President Aquino on INC protest rally: 'There was understanding'

September 9, 2015 4:52 am 

MANILA, Sept. 8 – President Benigno Aquino III said on Tuesday there was an understanding between representatives of the government and Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) that prompted the influential religious group to end their protest rally on a portion of Epifanio Delos Santos Ave. (EDSA) last week.

”In gist, what their spokesman said that ‘nagkaunawaan (there was understanding), I think represents clearly what was achieved,” President Aquino explained in an interview with the Inquirer.

President Aquino said that during the four-day protest rally that ended on August 31, he was not able to talk to INC Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo, but “we have liaisons that go back and forth between us.”

”I did send the Executive Secretary (Pacquito Ochoa) to clearly state what the government’s positions were: that everybody’s rights will be protected,” the President said.

The President believed that some groups had participated in the protest rally to create divisions and to try to exploit fears.

”And we were able to clarify each other’s positions with regards to this matter. So we came to that agreement and they recalled all of their followers afterwards,” he said.

The INC held the rally to protest alleged bias treatment by Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima on the illegal detention charges filed by expelled INC Minister Isaias Samson.

”The case will stand or fall on its merits, and perhaps you can look at the affidavit of complaints, and you yourself, I think, can assess it even if you’re a non-lawyer,” the President said. (PNA)

SCS/JFM

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