MANILA, Philippines – Another lawmaker is proposing to rename Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City after the late leader of Iglesia ni Cristo, Eraño “Ka Erdy” Manalo.
Marikina Representative Miro Quimbo said his House Bill No 3673 seeks to give tribute to “one of the most influential and dynamic spiritual leaders of contemporary society” in time for the centennial celebration of the influential religious group on July 27.
The bill’s explanatory note says:
Under the forty six (46 years) of Ka Erdy’s leadership, the INC membership continuously grew in number, houses of worship proliferated, and their organization expanded in six continents of the world. But the expansion of the INC under the leadership of Ka Erdy did not only manifest in church membership, but also in growth of the Church teachings facilitated by him through the various lectures, worship services and books that he created.
In December, 1 SAGIP Representative Erlinda Santiago filed a similar bill.
The INC is known as bloc-voting organization, with most members heeding instructions from their leaders on who to vote for during elections – from presidential down to council-level positions.
It claims to have 2.25 million members across 6 continents. (INFOGRAPHIC: What you should know about the Iglesia ni Cristo)
Meanwhile, the Makabayan bloc filed another bill seeking to rename Commonwealth after activist and former Senator Lorenzo Tañada.
As early as 2009 – after Maraño’s death, there have been moves not just in Congress but also in the Quezon City council to rename the major thoroughfare in honor of INC leaders.
But the proposal was met with strong opposition from bishops who argued that there were also 3 “major” Roman Catholic Churches – St Peter Parish, Kristong Hari Parish and Sto Niño de Leyte Shrine – located along the avenue.
A number of INC’s buildings are located along Commonwealth Avenue, including the INC Central Office Complex, EVCO Building, New Era College, New Era Evangelical College, Central Temple and Museum, Tabernacle Multi-Purpose Hall, and New Era General Hospital.
Formerly known as Don Mariano Marcos Avenue after the father of former President Ferdinand Marcos, Commonwealth Avenue can accommodate between 6 to 18 lanes, making it widest road in the Philippines.
It is also known as the “Killer Highway” due to frequent accidents in the area.