Senator Marcos defends Aquino meeting with INC execBy Maila Ager
MANILA, Philippines — President Benigno Aquino III has found an unlikely ally in Senator Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos Jr., who defended the President’s meeting with leaders of the influential Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) just a day before the anticipated appearance of Chief Justice Renato Corona in his impeachment trial on Tuesday.
“The Iglesia comprises a significant percentage and a very solid, as we all know, well-regarded organization. So it’s natural for the President to go, to speak and to consult and to talk about all of these things and about anything,” said Marcos, who has publicly criticized the President on various issues.
Even his father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, had also met with the INC during his time.
“So I don’t see anything wrong,” he said.
“Huwag nyo na masyadong lalagyan ng maraming kahulugan yan. This is a natural part in the course of the business, the elders of our country are talking to one another,” said the senator.
While he sees nothing wrong talking with groups like INC, Marcos denied meeting with any representative or officials of the religious group about the on-going impeachment trial.
“Marami akong kaibigan sa Iglesia at nag-uusap kami pero hindi namin napag usapan ang impeachment,” he said.
Marcos said a report that the INC was lobbying for the acquittal of Corona was just all speculation.
“Nobody has come to me. Yung mga nakakausap namin ay hindi nabanggit kahit minsan yung impeachment,” he said.
“There’s always going to be lobbying and campaigning, nasa sa aming mga senador na pakinggan na mabuti… It’s up to us,” he added.
Asked if there were other groups who were talking to him about impeachment, Marcos said there was none, adding, “Siguro kilala nilang matigas ang ulo ko.”
But told about that he was the likely target that would be approached by Corona supporters because of his anti-Aquino stance, he asked “am I being regarded as a critic of the Aquino administration? It should not be because I don’t see myself in that line.”