Iglesia Ni Cristo members have occupied Padre Faura street on Thursday, August 27.
Hundreds of them gathered outside the Department of Justice building in Manila to hold protest against DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima.
As early as 5 p.m. on Thursday the crowd of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) protesters are already around 500 and by 8 p.m., the crowd reached to more than a thousand. INC members gathered around a vehicle that they believed to be owned by Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, trying to keep her from leaving the Department of Justice (DOJ) building, according to the police.
On the same day of the INC members protest, Secretary De Lima also celebrated her 56th birthday where in she announced her journey from point ‘j’ to point ‘s’, which reportedly means her plans to run for the Senate in the 2016 election.
INC members claimed that the DOJ is giving ‘extraordinary attention’ to ex-communicated ministers, after former Pasugo editor-in-chief Isaias Samson Jr. submitted a ‘illegal detention case’ against the council of the religious sector.
The protesters are holding placards saying De Lima should leave INC alone. They said that DOJ should divert attention to more important issues, such as the death of 44 Philippine National Police Special Action Force members in Mamasapano, including two of their members.
INC called de Lima ‘bias’ after accepting the ex-members to the government’s Witness Protection Program (WPP).
“I’m just doing my job,” De Lima said when asked to respond.
Sr. Supt. Marcelino Pedroso, Public Safety Battalion chief, communicated to the protesters. According to reports, no one has stepped forward as the leader of the protestors.
The INC members say they will hold a vigil for three days. Padre Faura street was closed to traffic due to the ongoing protest. IMAGE by JOEL LIPORADA