Iglesia ni Cristo: Marcos babies goose-stepping to the front of the line

goose stepping nazis

Goose-stepping Nazi storm troopers

Announcement: At about the time of publication of this blog, the Iglesia ni Cristo leadership called off their protest to state they are “in agreement with the government”. I am personally very thankful that reason prevailed.

I will leave the blog in place, as I wrote it, published it, and it may have some useful ideas, worthy of discussion.


By way of preliminaries, please consider that when I use generalities, they cite general tendencies and leave plenty of room for exceptions. In other words, I’m probably not talking about you, so no need to go hissy-fit on us, toss the blog, or instruct me to return to the United States.

Also, for new readers, please recognize that the way JoeAm works is to think out loud, rather assertively at times, as a vehicle for his personal enlightenment, and for whatever benefit it provides to readers as we think and talk our way around the May Pole, that pole representing the best interest of the Philippines. I’m not selling anything, and you can disagree, or shade the opinions to a better look, if you like.

The discussion threads hereabouts are generally quite lively and enlightening, and most respectful, as we sort through the issues.

As many readers are attorneys, let’s make them happy by starting with some definitions to get us all on the same page. They are drawn from the Humpty Dumpty New World Dictionary, the one where words are intended to mean whatever Humpty declares them to mean.

fawlty towers john cleese goose stepping

JoeAm’s idol, John Cleese in ‘Fawlty Towers’, doing his best imitation of Iglesia ni Cristo followers

Marcos babies: These are people who were born and had their youth shaped by the cultural ways of the Marcos era, where it was pretty much autocratic and every Filipino took care of himself, or herself. The culture of impunity got a big boost during this era, spreading from the Palace out across the nation. The Marcos babies received a hole in their thought stream where “common decency” is supposed to reside. That is, they don’t have a community conscience, a sense of sacrifice for the well-being of others. You can often recognize them as you stand in this line or that, because they figure they don’t need to do that, and cut in front. Most seem to be in their fifties, more often women then men.

Line: This is a rank order of people, from first to last, as they arrive on scene at an airport check-in counter or ATM. Normally, the first to arrive gets a lower number and moves to the front. The line is a symbolic and actual demonstration of man’s civility and willingness to give of himself in consideration of others. People from nations with low national conscience (Egypt) generally ignore the concept of priority altogether and push and shove and bribe to get to the front. People from nations with high national conscience (Australia) generally line up in proper sequence, every time, in every circumstance where there is need. The Philippines is striving to line up, but from time to time the Marcos babies, behaving very much like the leadership of the Iglesia ni Cristo church, come along and brusquely push to the front of the line. They demand service that others don’t receive.

Entitlement: Not having to obey the same rules as common people. Synonym: Impunity

Goose stepping: This is a form of authoritative obedience, generally represented by Nazi storm troopers stomping through the town plaza in high-stepping fashion, perfectly aligned, ready to slaughter anybody for the fuehrer. We recognize this in the minions of the Iglesia ni Cristo church who do what their Master’s order without regard for the consequences upon the nation Philippines or individuals. Like, they have zero interest in some poor schmuck trying to get to work to earn a living at the call center to feed his wife and baby. The storm troopers don’t really have a conscience for others because obedience is their driving force. They are tied up in a knot of self-justification because all the people around them are doing it, too. Another example is the Borg cube on Star Trek, where real people are assimilated into the hive and plugged into one another to operate as a machine in service to the Master. People in the hive are not really human, and we can see that tendency, as well, in the Iglesia ne Cristo maniacal mob behavior. Conscience is replaced by a gross sense of righteousness and entitlement.

Front of the line: see “Line”; This is the preferential position, where everyone else is behind you. It’s the place where Iglesia ne Cristo leaders insist on standing. In other words, to hell with you, and to hell with me.

Well, I tell you, it is a funny way to run a religion, one that calls itself Christian, where compassion and goodness of heart is generally expected to rule one’s value system. You know, mercy and compassion, as that other Christian, the Pope of the Catholic Church, put it.

The Iglesia ni Cristo rulers . . . er, sorry . . . leaders claim their cause (which is mainly to get the Secretary of the Department of Justice to butt out of their affairs) is a matter of separation of church and state. Well, that is a matter for the courts to sort out, it seems to me. I don’t understand what realm of civility calls for storm troopers.

The leaders claim it is an internal affair. The criminal complaint was filed by a non-member of the church. He used to be a member, but now he is not. By definition, it is not an internal affair.

The good Secretary De Lima is supposed to do, what, exactly? Ignore the law that says she must enforce the law, because the entitled leaders of the Church are exercising their impunity and have the storm troopers with which to do it?

Do you know what the Iglesia ni Cristo leaders say about the traffic jams? “Blame it on our enemies.”

Ah, that would be the State’s representatives then. Their enemy is the Philippines.

To me, this is very simple.

And it is, at the root, very tragic.

It is tragic that the leaders of the Iglesia ni Cristo church would choose war, not peace, in the name of God. This is an ISIS mentality. It is tragic that they hold they are above the law, for whatever sorry justification they can muster up. It is tragic that innocent people will likely be hurt.

Secretary Roxas set forth clear guidelines: maximum tolerance within the laws to preserve the well-being of others.

Here’s one approach, just an idea for discussion. You may suggest others:

If the protesters aggressively move forward to disobey laws and cause civic chaos . . .

Book ’em.

The leadership first, and the storm troopers if they are causing damage to property or persons.

At the core, the Iglesia ni Cristo church is entertaining seditious acts, and those political aspirants who join with the effort define themselves. They will pay the price in the next election.

If rabid and rampant abuse of law continues:

Shut down the church.

Declare martial law.


184 Responses to “Iglesia ni Cristo: Marcos babies goose-stepping to the front of the line”
  1. karl garcia says:

    I am glad that they called off their protest. In my opinion, there was no prejudging done by the DOJ. Separation and Church and state was a non issue in this case.I was discouraged to comment about the INC because I have an uncle who is INC and is very close to the leadership.and we have Giancarlo here whom I respect.

    • Joe America says:

      That’s a thoughtful and kind position, karl. I was very concerned that the movement was heading toward violence when INC started bringing in people from the provinces. The blog is an appeal for reason and law, and in opposition to those who would undermine the State, which has a hard enough job to do. When crooks are joined by good people to attack the State, the job is almost impossible. There are other ways.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Joe: You have way more confidence that those who support the INC will pay the price. The INC has flexed its muscle. The State, by not punishing those who disrupted normal life for a weekend, has been shown to be weak. They won, the country lost.

    • Joe America says:

      That is one reading. Another is that everyone won, because there was no violence, and the real winner will get sorted out in how INC and the government deal with the criminal complaint going forward. Another view is that INC recognized it was losing face and respect fast, and needed to pull the plug on the rising anger toward the church.

      • Vicara says:

        To show you how out of touch with reality the INC goose-steppers are, they actually believed that adding to Metro Manila’s traffic woes would gain them public support. There’s simmering public resentment about a lot of issues in dysfunctional Manila, but the only thing that sets off really rabid reactions among its millions of articulate working people is the agony of daily commuting. Adding to that agony only wins you a whole lot of enemies. That’s why the trolls started immediately heaping blame on DILG, etc, hoping to deflect public anger away from the INC–and this particular INC faction’s backers.

        The silver lining to all this may be the possible splintering of the INC, of which we are seeing only the tip of the iceberg. Once fragmented, they will be less valuable–and less troublesome–whether a voting bloc or as manipulative puppet masters.

        Let us remember that the INC were integral to the “EDSA3” plot by politicians who sought to restore Estrada to power: http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/in-depth/104045-edsa-3-iglesia-ni-cristo

        Good lord, if it didn’t work for them then, did they really think it would work for them now, for whatever shady cause? A sign that the tide is turning will be when politician-suitors, sensing that maybe the INC is not bouncing back from its internal troubles, start to pull away.

        • Joe America says:

          It for sure was a response totally out of line with the cause, a criminal complaint. Grace Poe took a very very heavy hit on this one. I don’t know how she digs herself out from it, and if I were Mar Roxas she’d be off my VP list. Her positions are just wrong, for the well-being of the nation and respect of law. Well, when she is aligned with Harry Roque, I suppose that is exclamation point enough.

      • Josephine Espino says:

        The State is not weak. It just exercised maximum tolerance and non violent confrontation. After all, violence might ensue if it had chosen to disperse the protesters. At least now the INC have called off their protest and they have become aware that what they did did not sit well with a lot of people who might have sympathized with them had they chosen to solve their internal problem internally.

        • Joe America says:

          Agree. Big losers: INC, as a respected religion, and Grace Poe.

        • zenesque says:

          I have been reading from some posts, that the government was weak on the protestors. What they don’t comprehend though is the big picture.

          Had the national government moved in immediately and dispersed them (at the time that they didn’t have permit yet), the opportunists/spin masters/ presidentiables/ negative media/ human rights advocates/ leftists, will say that the dispersal was a human rights violation or that it was over-reacting. “They” would say that the government’s stance is violating their constitutional right to peaceful assembly.

          The “vigil” was then legalized by the late procurement of rally permit, but nonetheless, they got it. So, the traffic was rerouted, the INC given police presence (to prevent the escalation to violence and the opportunism of some to ignite passions), and generally —- the national government waited. It gave time for the INC leadership, to prove that they are “true leaders” and disperse on your own. The expiration of the right to rally though, is a different matter. We saw a picture of a meeting of the President with crucial government officers — mainly from the military. It was a wait that is not without facts nor planning.

          A better observation though is how to regulate rights. Although it is a right enshrined in the Constitution, there still should have been ‘regulations’ — on the place, on the time, manner, length, and accountability of the protestors.

          There are really no absolute rights. One’s right ends, when another one’s (rights) begin.

  3. andrewlim8 says:

    I had already thought of the acronym INC as abbreviation for ” ISIS Ng Christianity”. If Islam has Taliban and ISIS, then Christianity has this.

    I was looking for Christ in the EDSA -Ortigas area and I couldn’t find him at all. The carpenter was not a thug. Nor was he foul-mouthed, prone to violence and chaotic.So where was Christ in that event?

    For the record, the trapos who took advantage of the incident:

    1. Binays – what else can you expect?
    2. Grace Poe – clueless, as always. or was that “trapoe instincts” coming to the fore
    3. Chiz Escudero – Rasputin of Grace
    4. Bongbong Marcos – my father did nothing wrong, because I have no sense of right and wrong
    5. Rudy Duterte – shoot first, think later
    6. Hairy Roque – the biggest, fattest vanity project

    • Joe America says:

      Very good. I think you could have done a sharper blog than me, but I was in a hurry. Love the descriptions . . .

      Indeed, I have no idea what INC stands for these days. Salvation? Righteous living? Criminal acts?

      • mercedes santos says:

        Oh come on Joe, you are playing naive ; it’s moolah and more moolah and more temples of doom . If Binay can do it, why not the INC of Manalo. I remember that Manalo guy attended JASMS.

        • Joe America says:

          Seems like impunity to me, whatever the aims. Power and money usually are the incentive. It is troublesome that the “flock” buys into the stated reason, separation of church and state. It is rather THEY who are naive, mercedes, not me.

        • NHerrera says:

          What is with JASMS? Since JASMS is described in Wikipedia as

          Jose Abad Santos Memorial School, usually referred to as JASMS, established 1949, is the brand for PWU’s basic education (Kinder to Grade 12). JASMS subscribes to the JASMS Way which is a locally developed, non-traditional and progressive education system that values the dignity of each individual. JASMS cultivates freedom of spirit, exploration and expression with the ultimate goal of balanced development and growth.

          then Manalo is no fool and uses his brain and his learning in JASMS to make moolah as Binay does? I am rather dense on this one. Will you be so kind and clarify.

          • mercedes santos says:

            That’s the one, Mr. Herrera; the principal at that time was an American woman named Doreen, married to a Pinoy. Eddie Manalo is remembered as a happy-go-lucky fellow. The students were mostly upperclass but unpretentious.

    • Point 5: I beg to disagree. Duterte stated that he would allow INC the right to demonstrate in Davao as long as it is done in an orderly manner and does not impede access to city hall. And that he sympathizes with De Lima, but similar to the opinion of giancarloangulo, he says that the case should go to prosecution first and not be handled high-level by DOJ. Agree with that myself: why not let prosecution do its job and keep the matter unpolitical.

      Given the fact that De Lima is not exactly someone Rody Duterte likes, I find his way of stating his opinion very fair and sportsmanlike – especially in the typical Filipino context!

      For those who have not read me here before: yes, I am pro-Duterte but I have my reasons.

      • NHerrera says:

        On the the context with which you frame it — and you said it is similar to giancarloangulo’s — your comment sounds fair to me, especially because

        – De Lima is a possible Senatorial Candidate, and the
        – Exaggerated regard Officialdom normally regards INC because of its Bloc-Voting stance come election.

        But as long as we are talking about fine nuances, may I write:

        – On the first, the topic of illegal detention is a serious offense and if former INC minister Samson and family approached De Lima with weighty evidence, De Lima must have used her value judgment, arguable it seems now according to your and giancarloangulo’s view which I share. Sec De Lima must have thought at that time that she has kissed the Senate seat goodbye. Of course, as it turned out, she has become a hero of some sort to the traffic-sickened commuters out to make a living.

        – On the second, if De Lima acted the same way with the same evidence on a two-bit religious sect or even against a Catholic Bishop in a Diocese, the argument may somehow be different. On this second point, I believe, it is time the Filipinos especially the politicians change their attitude to all religious sectors, meaning not only the INC, but also the Catholic Sect of Velarde, etc. As it happened this INC brouhaha resulted in some blessing, e.g. the darling, formerly labeled “Amazing.” Grace has shown some more of her colors.

        • “it is time the Filipinos especially the politicians change their attitude to all religious sectors”

          Well said… well said.

        • Ancient Mariner says:

          Wasn’t Janet Lim Napoles recently sentenced to prison for “illegal detention”. Serious crime it really is.

        • This was one more interesting chapter in the evolution of the Philippine body politic:

          1) just like the attempted “coup d’evil” early this year which fizzled, it shows that the majority of Filipinos no longer go for the old political zarzuela. It is more important for them to get to work and earn money – which means that Filipino politics is rapidly maturing.

          2) Grace Poe has shown that she has very little substance or competence to offer. Even worse, she has shown that she lacks principle. At least Binay always has a clear direction, even if it is clearly wrong. Wonder how popular she will remain after this incident.

          3) Mar Roxas had the opportunity to show balls and used it – very good for his candidacy.

          4) Duterte had the opportunity to show a balanced way of handling things and used it.

          5) Everything that happens from now on is part of the presidential campaign for 2016.

      • “Agree with that myself: why not let prosecution do its job and keep the matter unpolitical.”

        Hey, Ireneo.

        What is the procedure over there for cases like this?

        Here, DOJ would only be involved if there was Civil Rights issue(s), otherwise local law enforcement handles (unless it’s interstate, ie. racketeering, then Federal LE).

        Local LE investigates and gives the case to the DA (District Attorney), where it’s either rejected or prosecuted.

        A good gumshoe will take something like this and generate more leads.

      • Sal E. says:

        And also part of the terms & conditions required by Duterte was that the INC demonstrators in Davao clean up after. I also thought he handled it quite appropriately… much better than the Mandaluyong mayor who granted/extended the permit but conveniently forgot to ensure the Edsa traffic and businesses would not be affected. Sorry, I am royally PO’d about the Edsa/Shaw traffic jam because I was forced to cancel a trip to Greenhills because of it.

      • Vicara says:

        Duterte has experience in managing and containing complex “situations” involving multiple players, including any or all of the following: MNLF, MILF, military factions, INC, warlords, big business, shady business, CPP-NPA. His general approach seems to be: Do whatever the hell you want outside my jurisdiction, but toe the line once you’re within Davao city limits–or else. Go and settle your rido blood-feuds in Maguindanao or wherever. Take your taxi carnapping syndicate off to some other city. Also… what kind of line is it exactly that is toed? What are the penalties? And what accommodations are to be made?

        Also, how will that approach work if he were president? When we’re talking about a national area of jurisdiction? Will he ship everyone who doesn’t toe the line off to Guam?

        • Duterte has already mentioned some time ago that he would strengthen the Army and PNP if he became President. Meaning he is indirectly admitting that his present approach is not scalable to the Philippines, and that he would build on the work of Mar Roxas.

          It would be even smarter if he pushed for a major revamp of the DOJ to make it more efficient, in line with his very strong criticism of De Lima and how she handles things.

          As for shipping out certain people, why not do it the way the Romans did – move people who are really big trouble to difficult frontiers. Like for example Kalayaan Islands, hit two birds with one stone – make troublesome people useful in defending national interests.

  4. Apolinar A. Derilo says:

    You rationally resonate with the social phenomena that puzzled me most whenever I interact with that generational segment of our citizens that you referred to as Marcos babies. We were out of the country during the whole Marcos era and was always wondering whatever happened to our culture during our years of absence. We did not return until 1993 from the year we left in 1974, the year when that culture of impunity that you mentioned just sprouted and allowed to flourish in an environment where national conscience was almost nil in its DNA. I was blaming the church partly for negligence but mostly the government for this invisible transformation of national character that differed so much with the old culture I knew before. I later found out some consoling rational of my own, when I happened to draw a parallelism between the Philippines and the other country where I have been to. That there is a deterioration of the moral fabric of society, i.e. lack of moral values, weakness of character, etc. Overall, it still point to what Christian religion is all about, that we, as a creation of God in His image are endowed with love in our hearts to share it with everyone and together, offer it back to Him as its source and Himself is Love as well.

    • Joe America says:

      Indeed, I think that during the Marcos era there was a gross deterioration of the moral fabric of society, and it was so long-lasting that it became the way of life for many. Good of you to join the discussion, Apolinar. Welcome to the Society.

      • Our generation laughed cynically yet bitterly about the idealistic stuff in our parent’s high school yearbooks, stuff very similar to the civic values that Old Manong Sonny embodies.

        The doublethink and newspeak of the Marcos era destroyed a lot of things – before 1984.

        • sonny says:

          1. “Our generation laughed cynically yet bitterly about the idealistic stuff in our parent’s high school yearbooks, stuff very similar to the civic values that Old Manong Sonny embodies.”

          There is something bittersweet about this, Irineo. On one hand I can only pray that some of our (older experiences, successes & failures) be visited on you the younger ones because there is a net gain I feel in what we the older ones are at now, warts and all, and on the hand . . .

          2. “The doublethink and newspeak of the Marcos era destroyed a lot of things – before 1984.”

          Decent thinking Filipinos should visit Ilocos Norte, specifically the Marcos Museum and Mausoleum at Batac. The juxtaposition of the macabre display of the dictator’s cadaver and the natural beauty of the province and the earthquake-proof churches, for me, was a stark reminder of someone’s national dream gone really, really bad! The contrast of seeing the countless numbers of young, energetic, hopeful Filipino youth is so obvious as one drives from one Ilocos town to the next and the closeup of those 17-some wind turbines was a powerful reminder of what and where our national agenda should be.

          3. “Overall, it still point to what Christian religion is all about, that we, as a creation of God in His image are endowed with love in our hearts to share it with everyone and together, offer it back to Him as its source and Himself is Love as well.”

          Please believe me. This sentiment is one that can give anyone food-for-travel that will last to the final day, whatever your age.

  5. I take it back, Joe,

    INC is not LDS–maybe FLDS. The more I read about this INC fiasco, the more they look like the Church of Scientology. There’s nothing available online (just bits & pieces on youtube), but if you guys get a chance to watch HBO’s “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief”, it connects perfectly. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Going_Clear_(film)

    The wider angle view is the Filipinos’ (going general here) inclination to blind faith, ie. if the heads are flying 1st class, in their own jets, in fancy bullet proof SUVs, renting very pretty women, etc. the chances of the organization being a scam should be obvious. It’s the Ecleo case all over again, but on a grander scale, isn’t it (it’s a bigger outfit)?

    Why it isn’t obvious, is a very interesting subject to examine, and goes back to last thread’s salvation by austerity and edgar ‘s (and Bert ‘s) salvation from what?

    • Joe America says:

      The preaching and teaching of INC is done well, rather like its buildings, and has the same discipline and order. It would be hard to recognize the scam and abusive part from within this proper, right-thinking, intellectual and spiritual cocoon. I have no idea how members rationalize their donations going to a big jet for the leaders, rather than feeding the poor.

      I rather think Jesus weeps somewhere . . . but then I think a lot of powerful organizations of man get caught up in the delusions of those holding the power.

      • mercedes santos says:

        I can think of Obama and Pope Francis as not being deluded but, of course, I am just being naive.

        • “a lot of powerful organizations of man get caught up in the delusions of those holding the power.”

          True. But it’s a lot easier to pardon those organizations, since “Sell all you have and give the money to the poor” is not part of their Mission Statement.

          1. Key market: Who is your target client or customer (generalize if needed)?

          2. Contribution: What product or service do you provide to that client?

          3. Distinction: What makes your product or service unique, so that the client would choose you?

          If the first two above are confused, then the third –distinction– will inevitably be delusion. If the answer to the first is rich people (or people with money) and the client in the second is the same as the family in this family business, then the situation is no different from the drug cartels undermining the Mexican gov’t.

          And should be seen as a national security issue.

        • sonny says:

          I can think of Obama as deluded and a panderer, MS. Not Pope Francis, though. Of course, I am totally biased.


          • I agree, sonny, Pope Francis is the real deal.

            • sonny says:

              we can now examine an Obama trail of 8 years with a good degree of clarity and bias.

              • karl garcia says:

                sonny very off topic:
                I have relatives in Chicago last name Barinque, any chance encounter?

              • Joe America says:

                What are your three main policy complaints about Obama, sonny? I’m curious. If one looks at the conditions in the US heading into his term, and the conditions heading out, and just go by that (economic stability and growth; extraction from two wars) there is some weight on the positive side.

              • sonny says:

                I’ll try.

                1. Executive policies after access to office have multiple authorships and much of results are inertia-driven from different system-equilibria from various sectors of the country. So I give him very little credit for those.

                2. He waged his personal war in the socio-cultural arena of the country. His favorite patsy very often was the Catholic Church and populace.

                3. Before the 2008 elections, I didn’t know Obama from Harry. I looked up his lllinois record as senator. I found that after his exit from Illinois politics: his voting record was 2, for or against and 100 abstentions on issues on the legislative floor. During the 2008 electoral campaign he supported late term abortions and was on record to support even killing fetuses who survive abortion attempts. These two did it for me.

                These 3 points supported my choices at the fork on the Obama juggernaut. (At this point too, the Democratic Party had already eased out any Catholic/Christian voice in the party. For me anyway). After the 2008 elections, I totally disengaged myself from thoughts on Obama and relied on the US locomotive and prayed for the country.

              • Joe America says:

                1. True.

                2. I didn’t know that, but at least those from Israel also dislike him, too, so he is rather an equal-opportunity . . . um, picker-oner.

                3. Ahhh, okay.

                Alright, then, I see where you are coming from. What I find interesting is that one would ordinarily think the Catholic Church and the midstream democrat would have the same core constituency, the regular people not making a lot of money. But clearly, that is not so.

              • Joe, let me get in on this before I get going with the article.

                Here’s my 3:

                1). Arab Spring. We were on the wrong side. We knew the bulk of the fighters we encountered in Iraq were from Libya and Egypt. Egypt was expected, but Libya (east Libya) was a bit of a surprise. When viewed from the larger Wahhabi (re-branded Salafi) threat, Mubarak, Qaddafi & Assad, were allies–Assad’s helping us now, so are Hizb-Allah and Iran. I agreed that we had to leave Iraq, we gave the Sunnis plenty of time to get their sh’t together. After that Obama, should’ve just gone Ron Paul on everyone and said That’s an internal matter, we’re not taking side–but kept a close eye on the mosques.

                2). Drilling. Ventura & Kern counties are now the most fracked up counties in CA. Up and down the coast, you’ll see a bunch of oil rigs, more than ever. Last time I was at the beach, I was covered in slime–oil. There’s been 2 known spills, seems they are paying the right people to keep it under-wraps, so when people complain about getting out of the water covered in slime, the oil spokespeople say it’s naturally occurring–if it’s naturally occurring why is it just happening now. This was Obama’s big, let’s be oil independent idea, by drilling domestically. He unleashed the oil industry on the American public.

                3). DOJ. More relevant to your article. Holder and Obama, have gone after whistleblowers and leakers, treating them exactly the same. Snowden wasn’t an aberration. Though DOJ is a lot more sneaky with this. Where DOJ can be accused of Grand Standing is in Black Lives Matter. Where a US attorney or 2, or special prosecutor, would’ve sufficed, Holder/Obama decided time and again it was worth politicizing. A couple of days ago a Sheriff deputy in TX was shot dead as he was gassing up his shop, the assailant was a black man w/ mental illness. If the top guys partake in vilifying cops, who are instruments of the state, you risk anarchy. I agree reforms are needed, but the DOJ is powerful enough to forego Ireneo‘s Marvel analogy–there’s official channels in place (scalpel vs. sword). Don’t emasculate police powers to make a political play.

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, that frickin’ fracking, point 2. It’s making a lot of people rich and a lot of people dirtier. The goal is admirable, self-sustaining energy production, so that point 1 does not come into play again, and so that the US cannot be held hostage to Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. One would think the international community would appreciate this effort, as well as the domestic. But clearly, there is no simple solution on a greedy planet going small.

              • sonny says:

                Karl, my family has been involved with the Catholic community of Chicago. This means almost exclusively, kaya our contact with the larger Filipino community is much restricted to Church matters. I shall be looking out for your relatives, rest assured. If they are active in their parish, I can easily be on the lookout for them. 🙂

              • karl garcia says:

                Since you called me nephew I will call you uncle Sonny.
                My uncle and aunt moved to the US about the same time you did, my uncle was a postman, my aunt was an RN, they both passed away,but my cousins are still there,but since they are now married I have no idea what their last names are.Shame on me.Thanks.anyway.

  6. brianitus says:

    Ranting. 🙂

    Imho, there is no separation of Church and State in the eyes of that group. THEY are the state.

    Just between you and me, I sort of wish that Mar played the role of a cowboy and rounded up them people that Friday night. Seriously, as I sat in my car for almost 2 hours for a normal 3 to 5-minute drive, I honestly thought that government decided to go on a long weekend, too.

    I have no quarrel with that church group. They didn’t like the DoJ’s action? Then they should’ve just stayed at the DoJ to protest. So what’s the whole deal with EDSA? Like, is it because there are NBI clearance centers in Megamall and Robinsons? Was it the sale??? What’s the agenda? Piss everyone off or give MMDAChairman Tolentino a break from being the target of everyone’s dartboard?

    Just wondering. What if Renato Reyes of Bayan got stuck in that same monstrous traffic jam on EDSA last Friday, would he have said, “Now, that’s how it feels pala”?

    • Joe America says:

      I don’t like the INC action of increasing the size of the rally to a confrontation rather than protest, as it portrays the Philippines as still stuck in the days of Banana Republic when any complainant can gather up a circle of his powerful friends and try to take over government. It says “risk” to investors, and that is the last thing the nation needs.

      I feel your pain on that commute. I stay out of Manila because my blood pressure can’t handle visiting there.

      • brianitus says:

        Just between me and some conspiracy theorists, I think there’s something more behind that weekend event. Someone thought that it could grow into something else…

        • Joe America says:

          I hope the public begins to demand what’s going on between government and INC, honestly. I’ll be doing an article later this week about INC’s apparent engagement within the Bureau of Customs. What’s with that? There are a lot of smelly fish coming out of the ports, and they weren’t shipped here by Canada.

        • BFD says:

          The INC planned for a million members to go out and march, however as we can see, only 20,000 came out, which suggest that deep in their “vaunted” unity, they’re not united.

          My theory is that the majority of the members wanted the INC Sanggunian to first explain the corruption issues that’s sticking like a sore thumb and not brush it away as if nothing is really wrong with their finances.

  7. P. Cauton says:

    I hope you can dig deeper on the “in agreement with the government” thing.

    My read is it’s a weaseling out tactic where they learned they are not in a position of strength to push their demands plus of course the consequences happening within.

    It’s like a loser who realized he has no chance of winning and says he quits because he is letting the other win.

    • Joe America says:

      I’m not sure I have the contacts required to ferret out the deal, and I would hope that the agreement, if it involved any concessions at all by government, would be forthrightly presented by Mr. Aquino or Secretary de Lima. I know the principals in the criminal complaint are not happy that they were not a party to any “agreement”, and have lodged a demand for clarification with the Administration.

      • Sal E. says:

        I would like to think that the Administration did not give in to anything except perhaps to let INC voice their fears and concerns from across the table. I think INC telling their followers there was a deal was just to save face and not have their members think it was all for naught.

  8. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    INC bravado is the latest ingredient that goes into the boiling broth called Filipino Crucible, a situation which calls for a change. Far too many Filipinos have had their way with the system, claiming ownership and entitlement. We have seen how leadership from the top can bring glad tidings to the economy, car sales being one of the most visible indicators of growth. (Traffic, ugh!)

    The situation calls for leadership from the bottom. Speaking to no one in particular but to everyone in general: are we being good citizens? Do we consider ourselves as part of a nation that seeks to be respectable, sane and wise? Or are we given to our own set of impulses, following a culture that brings us close to the edge of nowhere?

    Culture is fluid, dynamic and can change over time. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are easily swayed.

    Anchor. We need to be anchored on a substantial thing rather than on spurs of the moment. A good example is the Grace Poe phenomenon. She spoke good English, U.S. grade-school standard, she had the name of a person we adored, and therefore would make a good president, as the surveys said. Look where she is now, orbiting in some galaxy full of herself because we were easily swayed.

    Enough already. Let’s aim at the prize. A good country. Oh, our children and their children will love us for what we would have done to our country, aiming at the prize.

    Binay is Binay because we compromised, thinking if he is rich enough, we would be more comfy with the freebies and all. The father Poe was a gentle, lovable giant, and therefore the daughter will be the same benefactor. Oh, how we love shortcuts!

    No more, no more. We have to slog it out, doing the same thing over and over even if it’s difficult or (gosh!) borrring, but that’s the way it is. Quit the fiesta. Quit the fanfare, the merriment, the roller coaster ride which brings so much adrenaline, a rush of good feelings that leaves us empty inside afterwards.

    Eyes on the prize, people, eyes on the prize. Be like the housewife who fixes the bed, prepares the meals, kisses her husband and the children, cleans the house and yard day in day out, until the children are grown up and are properly taught that regularity and consistency of good things is the way to a good life.

    The party’s over, folks. Or do we want to party party until we are cheek by jowl with Somalia and the other poor nations with dust in their bowls to eat?

    • Joe America says:

      Well said, Will. Perfect. The Philippines needs to leave behind these ideas that “if it isn’t my way, it has to be wrong, and can’t be tolerated”. That is banana republic. This kind of overdone protest, resulting in tense, near-violent confrontation, destabilizes the nation. It tells investors to place their money somewhere other than the Philippines, and away go the jobs. It for sure is a bigger issue than causing traffic jams.

  9. Secretary Mar Roxas and “maximum tolerance” reminds me, a Marcos baby par excellence, of a joke back in the days. It was the late 1970s when having LONG hair was still the in thing, and we wept when on the school bulletin board, formation was announced with a few days notice and we had to go to the barber and get the “maximum tolerable” haircut, also known as “MAX TULE”, meaning two fingers over the ear simply shaved clean. The funniest thing during those days was when we had a big party after the “pasa masid” (pass-in review) and totally uncool short haircuts.

    The first music that played in the party after the pasa masid in our first year high school (I think the military officer who came to do the pass-in review was a certain “Barbers” of all things, rank I forgot, just the family name I never will forget) was Saturday Night Fever, if I am not mistaken…

    Back on topic: EDSA One was still justified, EDSA Dos well I have my doubts and the rest… Somehow the Marcos days destroyed the credibility of the state, of public order, of institutions. Being trained to become a storm trooper for that regime makes you either rebellious or cynical…

    • Joe America says:

      “Maximum tolerance” takes on new meaning in that light. I have some photos from my old protest days (Viet Nam). A long haired banker. I’m amazed I got promoted, looking back.

      Interesting reflection, that Marcos destroyed the credibility of the state. That is what gives everyone with a complaint the right to believe the State should bow to them. Just get the generals worked up and stage a coup. That’s the pity of the INC act. It harkens back to the days of coups and instability. It’s like no one understands that a government that is doing a lot to earn respect can be undermined, and that’s bad for us all. Instability is bad for us all.

  10. for the comments 🙂

  11. jameboy says:

    Another view is that INC recognized it was losing face and respect fast, and needed to pull the plug on the rising anger toward the church. – Joe
    Exactly. The INC people realized, though they will never admit it, that the people can see through their antics. That public opinion against them is building up. Just scan the online blogs and you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s corny and they know its corny.

    When you think of EDSA you think of rallies and demonstrations against an abusive leadership/government. It has religious connotation on the fact that the Catholic Church almost always lead or cajoled people to come and participate in expressing indignation against abuses and oppression. Periodically, masses are held there for some historical and memorial reason. That and the Virgin Mary’s statute is how religion has been identified to that highway.

    To go to EDSA to denounce the Justice Secretary about a criminal case filed against the officers of your sect and demand and bully the secretary to cease and desist is just pure hogwash. Why will you do that? Separation of Church and State? Nonsense! How can you drag and insert church and state on a criminal case of illegal detention? The INC people are just creating a smokescreen by making Justice De Lima a escape goat because they have been exposed. Big time! There has been a serious rift going on within the sect that threatens the very essence of its existence. A materialistic entity created through religious poppycock is about to implode.

    On comparison with the ISIS

    I disagree for the simple reason that the INC is not a terrorist organization. Yet. While both are into perversion (the ISIS subscribes to the perverted interpretations of Islam, the INC perverts the teaching of the Catholic faith) both are very different, if not totally opposite, in a lot of things. The ISIS kills and murders; the INC just annoys you to death. The ISIS rape and mutilate, the INC simply bully and irritate when irate. The ISIS don’t care about art and materialism or whatever civilization dictates; the INC is the complete opposite. And they dictate on the civilization.

    Like I said, the cult of Manalo is imploding and I see nobody in the horizon who is capable of arresting and reversing the situation to put the group back to normal and get back the lost credibility and confidence to the Iglesia. 😦

    • Joe America says:

      Point taken on the ISIS remark. Yes, it was too much. Thanks.

    • NHerrera says:

      Nothing like contrast or comparison to bring him a point — ISIS versus INC.

      Re last para: a case of bad strategy; more like battle field tactical maneuvers — try this, if that doesn’t do it, correct and try again. Of course, I am saying this after the fact, starting from excommunicating Mother and Sibling of the INC Chief Minister, to the reaction on the DOJ’s action on the illegal detention charge by former INC Minister Samson and his family.

      • jameboy says:

        a case of bad strategy.
        That’s what panic will do to you and the INC simply panicked. They are so use to getting what they want that they thought that showing their muscles by creating inconvenience against someone (De Lima) will turn in their favor. 👮

  12. NHerrera says:


    From INC Sangunian: INC ain’t broke, so DOJ, don’t try fixing it. Or if it is broke, take your fingers out of our Cookie Jar. (Ok, bad attempt at a joke. Besides, it is politically incorrect, especially as it concerns INC — the closest we have in the Philippines of an “untouchable.”)

    QUESTION: Who are the winners, losers here? Asking this since I am not as good in this sort of game as others in this Society. Joe already mentioned the possible negative Investor’s sentiment on the country. On my part, the only thing I can say is that Secretary De Lima is not a net loser here.

    • Joe America says:

      Winners, Mar Roxas, Leila de Lima, Rodrigo Duterte, the People of the Philippines, the Law, the investors, the PNP, commuters on Tuesday ff.

      Losers, Jejomar Binay, Grace Poe, Chiz Escudero, Bongbong Marcos, INC, the members of INC, the trash collectors and cleanup crews.

    • jameboy says:

      It’s very clear, the INC is the biggest loser on the current controversy. The group has enjoyed for years an image of exclusivity, unity and solid organization. Through its loyal and dedicated followers it enabled to distinguish itself as a religious group steeped not only with spiritual but also material successes. Alas, the ongoing hullabaloo about criminal acts against INC members, the corruption and the Manalo family’s own internal problem seems to be the catalyst that will lead to the slow crumbling of the INC. 😦

  13. I haven’t yet slept so I leave the blog with two things I posted at my FB before.

    We we’re told last Wednesday that we we’re being blackmailed by the admin to vote for a candidate .

    Separation of Church and State was being invoked because it allowed people to save face.

    As the hours passed

    As the blackmail was being done by people identified with the admin how does one react?

    The Admin emboldened by the Vilification being thrown at us effectively controlled the narrative initially.

    Thus the Blackmail was made public.

    My initial reaction upon hearing this was to say surely not and tried to activate my social network to discreetly verify things from other sources. I am still trying to find the story behind the story.

    • Joe America says:

      Let us know what you discover. There are two rats nests the INC leadership must work through: (1) the family squabble about the direction of the church, and (2) the political push-me-pull-me that goes on when interests between INC ang government are intertwined as in the days of power and favor . . . and impunity. To point 2, we have the recent loss of Sec Sevilla at Customs and INC was evidently a player in the picture somehow. So who is doing the pushing, the people with the money, or the people with the political offices in hand? It ought to be relegated to political groups and taken out of the offices of agency work. (INC should have no deals with working government officials holding office. They should work with the parties.)

    • NHerrera says:

      Good for you and us here re your last paragraph.

    • @gian

      Will pray earnestly to God that your social networks will find out the truth and nothing but verifiable truth, and will wait for you to share it to us. Rest and recharge. God bless.

    • Juana Pilipinas says:

      Gian, hope you’ll get the sleep you badly need. I think by now, you know that most of us here are not taking sides. Like you, we are after verifiable “truths” as to what is really going on. Take care.

    • chempo says:

      Gian take care, I hope you will find the truth you seek.

      But from my simple mind, if the blackmail story line is true, that would surely have been the best weapon to use. There were lots of fiery speeches on the rally stage, but a deafening silence on the blackmail line. Strange I would say.

  14. neo canjeca says:

    Mr Hey Joe (from a kid during liberation) thanks for the best chocolate; ever, read your piece completely but complete STOP when the cleaners, the deodorizers, the intellectual experienced squids started their erudition to befuddle, mislead, at best to soften and water down the impunity and whatever, so good bye Hey Joe thanks for the chocolate, I must stop till my disgust leaves me.

    • Joe America says:

      Say hey, Neo to you, and best regards. By the way, I have what my son calls a “chocolate tree” in the back yard. It’s three years old and puny. We’ll hold a big party once it pops some beans and we process them. Original native Philippine chocolate is powerful stuff. Causes one not to worry about pundits who make up their own realities.

      • “Chocolate tree” or cacao tree… we grew a lot of them when we were still young, have them sundried, roast and then turn into tablea…(chocolate tablet) for storage. We use them for chocolate drinks or as an ingredient for champorado. Healthy and delicious.

    • karl garcia says:

      Mr, Hey neo! I took a break too .I just remembered the Forrest Gump quote about life and the box of chocolates: You’ll never know what you’re gonna get.

  15. Jimi says:

    Joe, I have a cousin who is a member of INC. She said that whatever their leader request them to do they do not question it but just obey. So the mass action made by INC members against the DOJ were done in a robotic way. I don’t blame them because they just follow orders. The brunt should be on the shoulder of the INC leadership.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Sounds like Christian Catholics and other devotees of religion. The difference is INC do what their leaders tell them to do, whereas, other religion do the opposite.

    • NHerrera says:

      Sorry, @Jimi, but can’t help it . But this matter of obeying orders unquestioned by the INC lesser mortals coming from the Olympus of the INC Sangunian reminds me of the Zombies in a previous blog of Joe. (I am a Christian, a Catholic actually. Christians do not now believe that only membership in a certain Christian sect assures one of salvation. INC, on the other hand believes that salvation comes only to its members. I WOULD LIKE to be corrected if this is heresy on my part.)


      1. the body of a dead person given the semblance of life, but mute and will-less, by a supernatural force, usually for some evil purpose.

      2. a person whose behavior or responses are wooden, listless, or seemingly rote; automaton.

    • mercedes santos says:

      Blame the followers for being led up their noses; they should stop giving monetary contributions to their so called temples. My ministry listens to those who fill up the ministry pockets, part of which goes for the staff’s upkeep but most of which go to those whom the ministry support. We do have squabbles but we solve them amongst ourselves.

  16. andrewlim8 says:

    Just for laughs, the best joke I picked up on the Iglesia incident.

    “On Saturday night, Margarita ‘Tingting’ Cojuangco and husband, Peping Cojuangco, joined INC members who were protesting on EDSA. Leaders of the sect were pleased. They thanked the socialite-turned-politician for her unblinking support.

    Margarita ‘Tingting’ Cojuangco spoke at the INC rally the other night. When protesters saw her face, they were reminded of EDSA traffic. Barely moving.”

    – Professional Heckler

    🙂 LOL

  17. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    INC is like the VATICAN and VATICAN BANK. Vatican did not want European Union Central Bank to audit VATICAN BANK. EU banned Vatican Bank from the Union. Vatican caved in. Herr Ratzinger resigned.

  18. INC, try Separation of Church & Planet

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      It is not only INC that needed separation from the state ….
      The minds of U.P. bureaucrats need their mind separated from the church.

      In America, they may believe in God yet they know how to separate their minds from the church. Filipinos cannot seem to separate their mind, their soul, state, and, church.

      Religion has produced the most mass pogrom in the world using cruel and unusual punishments from the great flood, first ever recorded mass waterboarding, to eternal punishment in the inferno of hell without probation.

      It is also unlucky for these religious believers that they are born with sin without even sinning. That is absolutely totally sick.

      Chinese invented MULTIPLICATION table. God said to Adam and Eve, “Go out and MULTIPLY!”

      Therefore, God is CHINESE. If not, GOD is manufactured by CHINESE. Like CHINESE products, it is faulty. Cannot withstand under scrutiny. Like CHINESE which is a communist, anyone who defies the scripture WILL BE SENT TO THE GALLOWS IN BEIJING.

  19. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Think INC.
    Think Branch Davidian.
    Think Wacko Texas
    Religion is bane of society.
    Followers are non-thinking robots.

    That is why secular countries are 1stWorld that religious people go to.
    VISAs to secular 1stWorld is said to be a BLESSING from their GOD.

    That is why fanatically religious countries remains 3rdWorld secular people of 1stWorld go to.
    Going to these religious countries is like going back in time. Medieval. Violent. Corrupt. We also like to witness their religious antics parading wooden replica of their saints and god and emulate themselves to be flogged.
    That is why it is fun in 3rdworld religious countries.
    And these people just do not know it.

    deLima needs a lot of prayers so does Sereno and the Supreme Court.
    ENRILE’s PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED. Filipinos are not.
    And Filipinos do not know it. I know. They don’t.

    Let us join our hands together, repeat after me …… “Our …..

  20. A Deafening silence from your usual patrons JoeAm. I guess few wish to be on the wrong side of this very powerful sect. But you have a very valid point here. The leaders appear to be saying to de Lima, “Just sweep this complaint under the rug. Pretend it never happened. Do not investigate any further.” But, it is a very dangerous precedent. Should political clout caused by their block voting mean that they are untouchable by the law? It is very frightening. The government should not cower and bow down to this obvious bullying tactic.The law should apply equally to everyone, regardless of status,or RELIGION.

  21. Johnny Lin says:

    Food for thought

    INC stopped protest but WHY?

    1. Their leaders realized they were losing the sympathy vote so they developed the strategy to stop and claims they had a deal with govt. Demonizing the govt pretending they were blackmailed to vote LP candidates.
    2. They were told by officials like Estrada and Abalos that their permits would be rescinded because their protest interferes with daily commerce creating backlash to their cause.
    3. INC officials noted silent protest from their own members fearing to lose their faith.
    4. Indeed, it’s true the govt and INC made a deal but the question remains who made the deal and what’s the deal?

    Reasoning starting from the bottom
    4. Not unusual that sleazy politicians from the administration made a deal, making promises without the knowledge of De Lima. Deal was that De Lima would run for Senate then she would be out of DOJ and their case would die a natural cause. If there is a deal this is the most plausible scenario. Did the deal involves Roxas to be anointed as preferred candidate of INC? Possible!
    Tough question? Did Aquino give consent to the deal? Maybe he gave consent to talk but is unaware of the scenario that case would be dropped with new DOJ Sec when De Lima returns. Maybe Aquino was told that INC will stop protest if DOJ would review their case again or maybe not.
    3. Considering critics in social media and other medium, INC officials decided to withdraw protest not only to save face but also save their credibility from their members. They were hoping that a massive protest will be staged nationally but only a handful of provinces like Davao, Cebu and Pangasinan responded. Their analysis was that their principle of separation of church and state was not believed by their own members.
    2. This happened that some govt officials or politicians/advisers warned them that further disruption of trade, business would create chaos if many people could go to work. INC would be forever blame destroying their Sect. Possibly, some officials from Administration admonished INC officials with this warning.
    1. Demonizing the administration looking at De Lima the real enemy. strategy stopping the protest at the same time releasing the news that INC and administration had zeroed in on a deal would create a win win situation. First Win is they acceded to demand of the many not to interrupt travel on EDSA by pretending to have a deal and the second Win is Netizens will stop criticizing them in social media and in media shutting off completely their detractors.

    Combining the 4 scenarios could have happened but to me 1& 3 combination are the most possible combination.

    The question is if DeLima was apprised or consented to make a deal to forego pursuing the case. Considering the tenacity of DeLima on her principle, steadfastness to stick with her decisions and stubborn character, the assessment, she never agreed to drop the case but gave her consent that some administration officials could talk to INC officials but she will continue to pursue the case. It would not be surprising that she will dump her senate quest to pursue the case as long as Aquino has confidence on her. If DeLima proceeds on this, before October another INC protest may be planned but with less bite since they will be perceived as sore losers and sleazy operator.

    Filipinos are the real losers from INC protest but could be the winner by amassing together as CRUSADERS. When election time comes, a manifesto could be established in every locality that whoever is the INC dirty candidate in the election will be opposed.

    If BINAY or POE is the INC choice, CRUSADERS will vote for Roxas.

    Roxas must announce now his opposition to any deal and stress his principle that nobody is above the law including INC officials.

    • Joe America says:

      You make good sense, except that I think de Lima is better staged for senate run today. So I personally would be surprised if she withdrew. She is one of the stronger LP offerings. I also guess, based on this morning’s reports, that all that was agreed to was that the rule of law would prevail. It was clear to INC that they had pushed to the limit, were seeing their protest tainted by political players, and took discretion over valor. Of course, they would have to declare a “victory” in getting their message across. But you and I know it was a big loss.

    • Joe America says:

      Johnny, here’s the Rappler article summarizing the reasons the rally ended. It closes suggesting that de Lima will run for senate. The ending was essentially a “save face” step for INC, and the government is amenable to that. There is nothing to be gained by painting INC as a villain.


      • Johnny Lin says:


        DeLima will not resign until the case is filed and heads will be shamed. Stubborn is soft description of her tenacity.
        My posting above, reason # 3 is saving face by INC. reasons #1&3 were cited by Rappler report which were my most plausible scenarios.

        I have more sources than Rappler😉😀

        • Joe America says:

          Well, keep bringing your insights here, because they for sure keep us clued in on motives beyond the obvious, or what the popular press put out.

          My sources tell me that President Aquino refused to meet with INC honchos Sunday as they requested, and that he had troops ready to break up the demonstration but held off pending back door discussions. He permitted new arrivals to join the crowd rather than block them and tip his hand. Luneta was offered to INC as a substitute rallying ground, but INC refused because their crowd would look small in relation to the size of the park. So they withdrew.

          My sources are not the American CIA, I would note. 🙂

    • neo canjeca says:

      as a 1945 kid, I can’t just forget the black and white Joes who gave us good filling chocolate bars, till as a college teen it’s become theobroma cacao sp. which we chew the juice to dry the beans before drying them under the sun, …. till the beans become chocolate hot or cold drink; best than coffee or tea.

      as a teen septuagen can’t figure out why before dawn I first click on uniffors to see real life art and scorching commentaries of the good road Buencamino; why in Raissa’s and JoeAms I search to read the name Johnny Lin and felt disgust reading the names of unmentionables here. Readings ONLY the likes of the good road and lin not the john will be like a boring 301 course in reason for dummies, more alive than the verses in the bible.

      Good road and Lin not the John should put their pieces into a book worth a fund me project that a few thousand copies be donated to all schools and state colleges and universities for a truer version of fun and tragedies in the Philippines.

  22. Sal E. says:

    After the past few days, INC has now come to stand for INConvenience. Like you, I have been scratching my noggin trying to figure out the story behind the story. All this brouhaha over separation of church and state, de Lima going overboard, etc. just did not make sense to me since we all know no one is above the law… at least not openly and certainly not by demanding it through demonstrations. So I asked a few cyber INC members to enlighten me and they pointed me to a Manila Times article written by Rigoberto Tiglao entitled “Reap the Whirlwind: What’s behind the INC revolt?”

    I am not providing a link here to the article since the Manila Times is such a highly politicized rag and Mr. Tiglao’s opinion journalism articles can be more aptly described as “conspiracy theories”. Of course when he starts off his article with “…according to sources close to the second biggest Christian church in the country” that causes an involuntary eye roll. When I pressed my new social media friends for why they believed such anonymous and unsubstantiated allegations their responses boiled down to — that is also what our church leaders told us.

    One of them even went so far as to PM me with the following message: “the Church Administration knew it beforehand that is why the blaring clamor for the “Separation between the Church and the State” even when the public do not see yet the connection. The government was trying to dictate upon us to pick Roxas in the forthcoming elections. But they knew we would not so they thought they could divide us by using the family of Ka Erdy whose other son has the ambition to take over Ka Eduardo. They heard of that burning ambition and they tried to ride on it and crafted the sinister scenario. Delima was conscripted to start it all so that the Advisory Council could be put behind bars in a non-bailable offense of illegal detention and kidnapping. A large media company (you know which one) that has a long history of dislike of the INC was also enlisted and they covered the initial airing of the Angel Manalo’s tirade against the Church. Now connect this with IglesianiCristo 101 and Rigoberto Tiglao’s column and you will understand.”

    Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. If I was a loyal member of INC and was told this by my church leaders, of course that would inspire me to go out and demonstrate for the survival of my church. However, since I am not an INC member, am by nature skeptical about religious leaders’ political call to arms, and would like to believe that Pnoy’s “tuwid na daan” campaign is for real, I find myself doubting the veracity of these accusations. Like I told my INC cyber friend, we both were not there so each of us only have our gut feel to follow. I sure hope we find out what the real story is… some day.

    • mercedes santos says:

      So-o-o apropos, INConvenience ####rrr

    • Joe America says:

      Me, too. Thanks for the view “from the other side”. Lack of trust is a big bugaboo no matter how you cut it.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      @Sal E., @Joe, @giancarloangulo

      I read that Tiglao article, too and now I have this theory, but in reverse : that it was Tiglao and other Arroyo loyalists who got to the Sanggunian to create this situation among the INC members, in the vain hope it will trigger something. Remember

      Who are the Sanggunian members? Perhaps a more in-depth analysis of these personalities may uncover something- a more than casual link to the Arroyos, for instance.

      I just find it so unbelievable that you can “blackmail” thousands of people into voting a particular way in that manner.

      • Joe America says:

        I think any “bloc vote” hold the INC leadership had on members has been severely damaged as a result of this episode. INC expected 500,000 people to show up on Sunday. Peak was 20,000. They did not have member buy-in for this action.

        • In previous elections, what I hear from INC members (when asked who they will vote for), have this to say – the circular will be read to them on the Sunday before the election date, and that they themselves do not know yet who their leaders would choose before that circular was read to them notwithstanding the jubilant boasts of those candidates who claim that they got the much sought after endorsement for the block vote.

          I find it hard to believe the story of that blackmail, too early IMO. Members are probably being deceived.

          • To continue on the blackmailing issue, it’s as if election will be held next month already. No candidates have filed their candidacy in COMELEC and campaigning will start in February yet but the election fever is already burning hot and rumors are being spread left and right. Tiglao as the source of rumor is soooooo credibly challenged. For the INC 101 to give weight to anything Tiglao dishes out is truly unbelievable. Their endorsement of GMA is still ongoing up to this day?

  23. Lawrence says:

    It seems to me that many members were not aware of separation of the church and state. They were just soldiers who followed orders.
    Edwin Zabala INC’s spokesman just dig a hole for the organization for saying uneducated lines like treating the law enforcers as their enemies. As if they are saying you want war I’ll give you war.
    But the point here is not meddling in the internal affairs of the church
    Someone has filed a complaint and that needs to be attended. They just can’t ignore it.
    I am not against with their freedom of expression, it’s just that separation of church and state is not an issue here. They were misleading their members and the general public.

    • Joe America says:

      “Obedience” must be one of the teachings of the church.

      • jerry says:

        Indeed…we are taught to obey. Sadly this is being abused by the current leaders for their own personal interests. Ito ay isang malinaw na ebidensya na ang mga mahihirap ay patuloy na nagagamit sa pansariling interests ng mga lider hindi lamang sa loob ng Iglesia kundi pati na rin ng mga lider sa larangan ng pulitika. Am glad they already called off the protest but sadly, irreparable damaged had been done. The brethren belong inside the church not outside the streets.

  24. caliphman says:

    Civil disobedience protests can cause great inconvenience to the public but for those who eschew violence, it is often an effective way of making people listen and take heed and sometimes even agree with you. Hey, Ghandi, the US civil rights movement, Nelson Mandela, and the EDSA protestors that overthrew Marcos and Estrada saw nothing wrong with using it inspite of the latter’s huge traffic pileups then. Now that everyone has listened and taken heed of the INC, even their leaders now agree it was the message and not the medium that was all wrong.

  25. The concept of “Separation between State and Church” is mentioned on every other comment on here and the previous thread.

    My question is, what exactly is the Philippines’ (legal & constitutional) stance on this? (By way of written documents or legal rulings, etc. OR is this concept just a copy/paste from John Locke’s views, and as everything else over there, somehow lost in translation– similarly when the concept jumped from the Netherlands to the UK)

    What is the Philippines’ and Filipinos actual understanding of this concept?

    • Joe America says:

      It is vague. The wall is not as clear-cut as in the US to preclude religions from engaging in political activities. The law mainly keeps the state out of church affairs, and gives the church a tax free license to meddle.

    • edgar lores says:

      The Filipino understanding is quite clear and simple: the church can meddle with the state but not vice-versa.

      The transactional currency is Power.

      The most extreme case of this understanding would be the Muslims of the South: they want complete political autonomy but expect economic support. In exchange for this Power, they will cease their armed insurrection.

      The second most extreme would be INC: they want complete religious autonomy but expect special treatment and favors from the state. In exchange for this Power, they will use their numbers to assure the election of the chosen into government office.

      The third would be the RCC: they want to continue their share of the political power that they exercised under Spanish colonization, to maintain their dominance in numbers, and to ensure the continued observation of their “moral” precepts. In exchange for this Power, they will look the other way at instances of official corruption.

      The non-INC and non-Catholic denominations are for the most part apolitical.

      In the Philippines, religion is an enabler of corruption. This is why — the people being very “religious” — corruption is so pervasive.

    • karl, Joe, edgar, et al. Thanks. I think I have a better idea now where to aim this next article, “On Skepticism, Cynicism and Solipsism (and why the Philippines should remain within the boundaries of salvation… just a different kind, but better)

      Same as the last article, but this time will be less direct and lobbing it more like a mortar round–no sighting purely by feel. Danger Close–so apologize in advance for the unintended friendly fire (actually it’s intended, but you guys know what I mean).

      karl, this is good stuff if you have any more send it. Thanks.

  26. JP says:

    They just did it….what POE said for DE LIMA to talked and explain the merits of the case. ….hayyyyyy Pnoy is very IMPULSIVE and INDECISIVE …Re: BALIKBAYAN boxes…..he told that let Bert Lina do his job, that the boxes should be examined…..then he changed tune after OFWs rallied thru Internet…..then Re: De Lima and INC….he told that no one is above the law, he supports De Lima on her action….. then he changed tune again because of the 5 day RALLY at EDSA and other provinces of INC…….RE: Roxas as DILG Sec. he has the control of the Police who is in charge of the maintenance of Peace and Order so why didn’t he ordered the immediate dispersal of the rallyist like what they’re doing to the militants so as not to disturb the traffic flow ……we were taken for a ride by (PNOY & ROXAS) their SRAIGHT PATH slogan…..just the same they are TRAPO like all our politicians…..I can’t blame them…WHY? because of the SYSTEM in selecting Elected Officials (from Pres. down to councilor of Brgy.) candidates need MONEY and INDIVIDUAL VOTE to WIN on election……the concept of ONE PERSON-ONE VOTE was the reason why our country lags behind its ASEAN neighbors in economic progress not to mention the MULTI PARTY SYSTEM we have now it promotes PATRONAGE POLITICS and DIVISIVENESS because MAJORITY of our SOCIETY are CONFORMIST and only MINORITY has reached the CRITICAL MIND level……if OFWs and INC represents ONE or certain percentage vote each TUWID NA DAAN or STRAIGHT PATH will not be affected……. john….

    • Joe America says:

      I do believe politics is the same around the world, in democratic societies, and involves the trading of campaign money for assurances of positions on certain issues. So it is played that way here, for sure, because the rules of impunity demand it, and the President and his men play by those rules. The distinction is that they are not outright thieves, as predecessors have proved to be. It’s our job to push for transparency and information. The press should be helping, but here, they just leverage the suspicions and anger.

  27. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    If you believe in God above all else, YOU WILL FAIL without even trying.
    But …
    If you believe in yourself above all else, YOU WIN despite you fail.
    Your success is because of you not because of God.
    Because it takes you to make your wishes come true.
    God steals your successes as his.
    Blame your failures because you failed not because God failed you.

    • Joe America says:

      You know, Mariano, you are bringing in some really great wisdom these days. You are herein assigned a robe, ala Edgar, which you may wear with pride as an official Guru of the Society of Honor.. . I’m sorry it is rather plain, brown and monkish. But we subscribe to austerity as a way of life.

    • You do your best, and God will do the rest!

      God expects us to do all we can, then He will do what we can’t! When Jesus went to raise Lazarus from the dead, He told the people, “Roll ye away the stone!” (Jn.11:39) He could have made Lazarus walk right through the stone, so why did they have to roll it away?–Rolling the stone away from the door of the tomb was something they could do. They couldn’t raise him from the dead, but they could roll the stone away!

      God’s not always going to do it for you when you can do it for yourself! He said to Moses, “What is that in thine hand?” (Exo.4:2) He usually lets you do what you CAN do, then He does what you can’t do. Jesus said, “seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you, ask and ye shall receive.” (Mat.7:7,8) If you don’t go around looking, you’re not going to find. Maybe all nine doors are shut and you’re only going to find one open, but are you just going to sit there and say, “Lord, reveal it to me”?–No! God expects you to put feet to your prayers, get out and do a little hoofing and look!

      If you know you’re doing your best to please and obey Him, God will do almost anything for you, some of the most amazing things you could possibly imagine! So help us, Lord, to do b part and obey! Then we know you will do the rest!


  28. hackguhaseo says:

    What pissed me off most about this whole debacle is how POLITE everyone seemed when talking about this church. It’s like no one was willing to say exactly what they wanted to say for fear of, what, backlash? Persecution from INC? They begin their sentences with “with all due respect etc etc” as if that’s really what they were thinking about.

    It’s just ridiculous.

    This is a group of people that’s just as open to criticism as any other group of people. Why can’t everyone understand that?

    • karl garcia says:

      perceived power of block voting for the politicians,as for the rest of the mere mortals, I dunno why political correctness has anything to do with being polite.

    • Joe America says:

      Well, it is hard to argue with politeness, and I think that there was a lot of direct speak going on (at least on my twitter following), and it came to play in INC’s decision to end the protest. They knew they were getting burned.

    • chempo says:

      “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” — (attributed to JFK but origin is really unknown?)

      When we have some events like this INC incident, we need strong words from people who care about the state to step up and be seen and heard. There were 3 distinct voices :

      CHR : “separation of Church and State does not arise at all in this instance. This is a matter involving the proper exercise of powers by the Justice department, involving an investigation of a case that may involve violation of law that exempts no one.”

      CBCP : issued a balanced statement that amongst other things calls on INC to examine themselves, observe the law of the land, and NO to political opportunism ( for the likes of Binay, Chiz, Marcos, Poe and the Cojuancos)

      Mar : “As in all protest actions, preserving peace and order with maximum tolerance will be practiced by all responding policemen… The PNP is duty-bound to ensure that the safety and general welfare of the public is maintained, both those protesting and those uninvolved. This includes making sure opportunists do not try to take advantage of the situation for personal ends,”
      “While all citizens have the right to be heard and to peaceful assembly, the exercise of these rights cannot impinge on the rights of others or cause inconvenience to anyone. Let us remember that ours is a Rule of Law and not of men,”

      I thinks Mar’s comment was that of a good statesman.

      • i7sharp says:

        “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” — (attributed to JFK but origin is really unknown?)

        Please try to see quotes from Burke here:

        When we have some events like this INC incident, we need strong words from people who care about the state to step up and be seen and heard. There were 3 distinct voices :

        Who better to hear from, or to be seen, than the very head of the state (PNoy).

        But do you see, below, who one of his spiritual advisers is?
        No other than the very head of the “other state” (Ka Eduardo Manalo).

        An excerpt from the sixth and last SONA

        “To my spiritual advisers, Father Catalino Arevalo, Sister Agnes Guillen, and Father Jett Villarin [applause], and to Cardinal Chito Tagle, Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, Ka Eduardo Manalo, Bishop Soc Villegas, Bishop Jonel Milan, and Brother Eddie Villanueva; to all those in the religious sector and to those who have prayed for us as we faced major challenges …”


        • ” [applause], and to Cardinal Chito Tagle, Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, Ka Eduardo Manalo, Bishop Soc Villegas, Bishop Jonel Milan, and Brother Eddie Villanueva; to all those in the religious sector and to those who have prayed for us as we faced major challenges …”

          LOL! Ooooppsss…. Now that’s a Church & State issue, if I ever saw one.

          Beware the High Sparrow!

          • Just as PNOY thanked Joe, the anonymous American blogger, he likewise thanked all those who PRAYED for him and his administration “as we faced major challenges”. There is no violation of the separation of church and state when these people PRAYED for the president:

            1) the Roman Catholic Church’s Cardinal Chito Tagle, Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, Bishop Soc Villegas,

            2) Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) – Bishop Jonel Milan and Brother Eddie Villanueva of JIL

            3) Ka Eduardo Manalo of Iglesia ni Cristo

            4) all those in the religious sector and to those who have prayed for us

            • Mary,

              The thanking & praying is fine, it’s the quid pro quo that’s a church & state issue. Will have an article ready by next week sent to Joe on this, solutions based, so your input on this will be appreciated.

        • karl garcia says:

          Even that history repeating itself was by Burke.George Santayana got credit for it.
          Permanent interests was by Lord Palmerston, Newt Gingrich made it famous.
          Smarter than an average bear was by Yogi Bear not Yogi Berra.

        • chempo says:

          I came to praise Mar, not to denigrate Pnoy.

          But yes, I would have loved Pnoy to project himself, it was disappointment to me that he did not.

          That Manalo is (was???) ONE OF HIS MANY spiritual advisors does’nt mean nothing in this situation. I would not go on an imply anything.

  29. Juana Pilipinas says:

    We see it again and again in the Philippines that certain personalities and entities fuel the existence of the much dreaded word — IMPUNITY. Everyone of us has the duty and responsibility to be cognizant of situations where impunity is being used under the guise of human rights.

    Huwag po tayong maniwala sa tsismis at hakahaka lalo na kung nanggagaling ito sa mga trapo. Sabihin po natin sa mga tao at organisasyon na astig na hindi sila above the law. Pag nawala na po ang tolerance natin sa mga siga, magtatagumpay na po rule of law sa ating bansa.

  30. Johnny Lin says:

    Why did Binay defend INC protest?
    He wants to make the members his dummies

    Why did Grace Poe defend INC protest?
    She is recruiting them to protest for her in SET tribunal

    Why did Escudero defend INC protest?
    Real brain behind INC is a woman, called by members BabyLyn
    Escudero charming his way to indoctrinate Babes like Heart and Grace.
    Typical Chiz, fond of amorous gal names😀

  31. surfer sison says:

    It is obvious that Pnoy, Mar and the LP is not afraid of the INC.
    unlike the trapos na nagkakandarapa sa INC, Mar did not kowtow to the INC.
    He was on record to be publicly opposed to what the INC was doing.

    The painful truth is…unlike previous administrations,.hindi na malakas ang INC sa Pnoy presidency.
    that is why they had to resort to a public protest.
    sobrang KSP.

    Hindi lang pinatulan ni Pnoy so as not to escalate the situation.

    It is obvious pagod na at ubos na bala ng INC last Sunday.
    Face saving exercise nalang at the end game.

    INC came out of this the big loser.

    and they have only themselves to blame.

    • Joe America says:

      Always good to be on the same page with you, surfer. That’s my read-out, too, except you have added the “integrity” factor for LP, a very important add.

    • grammy2342 says:

      I agree – save face before the awful truth comes out that this protest was nothing but a flexing of muscles to show that the INC can disrupt the whole political scene. But what they disrupted was traffic, leading to infuriated motorists and commuters.

  32. andrewlim8 says:

    Here’s a re-telling of the story I am more inclined to believe, though I still retain some skepticism that there was no concessions made, The need for face-saving here in this part of the world is more intense than you imagine, just to inform our non-Filipino readers or those who have been gone for a long time.


    • Joe America says:

      My vast network of sources, some with big ears, inform me that the President and Mar Roxas had made the decision to break up the rally if it persisted past the permit deadline. The contacts with INC were secondary and not primary, and the only “agreement” was that the rule of law was paramount. The Rappler article gives a good representation of what happened.

      • neo canjeca says:

        What happened in the INC streets protest is actually, to me a humble victory of patriots over treason by evil using the innocents. PNoy could have just given the orders to Mar Roxas: invite all INC ministers in towns and cities for just a three hours of coffee with their Chiefs of Police to explain to them not to cross the lines mandated by law. Then send them home. Brother Eddie and the entire INC sanggunians can refuse the invitation for a dialogue– to be held in their world’s largest coliseum in Bulacan –on the worst case scenario of their protests, when trouble makers can start a blood bath that can lead to a civil war. That was not done by PNoy , a course usually taken by decisive leaders, not by patriots. Instead PNoy had kept the INC in the dark who knew all alone the might of the uniformed forces could be unleashed mercilessly on them. Aside from the wrath of the people who are the side of the administration all over the country.

        The Patriots had learned their lessons from the game of the Generals in military history: HOLD YOUR FIRE. DON’T FIRE UNTIL YOU SEE THE WHITES OF THEIR EYES.
        (read that again please)

        Even evil using their innocents who with their tails wrapped around their balls saw DEATH and DEFEAT; EMBRACED cowardice and wisdom in shameful retreat BETTER than their own friendly mighty, clueless critics who saw ninnies and sissies among the patriots.

        • Joe America says:

          I’ll be doing a blog that recounts how actually brilliant the Aquino handling of the matter was. There are many ways to skin a cat, and this one was done with skill.

  33. surfer sison says:

    My direct connection to INC is my staff who had to absent himself last Friday to join the rally. I don’t think he would be pleased if he had to miss another day of work today 🙂 So I think the INC really did not have the wherewithal to prolong this nonsense beyond yesterday without hurting its own people.

  34. bauwow says:

    Got this on Facebook from LafTrip

    Eli Soriano ……………………..ang dating daan
    Pnoy……………………………….ang their na daan
    Duterte…………………………….bubulagta ka sa daan
    Binay………………………………. namimigay ng limang daan
    Enrique…………………………….walaang pingkatandaan
    Grace Poe………………………..nasaan ang daan
    INC………………………………….. hinarangan ang daan

  35. bauwow says:


  36. Bruce in Iloilo says:

    The phenomenon that you describe as “Marcos babies” was not caused by Marcos. It has a deeper root. Human nature.

    You rightly contrast Marcos babies with the behavior in Australia. But which is the more common? Which behavior is the more natural? Which behavior is out of the ordinary — the Marcos babies or Australia? I would submit Australia’s (and would include other developed countries).

    The Philippines on the other hand is a fairly average to slightly above average country. On nearly every ranking of countries — on any topic — the Philippines usually ranks about 70 to 80 out of 190 countries, or slightly above the median. The Marcos babies behavior is seen everywhere. I see it even more so in China (at one Chinese opera performance in Shanghai a man sitting next to me started talking on his cell phone in the middle of an aria).

    It is not that the Marcos Era created the Marcos babies. It is that the same trait that supported and sustained the Marcos dictatorship is the same trait that manifests itself in the Marcos-babies behavior. It is not that one created each other; it is that both come from the same cause and that both reinforce the other.

    One can still hear the same trait and its accompanying political philosophy throughout political debates in the Philippines. Anytime a politicians argues in favor of more “unity” and “discipline”, i.e. sit down, shut up and do as I say (not as I do), he is arguing in favor of dictatorship and entitlement. He or she has the right to give us orders, or “discipline” and we have no right to do what we think is best for our community, or “unity”.

  37. cesar says:

    The INC is not a christian religion as the members claim. Christian churches are those that believe in the deity of Jesus Christ. INC believes that Felix Manalo, the founder, is an angel sent by God to establish the INC. The bible says angels do not die. But when Felix Manalo died he was not taken up to heaven through the clouds but left a cadaver to be buried.

  38. Nevaeh says:

    2 years forward

    INC emerged victorious amidst the threat of schisms and intrigues.

    What about the cases filed against INC leaders? The personalities and parties involved?

    1. De5 now in prison
    2. Illegal Detention/Kidnapping case vs INC leaders – dismissed ( not even an iota of evidence )
    3. Writ of Amparo & Habeas Corpus – dismissed!
    3. Samson & Menorca & the rest of their kind? – expelled from the Church, some are now fugitives
    4. Pinoy, Roxas – what happen to them and to the LP?

    And the bigots are still bigots, commenting and cursing on issues that has something to do with INC.

    • Why the anger if INC won? Senator De Lima in jail has nothing to do with INC, so including her is just trying to pad your argument. INC expelling former members has nothing to do with PH law, but church affairs. Roxas lost the election. Why the bitterness of listing him?

      Now that you bring up INC, are any of the customs people under suspicion linked to the church? And am I a bigot for asking?

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