The INC long weekend party as we saw it

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The INC long weekend party as we saw it
AND they didn't invite us (groan)!

The whole fracas started on August 27, Thursday, when a mob of protesters led by Iglesia ni Cristo members stormed the 56th birthday celebration of Justice secretary Leila de Lima at the Department of Justice building in Padre Faura St, Manila.

The lightning protest rally was the INC's reply to de Lima's alleged meddling in the church's internal squabble, when she allegedly "personally looked into" the complaint of expelled minister Isaias Samson Jr., who recently said members of INC's governing body Sanggunian placed him and his family under house arrest after blogging about the council's alleged corrupt practices.

The protesters, who got a permit from the Manila City government, swelled even if de Lima had left, making the stretch of Padre Faura street impassable to motorists.


August 28 - Friday

On its second day of protest, Iglesia Ni Cristo members abandoned the DOJ gates and converged on the northbound lane of Edsa near the Edsa Shrine, creating massive traffic on Friday night, much to the anguish of ordinary commuters.

The INC protesters were able to block the major thoroughfares which rendered the intersections at Ortigas Avenue and Shaw Boulevard completely useless. Coinciding with the mall payday sale events, traffic was at a standstill.

According to an article from Inquirer.net, the National Capital Region Police Office placed the crowd estimate at the corner of Edsa and Ortigas Avenue to be at 1,500 people as of 11 pm Friday, while those at the intersection of Edsa and Shaw Boulevard were estimated to be at 3,000.

At 6 p.m. Friday, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) were already on full alert.

At 9 p.m., hoisting placards and banners demanding justice and for the government to leave their church and faith alone, the INC rallyists attempted to march towards the People Power Monument but retreated after a hundred meters, barely crossing the intersection of Edsa and Ortigas Ave.

Policemen deployed at the Edsa Shrine said they were under orders to keep the INC members out of the Catholic-run shrine.


INC protesters along EDSA Ortigas



August 29 - Saturday

A TV network showed buses unloading huge numbers of INC members along EDSA as the leaders started distributing placards to protesters. It was already raining, but still the crowd thickened, everybody in a party mood.

There were live bands playing Filipino alternative music, keeping the morale up and high. Rain-drenched cops still at their posts, watching the protesters like hawks in the skies.

There were loud activities when it was announced that the local government of Mandaluyong City allowed the INC to continue its protest at EDSA-Shaw Boulevard until Sunday, Aug 30. But they wanted to continue their protest until Monday August 31.

In answer to this announcement, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) released its traffic advisory on alternate routes till Sunday.


MMDA traffic advisory EDSA northbound  August 30

MMDA traffic advisory EDSA southbound  August 30




War on social media

At social network sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, netizens on Saturday shared their sentiments and dismay over the INC protest rally. FB users took to their favorite Facebook pages where they cursed and blamed the whole protest rally of the horrendous traffic jams in EDSA.

But the INC members did not budge. Some joined the conversation threads and defended their religion's ideology and doctrines. The exchange of words become harsh to the point of some users deactivating their FB and Twitter accounts, alarmed of the "hate-comments" which came pouring in.


What happens on Sunday?

We still don't know yet. The INC long weekend party is not yet over as the Manila government has already granted a permit so they can continue their protest till September 4, Friday. The streets of Padre Faura and Pedro Gil may be largely affected if the INC transfers its activities there after EDSA.

If you're working or going to school in those areas, be extra prepared - physically and mentally - for another sweaty week.

Let's all wait and see. (Photos from Rappler, Inquirer.net)


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