This just came in – a broadcast from the States by ABS-CBN. An appeal by Ministers Louie Cayabyab and Rollie Dizon.
he following video was probably taken inside the room without substantial lights to sustain visibility of the person speaking into it. The voice is from Sister Jenny, wife of Ka Felix Nathaniel more popularly known as Ka Angel. Ironically, most of the kin of Sugo Ka Felix and the late Ka Erdy have similar names. EVM’s son is known as “Ka A” or Angelo Erano, Ka Marc’s first name is Marco Erano. Rather confusing if I may say so.
After hearing her plea and ordeal experienced inside 36TS, I just can’t help but wonder why they continue to remain inside the premises with their families suffering all this undeserved physical and emotional pain. A person of lesser conviction would have left the place a long time ago, this writer included. Why risk the lives of your family and children for a piece of property which wouldn’t last one second come judgement day. This is not to say the lives of all the brethren risking their own lives in coming to their aid. Adding to the confusion is the family’s continued silence. In fact, the only party that is not crying out “violation of human rights”, “oppression”, and the like are the families inside 36TS. Everyone else are trying their best to make this violation of human dignity felt to the whole world. Brethren from the South have filed cases with the Commission on Human Rights in their behalf, and others residing abroad with Amnesty International, even to the extent of marching to the SONA of President Duterte to make the issue felt by this government.
We, who were raised inside the Church are aware of the importance of the Kapatiran – that no abuse nor harm should be committed against any brethren, and to come to his/her aid where help is needed. All of us understand the atrocities committed against Ka Erdy’s family. There is this spiritual connection that binds us together. That we refuse to keep a blind eye on all of this and materially provide all the needs of the family for we believe that they are the ancestral linkage to the Sugo.
But the problem is and will still remain that we cannot and should not expect that people outside of the Church understand us the way we understand ourselves. They are outsiders. In fact most of them are Catholics and Protestants. Remember, religions which we downsized during the previous era. Intervention by Duterte’s government? I don’t think so. He has Scarborough Shoal and the imminent war with China to be more concerned about. Not to mention the tension with the rebels in the South.
Now, take this into consideration. This is reality. How many Iglesia Ni Cristo members can be mobilized at a moment’s notice? 100,000, 500,000, 1,000,000? Remember EDSA? How many can the Defender’s mobilize? A few hundred or thousand the most? Now, if you were the President or any third party Fiscalizer, how would you react to such a request of assistance without the written consent of the complainant himself. Not to mention even with the consent of the complainant, the issue will remain an internal religious problem mainly because the involved parties are literally one Manalo family. Would the President be willing to rock the boat and side with us the minority? Remember democracy is numbers. The only way this thing will gain recognition is if the government senses that their democracy can be threatened. The rift at Tandang Sora is minor in their eyes. See the videos. Aside from the commotion, traffic is normal with jeeps, cars, and bystanders simply strolling along. The huge fences surrounding the compound? Well, it is within the compound of the Church and within the bounds of legal ownership.
The only question is the continued stay of Ka Erdy’s family at 36TS. Why? I have asked myself this question so many times. And after giving it much thought, I have come to realize that it may not be just the material worth of the ancestral house. If it were, I’m definite they would have left a long time ago. They would not deliberately stay and risk the lives of the family, children, and the brethren. Their stay is more than what we perceive.
America’s White House represents the people of the United States. It is the symbol of leadership that governs their country. And it is one of the most revered places in the world. We have our Malacanang that represents the pride and dignity of the Filipino.
And there is our own Iglesia Ni Cristo Central where our Templo, Tabernacle, and Main INC Central Office stand. It houses everything what a true religion should represent – God, Jesus, and the true Church. It is our last stanchion of truth and hope. The family is steadfast. They will not be threatened. It is the Manalo heritage. The Sugo. Evil will not triumph over them. The last living righteous Manalos should God permit, will perish knowing that they had fought the good fight asking help from no one but God Himself. And this they would have done so I’m sure, every waking day and night of their lives on their knees calling and pleading with God. This was how they were brought up by the Sugo and their father the late Ka Erdy. The symbol of righteousness must remain, no matter what the cost.
Many of us have failed to see it in this light. I guess I am also one of them.