‘Walang uuwi’: Tireless Iglesia ni Cristo crowd keeps momentum in Edsa protest
It has already been a long day for most of Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) members who trooped to Edsa-Shaw Boulevard on Friday evening, but they are showing no signs of toning down all the shouting, chanting, and singing amid protests.
As of 2 a.m. on Saturday, an energized INC crowd has maintained its momentum as program is still ongoing near the MRT-Shaw station, where a small stage has been installed similar to the one set up at the Department of Justice (DoJ) compound in Manila for the first two days of the protest.
“Uuwi ba tayo? (Are we going home?)” the program host asked the crowd.
“Hindi!” the protesters, most of which were holding placards and INC flags, shouted in unison.
INC members were repeatedly shouting “Mabuhay ang Iglesia (Long live the Iglesia),” “hustisya,” and “respeto” as they protest Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s supposed meddling with internal affairs of the church.
As of writing, a festive atmosphere is still evident in the gathering as an energized crowd is being treated with song performances.
The INC crowd also went wild when meals from fast-food chain Jollibee and bottles of water were distributed.
“Ipasa, ipasa! (Pass them on)” they shouted as the food was being passed on.
The protesters initially planned to troop to the Edsa Shrine in Ortigas, but they have yet to secure necessary permits.
“Bawal po tayo sa shrine. Bumalik po tayo sa gitna ng kalsada (We’re not allowed at the Shrine. Let’s go back to the middle of the street),” a protest leader was heard as saying.
Thousands of INC protesters trooped to Edsa from the DOJ compound on Padre Faura Street on Friday night, paralyzing the traffic flow.
Metro Manila police also raised the alert status to full alert on Friday night, activating the Task Force Manila Shield.
Calling for a separation of church and state, INC members were protesting De Lima’s supposed prioritizing of the illegal detention case filed by dismissed INC minister Isaias Samson against the church leadership over “more important issues.” Yuji Vincent Gonzales/TVJ