Miriam: Pols who don't get INC message are fools
Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - October 14, 2013 - 3:51pm

MANILA, Philippines - Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said Monday that the evangelical and medical mission of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) has a political message, contrary to what Malacañang and the religious group claim.

"There is a message behind the INC event today. If you are a politician and you don’t get it, you are a fool," Santiago said in a statement.

The INC event on Monday will provide free medical and dental services to over a million people in Manila. The Palace has downplayed the claim that the event was a show of force by the influential religous group more than a mere relief mission.

"At this point, we have no reason to believe otherwise than the purpose for which it is being stated that it is a medical and dental mission," Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said at a televised press briefing.

In radio and television interviews, INC's Minister of The Gospel Edwil Zabala denied that politics was behind Monday's event.

He said the INC has long been conducting the same event in various parts of the country to reach out to those who are in need.

On Twitter, several Filipinos complained of the heavy traffic caused by the event, which has also forced local government units in Metro Manila to suspend classes.

Supreme Court Spokesperson Theodore Te particularly criticized local officials responsible for managing the traffic caused by the event of the INC, which he described as a "favored sect."

Read: SC spokesman blasts MMDA, Erap for traffic caused by INC event

Known for its members' bloc-voting practice, the INC had attracted politicians during election season.

CRISTO DEPUTY PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABIGAIL VALTE EVENT INC METRO MANILA MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL EDWIL ZABALA ON TWITTER SENATOR MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO SUPREME COURT SPOKESPERSON THEODORE TE
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