Photos of supporters of presidential bet Leni Robredo and her running mate Francis Pangilinan during a torch walk organized by volunteers have been passed off as a protest action they purportedly held outside an Iglesia ni Cristo church in Quezon City.
A public post by Facebook user Bercy Mangilit Bernardino and another by Facebook page Publiko on May 7 falsely claimed that the group was rallying in front of the church in Project 4 during a worship service to protest Iglesia ni Cristo’s endorsement of the candidacies of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte.
Bernardino’s post reads in part:
Oras ng Pamamahayag kagabi sa Lokal ng Project 4 Distrito ng Quezon City. Anung Ginawa niyo nag Rally kayo at nag iingay doon. Mga Bastos at wala kayong mga Modo (It was the time of worship in the Local [church] of Project 4, Quezon City last night. What did you do? You rallied and made some noise. How disrespectful and ill-mannered)!
Ayon sa mga miyembro ng INC ng nasabing lokal, itinapat pa ng mga kakampinks ang kanilang pag-iingay sa kanilang oras ng pamamahayag. Inireklamo rin nila ang paglalagay ng campaign materials ni Robredo sa bakod ng kanilang simbahan. Naniniwala ang mga nasabing miyembro na ginawa ang rally dahil sa desisyon ng INC na "iendorso" ang tambalang Marcos-Duterte (According to INC members of the that church, the kakampinks planned to make noise during their worship. They also complained about Robredo's campaign materials on the fence of their church. The members believe the rally was held because of the INC’s decision to “endorse” the Marcos-Duterte pair).
The activity was not a rally to disrupt INC’s worship service as the posts claimed. Instead, Tropang Leni & Kiko ng Project 4 organized the “Liwanag sa Dilim: A Torch Walk” on May 6 as its campaign finale in partnership with Barangay Masagana.
The torch walk started at A. Luna and F. Castillo Streets at 6 p.m. and ended at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish at Camerino and Legaspi Streets.
The organizers released an official statement on May 7 denying the accusations. A part of it reads:
The parade last night moved through JP Rizal as it is one of the main streets of the community mapped as our route. Passing through INC, a group of men came out of the compound, first as onlookers.
A black (Toyota) sedan advanced from the left and asked to pass so they can get in onto the INC compound. So one of our marshals advised, and the entire half of our group's immediate reaction was to allow the black Toyota sedan to get through. But the INC men (assumed civilian security) were confronting our community contingents with foul expletives, made baseless accusations, and threw uncanny words at us. Yet, our kakampinks did not mind and simply continued chanting; and the chants were in clusters. So it merely aroused attention.
The group passed by the local church of Iglesia ni Cristo located on J.P. Rizal Street en route.
Bernardino’s post has garnered 345 reactions, 26 comments and 1,000 shares as of writing. Social media monitoring tool Crowdtangle shows Publiko’s post has collected 1,196 interactions. (GD)