INC members block reported De Lima van

Paterno Esmaquel II
INC members block reported De Lima van
Iglesia ni Cristo members also heckle a reporter of broadcast giant ABS-CBN, which has reported on controversies surrounding the INC

MANILA, Philippines – Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) members blocked a van they believed was carrying Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Thursday afternoon, August 27, as INC members staged a rally in front of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The vehicle was at the DOJ gate when INC members stopped it from leaving.

Many of them carried tarpaulins slamming De Lima, who celebrated her 56th birthday on Thursday.

One of the tarpaulins said, “Malabo yata kay De Lima ang gobyerno at Iglesia (De Lima couldn’t tell the difference between the government and the Iglesia).”

Another said: “Mas maraming isyu ang dapat unahin. Huwag ang pakikialam sa amin! (More issues need to be prioritized. Don’t interfere with us!)”

On the same day that the politically influential INC held the rally, De Lima announced she is running for senator in May 2016.

INC members vote as a bloc.

ABS-CBN reporter heckled, too

Their rally against De Lima comes after expelled INC minister Isaias Samson Jr filed an illegal detention case against INC leaders before the DOJ.

Samson earlier claimed INC officials placed him under house arrest for running a blog criticizing INC leaders.

Senior Superintendent Marcelino Pedroso said police couldn’t confirm if the vehicle carries De Lima. Some reporters and protestors, however, the justice secretary was riding the vehicle.

Pedroso said this shouldn’t have happened. “Kakausapin po natin ang mga leaders (We will talk to their leaders),” he said.

The INC members didn’t stop at blocking De Lima’s reported vehice.

They also heckled ABS-CBN reporter Doris Bigornia after ABS-CBN, like other media outlets, reported on controversies surrounding the INC.

The crowd chanted, “Biased! Biased! Biased!” Later, referring to a show by Bigornia’s counterpart at rival network GMA-7, the protestors said: “Kay Susan tayo! (We’re All for Susan!)” – Rappler.com

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.