed such) we also work hand-in-hand with the government’s DOH call in blood donation drives (we even sponsored some), we are also helping the government aid in disasters (bec, we are catering to ALL those in need not just members of the church alone) like in Yolanda (Typhoon Haiyan) victims in fact the FYM Foundation was among the earliest help that arrived in Leyte that time and among the benefactors of continuous food supply for almost a month.

We are not among those who had given the government a headache. I was really wondering what could possibly be the OTHER reason for this partiality?! This time, we had to speak-out, that we are not blindfolded of what DOJ (headed by Sec. de Lima) wants us to SEE. For that, we could not hold our silence anymore and we are fighting for our RIGHT as ONE man in the eyes of God. Members went to EDSA  with hearts beating as ONE, that is why when the issue is over (when the government gave time and look on the issue impartially) we also LEFT the area like a single person.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) SEEMED to be unfair and biased on favoring Samson’s case filed against the Church’s council? And the matter that is supposed-to-be an internal affair of the church became a National Issue – is Sec. de Lima running out of problems to solve and gave focus on meddling with the church’s affairs? How about the SAF 44? Is there justice yet for the victims that were heartlessly massacred? How about the “Pork Barrel Scam”? Is justice well-served for the stolen national coffers? Half-done maybe…the issue on our National Park –the photo bomber? The ZTE Deal that may have stolen free internet access from the Filipino people? The Privatization of Fort Bonifacio, the immense corruption within government agencies, the latest issue on the “Balikbayan Boxes” in the Bureau of Customs? The MRT maintenance contract, is it well-executed by the other party? If YES, why are there frequent problems on its operations? Did she look-up on the provisions of the Contract? All I noticed is just REPAIRS correct me if I am wrong, have they really done some maintenance work on it?  Those are just the ones known to me. Maybe our fellow-countrymen know more a lot more.

Is Sec. de Lima is just really doing her job in openly showing the public the SPECIAL attention given to Samson by personally entertaining the case he filed? Yes, MAYBE she is. But the question is, IS SHE PLAYING IT FAIRLY? Law experts arrived in one opinion that in case they wanted to meddle on this, it should have been taken on the municipal court level where the incident allegedly happened, (as others would say that Samson is also a man of the country as well as the Council/Sanggunian he was accusing, as they say they are also under the Phil. Laws) but it did not happen. The constitution clearly expresses the Separation of the Church and the State.  Then she would have taken in consideration that every church has its own rules and regulations. I do not believe that the Church has done “illegal detention” to Samson – how can it be true when:

1. Samson said in an interview if I am not mistaken that he was able to report the incident to DOJ because he had escaped by telling the invisible guards he will just attend the Worship Service. Wow, anyone will appear so stupid believing there is detention happening – he could have been prevented to step-out of his home’s door. He would have been escorted on his way out to attend the Worship Service. Nobody is guarding him, that shows why he was able to call for press releases and able to ask De Lima of some “help”.

2. As I heard on Bro. Tumanan’s speech, like a father to a son who has done something wrong – he became grounded and was just told to stay around and be prepared when investigators may come to find evidence of the “crime” he had committed to the church. I never wanted to insinuate but it appears that he is afraid of what the church can find-out and never wanted  and felt DEEP humiliation to face the Council and the Church Administration when caught that is why he had gone this far.

3. NBI had came first to investigate Samson’s allegation – but NBI’s findings render them to stamp the complaint “case closed”; I think that is his reason why the man had approached de Lima when the case should have only been filed in the city/municipality where the alleged “illegal detention” has happened according to law experts. Samson leap-up miles away from the standard procedure wanting to be treated special.

The laws of the land orders suspected law-breakers “temporary restraining order” (TRO) in the airports and the like while hearing a case and sometimes detain the suspects etc. not just to investigate them but also to hear their side of the matter, why will it be different in persons that have maligned an organization or  a  Church? IF investigations have to be conducted in verification of Samson’s link to the Pseudonym Antonio Ebanghelista ( after a proper investigative body and hi-tech confirmation of the IP address where the blog articles had been proven to be uploaded) who had  strongly spread RUMORS (bec. undocumented/unproven) on that blog about what he said to be corruption in the church? The real person behind the blog MUST HAVE BEEN AFRAID to use his real identity because he knows for a FACT that everything is a PURE machination for an ulterior motive beyond my understanding. IF he is 100% SURE that it is TRUE why would he NOT bring the matter to the Church Administration when all the names he dropped can be put on probe by the Church?! He kept on denying that he owned the blog but every time he speaks he is revealing himself...anyway I have not yet seen the blog and have NO PLANS of glancing on it.

I could not bear to think that there is MAYBE a political agenda behind this mess being intervened by higher authorities in the Governement. That somebody may have been afraid of our “block voting” in the upcoming elections that is why they are MAYBE trying to demolish our Council and the Church Administration? They MAYBE thinking that they can collapse the church’s UNITY and ONENESS.  Are you ONE with de Lima’s motives IF there is, Mr. President? Are you afraid that Roxas would not be helped by the Church in the upcoming elections that is why there is this looking-like attempt to demolish our unity that you know only possible with the Church Administration’s guidance? Enlighten me about this, Mr. President…maybe Sec. de Lima needs a tap to waken and observe the REAL essence of JUSTICE in this country – you can be the one to do that. I salute your parents for being heroes of this country, I can only salute you IF you can RESTORE JUSTICE and equality in this land regardless of US being of different faith from yours.

It puts me to thinking of what maybe the NEXT action for Sec. de Lima after favoring Samson WITHOUT ever giving some little consideration on the stand and  even the laws of the separation of the Church from the State? “Warrant of Arrest” to the Council and the Church Administration?! We really do not know. Members of the Church of Christ (Iglesia ni Cristo) are not blind followers, like in your church; we too have members who are well-educated and know the law expertly for us to be called fanatic – we know what we fight for, we knew what we are being deprived of – I came to EDSA on my FREE WILL and my heart’s lifetime decision to be one with the Church and its Administration like the others who came farther from where I have been.

I want to take this opportunity to THANK the people and the law experts as well as political analysts who gave their FAIR judgment and opinion on our STAND.  Some of them joined and even delivered a speech during the gathering although they do not belong to the church. And my disgust to this TV station who always seemed to find-fault on us. They have these reporters who constantly finding scoop, interviewing the expelled members who appeared to be obsessed of fame,biased reporting, no responsibility with their actions (just to gain audience not considering the UPRIGHTNESS  and CREDIBILITY of  the information gathered).. Imagine how biased this station had become, they did not give us time to clean the area. The assembly is at the midst when they took pictures of trashes around – the authorities knew us better. We have been in Luneta to gather years ago, everything was kept back in place, the area is CLEAN afterwards.

We have the pertinent permits to do the assembly.   We respect other religions having assemblies too. We are not hurting the police force assigned to look after the area, we are not throwing stones etc. , we wanted to send our message with utmost discipline. It may not be heard if we speak in silence that is why we went out and made some NOISE so that everybody can see and the authorities can address the matter urgently. We wanted to show the world, we are God’s people who only hate injustice. We are not leading anybody to favor us  for NOTHING BUT for  FAIR TREATMENT. Bullying de Lima is far from our intentions. We do not take this matter personally against anybody. Reminding her seems to be the best thing to do. If you were able to follow the almost five-day assembly, we have NOT shouted to OUST anybody from office. Examine the placards brought by the brethrens and the speeches delivered. I know the Church has influence BUT we have NOT gone and will never go far to use it on our advantage most especially to harm anybody or even the government.

All of this scribbling I have made is just MY VERY OWN OPINION on the matter exercising the “freedom of Speech”, I am NOT representing the Church nor its Administration and Council on writing this REACTION.

At last, it is all over – I wrote this just to enlighten those who wanted to figure-out why and what is our peaceful assembly for. It is just for FAIR TREATMENT we have been DEPRIVED OF, my dear friends...
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Family, Daily Living & Style by Angelita Galiza-Madera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.