MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Mandaluyong city government has allowed the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) to hold its rally at Shaw Boulevard corner EDSA from Saturday, August 29, until Sunday, August 30.
Mandaluyong Mayor Benjamin "Benhur" Abalos Jr cited the city government's recognition of the INC members' constitutional right in granting their request for a permit to assemble in the city from 1 am Saturday, August 29, to the end of Sunday, August 30.
Mandaluyong City Administrator Ernesto Victorino signed the permit on Saturday morning. The INC request, filed on Friday, asked for permission to assemble in Crossing in Mandaluyong from 1 am Saturday, August 29, until 3 pm Monday, August 31.
The permit is subject to conditions, among them, that it will be limited to the area under the Shaw station of the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT3), crossing major thoroughfare EDSA, or only the ground level of Crossing.
This is to allow southbound and northbound vehicles to use the underpass, and for those from Pasig City plying Shaw Blvd and vice versa to use the EDSA flyover.
The conditions for holding the rally include the following:
"Your group will disperse and leave peacefully the street of Crossing, EDSA, on or before the end of Sunday, August 30, 2015. There will be no extension of your assembly unless granted in writing by this office," the city government said in its permit.
The city government also said that the "organizers and leaders of the group will also be responsible" for compliance with the Public Assembly Act of 1985 and other relevant laws and ordinances.
Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II met with PNP officials, Abalos, and Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista at Camp Crame on Saturday to discuss the INC rally.
Following instructions from their ministers to fight for their faith and doctrine, INC members began to mass at the Department of Justice in Padre Faura, Manila, on Thursday, August 27, to protest the alleged "meddling" of the government in their internal affairs.
The Manila city government has allowed the INC to hold vigil in front of the DOJ until next Friday, September 4.
On Friday, while INC members continued to hold vigil in Manila, other church members flocked to EDSA near the Catholic shrine where the 1986 People Power revolt happened. The church’s members along EDSA carried banners calling for the separation of church and state.