Belmonte lauds gov’t handling of INC protest
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. praised the administration on Tuesday for its handling of the mass protest action mounted by the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) over the long weekend that disrupted traffic on Padre Faura and Edsa and provoked a huge social media outcry.
“I’m very happy the government handled it without threats or violence,” Belmonte told reporters in an interview.
He also lauded the INC’s leaders for responding positively and coming to an understanding with the government.
“I’m happy the leadership of the Iglesia came to terms with the situation and we’re back to normal,” the Speaker said. “I’m thankful to the leadership who are also close to me.”
The INC protest erupted in front of the Department of Justice building on Padre Faura Street in Manila last Thursday. Church members were protesting the “undue haste” with which Justice Secretary Leila de Lima supposedly attended to a kidnapping complaint filed against the INC by an expelled minister who also alleged corruption in the sect’s governing council or Sanggunian.
From Manila, the protesters were ordered by sect officials to move to Edsa, to the Shaw Boulevard intersection in Mandaluyong City, where they grew in number but well below the target of one million people by Sunday.
The demonstration finally ended on Monday morning after INC leaders announced at the protest site they had reached a “mutual understanding” with the government, but what the terms were they did not say.—DJ Yap
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