What happens when an irresistible force (Iglesia Ni Cristo, INC) meets an immovable object (President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino, the other INC, the Inutil na Cojuangco, and his administration)?
They will destroy each other. That is exactly what happened over the last few days as the INC conducted a protest rally over at EDSA. They left a mess that rendered commuters and motorists helplessly stuck in traffic that was already bad to begin with.
Who bore the brunt of the inconvenience brought about by the event? The public suffered because the INC would not budge for a few days, and because the government seemed paralyzed.
Eventually, under the official line of “letting the INC voice out their concerns through diplomacy”, the government was proud to announce that the protest rally had broken up. Let us not be fooled; the government, passing it off as “exercising maximum tolerance”, merely stood by and allowed the INC to do as they please. Certain INC members were heard proclaiming, “Tagumpay! (Success!)”, as communications were passed around that they could go home.
Sorry for clogging EDSA, but blame it on our enemies. Di naman siguro fatal yung traffic, diba?
That’s when speculation started about the government blinking and giving in to demands of the INC. What is apparent is that they either wanted the investigation of the illegal detention case brought to their attention to stop, or they wanted Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to resign. Or even both.
What exactly DID the INC rally accomplish, indeed?
If you ask them this simple question point blank, it is highly likely that they will trip themselves up looking for a convincing answer. Maybe it was merely yet another demonstration of their so-called “might”. Maybe they wanted to get the attention of the government, “you don’t mess with the INC”.
As much as we would like to say that other Filipinos could learn from them on how to conduct protest rallies, the proclamation of accomplishment seems to be an illusion being kept up.
The INC could have garnered public sympathy for whatever it is they were protesting had they been a bit savvier. They could have invited non-INC to join them in “making the people’s voices heard” to the government. They could have taken advantage of the growing general discontent of Filipinos with the in-your-face, consistent incompetence of the Aquino government.
But alas, the INC is every bit the exclusive, “we look down upon those who don’t share our beliefs”, and the “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” massing of people that could characterize many other organizations in the Philippines. What did they do instead? They massed up and gathered at EDSA, a major thoroughfare. During rush hour. In the afternoon. On a payday weekend. And pissed the public off so bad.
Whatever the INC members may say about their rally being a success, they were unable to force the government to do something that would have been uncomfortable or self-vilifying, (e.g, disperse the crowd violently). In that sense, the rally was a complete failure.
Getting the government’s attention with a show of force? Big deal; did the INC underestimate the Aquino administration? A proven go-to reaction of this Noynoying government to a situation it is not prepared for, and one which it can’t control, is for the president to hide and maintain silence. They curl up and wait for the storm, the negative sentiment to blow over. It looks like they weathered yet another one while doing nothing during the eye of it.
For those in positions of power, making untimely decisions is as bad as not making one at all; BS Aquino never quite understood that.
Let’s not forget to mention, however, that the only thing Department of Interior and Local Government secretary Mar Roxas could do was to issue a statement about “following the rule of law” and “not inconveniencing others.” Which was conveniently ignored anyway.
What needs to be kept secret about the “discussions” between the INC and the BS Aquino administration that until now, the contents have not been revealed to the public? BS Aquino’s government, for all its image-consciousness, is doing rather poorly at dispelling speculation that his government caved in, bent over backwards for the INC, and took it in the ass. All most likely because they also need the support of the perceived block voting power of the INC.
The government is supposed to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people. In this case, the greatest good that the government aimed for is apparently the greatest number of votes it can get to keep the Liberal Party in power longer.
All that it needs to do is come out with the truth; the INC may not be compelled to disclose it to the public, as it is a private organization, but the government certainly is. So much for all that Sincerity, Honesty, Integrity, and Transparency that the Aquino administration claims to embody. It merely wound up demonstrating just how full of shit it is.
Let us not forget to take notice of how certain sections of the non-INC Filipinos reacted.
As is usually done here, Filipinos turned this into a game of kampihan, taking sides. This was supposed to be about the issues, upholding the rule of law and keeping up basic courtesy. Instead, Filipinos retreated to their ever comfortable focus on personalities. They didn’t like what the INC did so now they’re campaigning to support Leila de Lima if she runs for an elected position next year. You’re merely going to vote her just because you don’t like the INC? Ano kayo, tanga? Are you guys stupid or what?
Last but not least, I found it funny how other Filipinos can dismiss the INC as a cult when they themselves exhibit the same herd mentality that they claim the INC to possess. All you have to do is ask the army of Noytards who keep on holding on to their dear leader’s perceived honesty and lack of corruption, despite his glaring incompetence and inability to do his job as president properly.
Guess what, everybody’s dirty, stinky crap was exposed for the rest of the Philippines to see. INC, the government, other Filipinos, it’s all out there. This was a standoff in which there was no clear winner. Everybody lost. Things only look more bleak for the Philippines from here on.
[Photo courtesy: Inquirer]
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