Commuters forced to walk as Iglesia ni Cristo rally paralyzes part of Edsa
Many commuters were forced to walk on a stretch of Edsa early Monday morning, as members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) continued their protest along the main thoroughfare from the corner of Shaw Blvd. in Mandaluyong to the Our Lady of Edsa shrine area. As of 11 p.m., police estimated the INC protesters’ number at 16,000.
The surge of vehicles ferrying INC members from different provinces to join the protest forced some bus operators to either limit the bus deployment or cease operations.
Commuters cramped on available buses as the mass rail transit (MRT) did not extend its operations.
“Kaunti lang bumiyahe ngayon kasi nga ma-traffic. Talo kami sa gasolina, hindi kami maka-boundary (Only a few buses traveled because of the traffic. We can’t break even.),” said Gerry Torres, 34, conductor of an FTI-Fairview bus plying Edsa.
Torres added that some southbound buses would only ferry passengers up to Cubao as the Ortigas-Shaw Boulevard section of Edsa were already blocked.
There were no alternate routes for their bus line, he added.
Running on its fourth day on Sunday, the INC protest on Edsa was extended until Monday morning after the Mandaluyong City government extended the influential church’s permit to rally.
INC members marched from the Department of Justice (DOJ) compound to Edsa and converged at Edsa-Shaw Boulevard intersection on Friday evening.
The INC members were protesting against the allegedly “extraordinary attention” given by Justice Sec. Leila de Lima to the serious illegal detention and grave coercion complaints filed against certain INC leaders by expelled minister Isaias Samson Jr.
More members are expected to arrive from provinces on Monday morning, which is a holiday.
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