Lawmakers mourn with INC family, flock on the loss of a great leader

September 1, 2009 10:29 am 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, Sept. 1 — Members of the House of Representatives expressed condolences to the family of Erano "Ka Erdy" G. Manalo, leader and executive minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), who passed away Monday afternoon due to cardio-pulmonary arrest. He was 84.

"We, the members of the House of the People, deeply feel the loss and share the grief of our brothers and sisters of the Iglesia Ni Cristo as the nation mourns the passing of a man of God and a great Filipino," said Speaker Prospero Nograles in a statement.

INC spokesman Bienvenido Santiago, in a statement, said "We are sad to inform the entire Church and the entire country that the overall administrator of the Church of Christ, Brother Erano G. Manalo, has been called to rest by God. He died in his home at exactly 3:53 yesterday (August 31)."

Quoting Manalo's physician Dr. Rey Melchor Santos, the INC spokesman said the religious leader died of cardio-pulmonary arrest.

"We request that the entire Church be guided during this time of severe grief," he said.

The wake will be open to the public later this Tuesday. His remains will be interred at the Templo Sentral of the INC in Quezon City.

"Ka Erdy truly lived a full life for God and country. His greatness grew from his humility, love of God and selfless service to humanity. He was a man of God whose life and sacrifices will continue to inspire millions of Filipinos and non-Filipinos worldwide to follow and live Christ’s life and God’s words. He lived to love," said Nograles.

"The collective leadership and full membership of the House of Representatives salute a true leader. We extend our sympathies to our brothers in Christ as Ka Erdy journeys beyond the life of mortals. Ka Erdy’s memories, his legacies, will forever be enshrined in the hearts of Filipinos and the conscience of the world. He lived a meaningful life. He made the difference and touched the lives of others for God’s sake," he said.

Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., in a separate statement, said he and his family regret the passing away of Ka Erdy Manalo and hopes that the spiritual lessons he imparted will continue to live among his flock.

For his part, Muntinlupa Rep. Rufino Biazon said Ka Erdy's influence was not only on INC members, but on the entire nation because of his leadership that spanned decades.

"While he will be missed here on earth, I am certain that he already has a place in heaven, and his memory and teachings will continue to serve the purpose that he committed his life to do," he said.

The INC has over 5,400 local congregations (roughly equivalent to parishes) in 90 countries and territories, with a membership composed of 102 nationalities. It celebrated its 95th founding anniversary last July. (PNA)

DCT/LGI

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