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Roxas: No special treatment for Iglesia ni Cristo

/ 05:54 PM September 01, 2015
NIÑO JESUS ORBETA/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

A protester waves the Iglesia ni Cristo banner during the INC rally on Saturday at the Edsa-Shaw intersection to demand the resignation of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, whom the sect accuses of meddling in its internal affairs by investigating charges of kidnapping and illegal detention filed by a former INC minister against members of the group’s governing council. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA/INQUIRER

The government is not against Iglesia ni Cristo but it is not giving them special treatment either, according to Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.

In a statement on Tuesday, he denied anew the allegations that the government sealed an agreement with the religious organization which led to the abrupt end of the four-day protests on Monday.

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“Hindi po totoong nagkaroon ng kasunduan sa pagitan ng Iglesia ni Cristo at ang pamahalaan. Sa pamamagitan ng mahinahong pagpapaliwanag at paglilinaw, naabot ang pagkakaunawaan upang igalang ang batas at ang kaukulang proseso.

“Kabilang na rito ang paglilinaw na hindi pinupuntirya ng pamahalaan ang Iglesia ni Cristo at walang special treatment para o laban dito,” he said.

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Iglesia launched a protest last Thursday after Justice Secretary Leila de Lima ordered an investigation on the case filed by dismissed minister Isaias Samson Jr. against the leaders of the sect for allegedly harassing and detaining him and his family.

The protesters moved to Edsa on Friday, causing monstrous traffic before being dispersed on Monday morning.

On Sunday night, President Benigno Aquino III and his Cabinet officials met at his official residence to tackle the situation.

The protests ended after the INC leadership announced they had made some agreements with the government.

Samson’s camp has asked the government to reveal the details of the meeting with INC. His lawyers think their case will be dismissed as a result of the talks of both sides.

De Lima denied these allegations.

The Malacañang also denied that they made a deal with the religious organization.

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“Patuloy naman ang Department of Justice sa pagtupad sa sinumpaang tungkulin nitong bigyan ng kaukulang atensyon ang mga isinampang reklamo upang panatilihin ang katarungan at pantay-pantay na pagtingin sa mata ng batas,” Roxas said.

He also said Aquino met them on Sunday night to ensure a manageable flow of traffic and the safety of the public.

“Noong Linggo ng gabi, nagpulong ang Pangulo at ang mga kawani ng pamahalaan upang masiguro ang malayang daloy ng trapiko at higit sa lahat, ang kaligtasan ng ating mga kababayan, bahagi man o hindi ng isinagawang kilos-protesta.

“Naging prayoridad ng pamahalaan ang mga paghahanda tulad ng mga emergency personnel at health workers dahil sa mga panganib na maaaring idulot ng mga masasamang loob na nais samantalahin ang pagkakataon para maghasik ng kaguluhan. Sa pamumuno ng pangulo, inatasan din ang PNP, MMDA, at ang local government units para mapanatili ang kaayusan,” Roxas said. Frances Mangosing/RC

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De Lima unbowed by Iglesia ni Cristo protests, won’t step down

The Iglesia’s show of weakness

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TAGS: Edsa, Iglesia ni Cristo, Isaias Samson, Mar Roxas, P-Noy, protest, special treatment, traffic
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