Manila – Over the past few days, members of the Iglesia ni Cristo [INC]] have gathered in key areas of Metro Manila. The mass action stems from their sentiments regarding a complaint filed by two of their members at the Department of Justice.
Their protests, like all others, involve a disagreement. The question therefore is whether calmer heads will prevail so that such disagreements are resolved peacefully through mutual respect.
This was an important consideration for the government: Just as it was important to protect the rights of all, ensure public safety, and minimize opportunities for sowing mayhem, we knew that a truly long-term solution involved engendering an atmosphere of dialogue, which will result in deescalating the situation that created tensions in the first place. We were resolved not to inflame passions, which could have given an opening to those with selfish agendas to further exacerbate conflict. Diplomacy therefore was an important tool in avoiding unintended consequences.
Through good will and the convergence of efforts, the rule of law has been upheld. We appreciate the INC leadership’s directives for the withdrawal of their members from their gathering sites. We are thankful that no serious injuries came about these past few days, and that the public can now prepare to go to work and to school tomorrow, as the long weekend draws to a close.
Report from: Official Gazette of the Philippines