I share the views of Mr. Efren C. Carag who corageously pointed out the huge tax-payers money being used during the 100 Year Founding Anniversary of the INC of Manalo. This article was from Philippine Inquirer Online
On LGUs’ enviable recognition of INC
Nine pages of the July 27 issue of the Inquirer contained greetings to the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) on its 100th founding anniversary, including one on full page from the Office of the Mayor of Manila! Wow! These were in addition to such greetings in the earlier issues of the Inquirer, including INC’s less than one-fourth-page acknowledgement of the greetings.
The Inquirer was not the only media outfit that ran or aired such greetings. Billboards and tarpaulin sheets printed with words of felicitations for the religious sect could be found in every available nook and cranny of Metro Manila and, of course, Bulacan, where the INC has built a multibillion-peso multipurpose complex. There must have been a lot more of these messages in the rest of the country. Nagkakandarapa ang mga tao na bumati sa INC. (People are scrambling to greet the INC.)
As a Catholic, I cannot but envy the importance accorded to the INC. I am now a septuagenarian and I do not recall the Catholic Church being the subject of recognition of such breadth and scale, let alone in paid advertisements in the Inquirer.
As a Filipino, I lament the attention given to the INC. That the organization is a vaunted political force and influence is a given. Without doubt or question, the advertisers wish to be assured of the continuing vote of INC members to perpetuate them, their family, their children, their grandchildren and their great-grandchildren in power.
Such is just one part of my grievance.
My other concern is the source of funds used to pay for the publication and/or printing of the greetings. Most likely, it was the city, province or political unit; more specifically the Filipino people, with the taxes and exorbitant fees they pay for government services.
By the way, I do not take issue with the Inquirer’s multipage feature article on the INC in last July 27’s issue. I respect our constitutional guarantees on the freedom of religion and freedom of the press. What I cannot countenance is the implication from all this: how distant we still are from political uprightness and integrity.
—EFREN C. CARAG,