By Kat Ulrike
Quite appreciative to hear the word especially coming from that group, but to use that word in consolidating the status quo, as well as its assertion to keep their interests, seems invalid if not making am existing issue be aggravated further. Be it from the simple complain about traffic over EDSA to those trying to unravel the truth behind issues about expelled ministers and corruption within the church; news reports as well as social media commentaries continue to churn about their action, be it from Padre Faura to Shaw Boulevard corner EDSA, creating a series of comments either blaming them for traffic if not urging the church authorities to face the music.
Based from the recent situations involving the well known church using separation of church and state as its clause to assert their semi-secular interests, their action also includes issues that are wholly secular in nature, be like the pork barrel, Mamasapano Massacre, PCOS machine, as well as other issues enough as an alibi for their so-called "action." Through the circular issued by their muftis (sorry for the term) seemed to be far from its religious nature, hence, turning their so-called action politically motivated.
But since they are into order, they used a semilegal action to keep firm in their interests. Sorry for the words, but for a sect known for its command votes and trying to gain its prominent members positions mainly in the Justice, Police, and the Investigation Bureau, and this time facing a series of controversies in which the state as well as its expelled devotees has trying to uncover in pursuit of seeking truth from facts, would make one ask: is their action a form of struggle against the system? Quite appreciative though to vent their criticisms as if like those of the radicals, but with their motive of firmly keeping the status quo prior to the unveiled issues isn't a struggle after all since they failed to face the issue and rectifying its errors. It happened to be using various alibis that are political in nature as if non-adherents whom are also criticising the system may able to join and fight.
And since it is political in nature, and trying to act like those of the radicals as observed by ordinary people (through social media), this person is thinking that, since they are strong especially in facing odds against the system, have they issued a fatwa calling their members within the armed forces and the police to turn their backs on the state and rally in favour of the faithful? For sure one would think that if they able to mobilise their people for a rally, maybe they can able to mobilise for a coup!
Anyways, according to Pinoy Weekly's Kenneth Guda, he said that:
"Of course, they have a right to assemble. That is not even a subject for debate. But what that assembly teaches us is that reactionaries can employ mass politics if it is to their advantage. Sometimes through money (e.g. rightist riots sa Venezuela), or through religion (ISIS is an extreme example, but you get the point)."
And having that kind of action has becoming a strategy to create discontent amongst the people. Believer and non-believer alike, they used the situation, ranging from affairs within the church (that is currently investigated by the Justice Department) to purely socio-political affairs (such as Mamasapano to PCOS Machines), in order to mobilise their adherents, and bloc roads such as Shaw Boulevard corner EDSA at passenger's disgust (since it created an ire for employees going to work or going home through the main arteries of the Metro). As according to Allen Severino:
"To their credit, the INC ministers are basically applying the teachings of Sun Tzu on methods of encircling the enemy. They are basically at the right place and the right time, for they have successfully occupied Shaw Boulevard and practically cutting off the normal flow of traffic and communications from all directions. Sun Tzu would applaud this tactic as brilliant and excellent to the last minute, but what will the gains for this movement? They may have won the battle but they will lose the war in a fashion which will be catastrophic."
To summarise it all, the recent events tries to show that the religious group acts also as a strong political bloc, and intervening in such matters involving the church, particularly those of controversial nature comes with a price. That beneath the calls of defending separation of church and state is also the assertion of the church as a relevant entity in state affairs based on historical accounts involving state-church relations. True that those events are controversial in nature, that oftentimes receiving ire from the people.
Sorry for the rambling, given that theirs is almost like a state not just a religious sect, based from their actions currently shown: from the use of their faith as basis of unity, to using controversies enough to justify their action, of using unity to keep firm in their interests.