💥Coercive Bloc Voting: Against Philippine Constitution and the Bible. 💥

in hive-182074 •  last month 

The constitution that provides for the absolute freedom of religion and the separation of church and state is the same constitution that provides that a voter has the right to vote according to his conscience without the intimidation of anybody!

We underscore here coercion of subordinates (D) as well as Threats, intimidation, terrorism, use of fraudulent device or other forms of coercion (E) as part of Sec. 261. Prohibited Acts under Election Offenses of the Omnibus Election Code – Article XXII. We come first to coercion of subordinates –

Omnibus Election Code – Article XXII
Sec. 261. Prohibited Acts under Election Offenses

D. Coercion of subordinates.
Any public officer, or any officer of any public or private corporation or association, or any head, superior, or administrator of any religious organization, or any employer or land-owner who coerces or intimidates or compels, or in any manner influence, directly or indirectly, any of his subordinates or members or parishioners or employees or house helpers, tenants, overseers, farm helpers, tillers, or lease holders to aid, campaign or vote for or against any candidate or any aspirant for the nomination or selection of candidates.

Any public officer or any officer of any commercial, industrial, agricultural, economic or social enterprise or public or private corporation or association, or any head, superior or administrator of any religious organization, or any employer or landowner who dismisses or threatens to dismiss, punishes or threatens to punish be reducing his salary, wage or compensation, or by demotion, transfer, suspension, separation, excommunication, ejectment, or causing him annoyance in the performance of his job or in his membership, any subordinate member or affiliate, parishioner, employee or house helper, tenant, overseer, farm helper, tiller, or lease holder, for disobeying or not complying with any of the acts ordered by the former to aid, campaign or vote for or against any candidate, or any aspirant for the nomination or selection of candidates.

So it is clear that any head, superior, or administrator of any religious organization cannot compel his members or parishioners to aid, campaign or vote for or against any candidate or any aspirant for the nomination or selection of candidates. It is an election offense.

He cannot also demote, transfer, suspend, separate, excommunicate those “disobeying or not complying with any of the acts ordered by the former to aid, campaign or vote for or against any candidate, or any aspirant for the nomination or selection of candidates.” It is an election offense.

Omnibus Election Code – Article XXII
Sec. 261.Prohibited Acts under Election Offenses

E. Threats, intimidation, terrorism, use of fraudulent device or other forms of coercion. - Any person who, directly or indirectly, threatens, intimidates or actually causes, inflicts or produces any violence, injury, punishment, damage, loss or disadvantage upon any person or persons or that of the immediate members of his family, his honor or property, or uses any fraudulent device or scheme to compel or induce the registration or refraining from registration of any voter, or the participation in a campaign or refraining or desistance from any campaign, or the casting of any vote or omission to vote, or any promise of such registration, campaign, vote, or omission therefrom.

Compare these provisions with the Law of Manalo. Photo reference below says –

Primary Doctrines in the Church of Christ written by Eraño Manalo: “Do not destroy the unity of the church even in terms of voting or otherwise because it involves sin that merits excommunication from the church.”

These violations are very obviously being committed by the leaders of Iglesia ni Cristo-Manalo but no one seems to have the guts to put the law into force against these people. Why? Simply because their commanded votes practice serves the vested interests of politicians that most of the time fall prey to the snares of these influence peddlers!

This INCM practice as publicly known constitutes their leaders imposing on their members to vote for candidates of their choice under threat of excommunication if not followed. Hence, politicians are made to believe that if they get the nod of the leader, it is a sure win, even tagging them as "king makers."

The necessary consequence is that if the politician wins, evil and corruption win because of the exchange of favors that will eventually take place for the mutual advantage of each side. Evil favors evil. Interest favors interest!

Here's what Dep Ed has to say about this matter:

"The right to vote should be exercised wisely by picking the best candidate according to your conscience, not to the monetary value he has given during his campaigns."

Civil and Political Rights / page 25
Copyright 2008
Bureau of Alternative Learning System

But let us pause for a while. Let us do some thinking. Why do they reveal their candidate of choice only two or three days before the election? Reason: they are waiting for the result of the surveys and the winnable or whoever tops the survey would be their candidate! Quite cunning and crafty! These tricky foxes intend to impress that it is their votes that made the candidate win! The truth is they do things on the sly, but now the winner has to pay them back!

Let us look back into the past.

Long before the elections, before the pulse of the electorate is known through surveys, they had decided to backup a particular candidate but their candidate lost in the presidential race.The INCM candidate for the 1992 elections was Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr. but he lost to Fidel Ramos. Cojuangco, Jr. received only 4,116,376 (18.17%) votes as against Ramos’ 5,342,521 (23.58%).

Was the INC a kingmaker?

Iglesia ni Cristo supported Eduardo Cojuangco Jr.

An article written by Jake Astudillo (4/21/2013, Wordpress.com) registers other failed INC candidates. Here are excerpts from “Are We Now Going to Give the Country to Bloc-Voting People?” -

In 1992, the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) endorsed Danding Cojuangco to [the] Presidency. Danding landed only as 3rd in the final counting of votes. Six years later, in 1998, the INC supported Joseph Estrada who failed to continue his term. On May 10, 2007, Michael Defensor, Ralph Recto and Vicente Sotto were endorsed as Senators by the INC but they lost in the 2007 elections. On May 5, 2010, the INC endorsed Mar Roxas as Vice-President but he lost. Again, on May 5, 2010, Raffy Biazon was endorsed by the INC as Senator but he lost. In the same year, on July 22, 2010, the Iglesia ni Cristo supported Manny Villar for the Senate Presidency but he failed to win.

Walden Bello in 2010 wrote about local INC leaders selling promised bloc votes to local candidates in Bulacan. He was then running as a Representative for Akbayan. Or is it a command vote? Alex Magno of Philippine Star calls this more of “command votes.” As practiced by the INC it is command votes, he said, “evoking sad imagery of witness voters and omnipotent political lords.”

So it is witty and satanically scheming to wait for the survey first and then favor the top bet to gain the honor of being "kingmaker" even if it was not so!

A food for thought for politicians whose heads are empty: if they are really king makers, on their own capacity, can they not field their own candidates in national positions?

Very obvious that their interest in putting their trusted members or friends in public office is the idea that favors will be exchanging between them. This is especially palpable in the case of Presidential elections. Now, if the “king-maker” claim is true at any one point they could easily run for national office, and hold the entire country under the caprices of their leader!

But all they do is lobby for some people to be placed in some sensitive positions in government, lobby to have someone be acquitted, or lobby for someone to remain in place despite irregularities bared. Why? Because actually the INC is not a king maker! National dailies have in fact been registering these unfortunate INC struggles through the years.

Here’s a report from Philippine Daily Inquirer of INC lobbying. They had wanted the former Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona to be acquitted. Four emissaries were said to have met with senators. Why do they have to stoop this low?

Identified here were Dan Orosa, a high-ranking INC official; Resty Lazaro, lawyer of the INC group; Manny Cuevas and Victor Cheng. The first two had been doing the rounds of senators since Congress went on break, said the report. The last two were doing hush-hush lobbying with senators when the impeachment resumed.

And here’s a very incisive report written by Aries Rufo of RappplerDotCom (7/28/2014) titled, “INC lobbies for key gov't positions.” This is actually the concluding part. There are earlier parts. Part 1 covers “INC: From rag-tag sect to influential wheeler-dealer?” and Part 2: “How potent is the INC's vote-delivery system?”

We reproduced this concluding part (with our underscoring in red) because it names those people the INC placed in key government positions and therefore are understood by some quarters to be INC stooges (Read: people doing them favors).

INC lobbies for key gov't positions
Rappler / July 28, 2014

The INC makes it easy for their political allies to know what they want in the form of lists of appointive positions they want secured for their own members

MANILA, Philippines – It is not only elective officials that the Iglesia Ni Cristo tries to establish relationships with.

They also try to establish rapport with appointive officials – even if they’re non-INC members – especially if they are seen to be a possible source of help some day. They help lobby for the appointment or promotion of these officials to key government posts.

“It’s like a pass-it-forward thing,” De La Salle political science professor Gladstone Cuarteros said. Two such cases were former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez and impeached chief justice Renato Corona, an INC member confirmed.

The INC’s clout was somewhat diminished under the administrations of former President Corazon Aquino and Fidel V. Ramos. Aquino was installed by a Catholic Church-backed People Power uprising, while Ramos, a Protestant, favored the Christian evangelical group, Jesus is Lord Movement of Brother Eddie Villanueva.

But the INC came back with a vengeance during the short-lived presidency of Joseph Estrada.

The former president and the Manalos, leaders of the church, have enjoyed close personal relationships dating back to when Estrada was mayor of San Juan. In fact, the headquarters of the INC used to be based in San Juan.

Returning the goodwill of the INC, Estrada appointed several members of the sect to key government positions. Shortly after assuming office, he appointed INC member Serafin Cuevas as his first secretary to the Department of Justice. He has since passed away. Two years later, Estrada appointed another INC member, Artemio Toquero, also as justice secretary.

How did Estrada know what could please the INC?

Iglesia’s list
The INC makes it easy for their political allies to know what they want in the form of lists of appointive positions they want secured for their own members. “They submitted a list to Estrada. They also submitted a list to President Aquino,” a former government official who both worked for Estrada and Aquino said.

The INC’s favorite playgrounds are the judiciary, law enforcement agencies, regulatory bodies, and revenue-generating agencies like the Bureau of Customs. “You could see these are key government positions. The aim is not to make money, but more for the protection of their members and easier access to government.”

The INC also enjoyed political considerations from former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Positions in the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court (SC) were filled up at the INC’s behest.

Among the justices who were beneficiaries of INC endorsements are incumbent SC Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco and retired SC justice Ruben T. Reyes. The INC also backed them when they were appointed to the Court of Appeals initially. Arroyo also appointed Reynaldo Wycoco, a retired general and INC member, as NBI chief. Wycoco died in 2005.

When Aquino assumed office, the INC was expecting the President to return the favor. To their dismay, however, Aquino paid little attention to the INC list, although he appointed INC member and former Quezon City police chief Magtanggol Gatdula to the National Bureau of Investigation.

He further incurred the ire of the INC when Aquino began targeting Gutierrez and Corona who are considered allies by the INC.

As early as August 2010, the INC expressed its displeasure over Aquino’s failure to appoint its recommended people in certain government posts, one INC source said. This source confirmed he was among those recommended by the INC to a revenue-generating agency but was bypassed.

The displeasure reached a point where INC executive minister Eduardo Manalo wrote a letter to Aquino withdrawing the church’s list of recommendations.

The INC source said Aquino quickly sought a meeting with Manalo to mend ties, but Manalo was no longer in a reconciliatory mood. Manalo sent one of his trusted aides to meet Aquino in his residence in Times Street in Quezon City.

To please the INC, Aquino agreed to retain a Ninoy Aquino International Airport customs official – an INC member – in his post, a separate source said. But the downward spiral of Aquino’s relationship with the INC was by then irreversible.

Show of strength
In EDSA 3 in 2001, the INC firmly realized they have clout and influence even outside the polls. “That’s where they got more empowered,” Cuarteros said. Mobilizing its members to flock to EDSA Shrine in support of Estrada, who was arrested and detained for plunder charges, the INC discovered a new power source they could tap to make their presence felt.

This show of strength was even more evident in Aquino’s time. They have flexed their muscle, at least in the streets, and in other subtle ways. Their medical missions in the run-up to the INC’s centennial celebration, were a subtle show of force indicating they have the numbers and are growing.

During the impeachment of Corona, the INC staged what it called a “religious activity” but which many political observers interpreted as a show of force and support for the embattled impeached Chief Justice. (READ: Iglesia’s show of force)

It was also a show of resentment over how the Aquino government was treating INC members in government. The INC invited its local political allies and even high-ranking officials of the Catholic Church who are critical of Aquino.

One of the more prominent cases was that of Gatdula, whose career was nurtured by the INC. In 2006, he was named by then Quezon City Mayor and now Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr as Quezon City chief of police – upon the strong lobby of the INC.

Gatdula was however sacked by Aquino after reports surfaced linking him to the kidnapping of a Japanese.

The INC had wanted Aquino to give Gatdula a graceful exit by letting him resign instead of being fired. But things turned for the worse when the INC’s Eduardo Manalo interpreted as “blackmail” Malacañang’s counter-offer that the charges against Gatdula would be dropped if Cuevas backed out as Corona’s lawyer.

Beyond the streets, the INC was also working behind the scenes to rally support for Corona among senators. While Malacanang sought to downplay the INC intervention, it nevertheless prompted Aquino to seek an audience with Manalo.

Shifting loyalties
To be sure, the INC has built a formidable image that it can make or break the political career of those aspiring for public office. Its solid vote is a prized catch for anyone, and could possibly attract the undecided voters to go for the potential winners.

INC spokesman Edwil Zabala said bloc-voting is based on Biblical teachings. “One of the Bible teachings is unity. Unity in serving the Lord God. Unity in faith. Unity in rendering judgment. That's in the Bible. So when members of the Iglesia ni Cristo, for example, here in the Philippines, are asked to vote, we are being asked to render a judgment. So we have to put God, obedience to God first, before obedience to any man-made law. If God requires unity, if God requires that the body of Christ, the Church of Christ be one, we will uphold it no matter how others may react to it.”

Essentially, it seems to be a reverse of the adage, “The voice of the people is the voice of God.” But for all the political posturing, show of force and unity of the INC during elections, it suffers one major flaw: shifting loyalties. They could be rabidly supporting a candidate one time, and then move to the other side the next time.

Such was the case of Estrada, whom the INC had supported all his political life, except in the 2010 polls. Escudero was treated similarly.

On the local front, former Manila Mayor Joselito Atienza had the same experience in his proxy battle against rival Alfredo Lim. In the 3 elections for the Manila mayoralty race – one of which was contested by Lim, the INC backed Atienza. However, when Atienza pushed his son, Arnold, to contest the mayoral race after he (the older Atienza) completed his 3 terms, the INC transferred its support to Lim.

When Estrada contested the Manila mayoral race against Lim in 2013, the INC swung back to Estrada.

“They’re just being pragmatic,” observed a former Cabinet official and political observer. They will go to the one who they can benefit from.”

The retired archbishop said this is the problem when decisions by church higher-ups in political matters are personality-based and are not arrived at with full discernment. It can be subject to the whims and caprices of church leaders. –Rappler.com


The unconstitutional practice of this so-called powerful religious group is surely a great threat against the principle of democracy!

Christian Doctrine of Unity?
They say that they vote by bloc because "unity" according to them is a Christian doctrine, citing 1 Corinthians 1:10. But here is what this verse says -

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

They say that to vote is to judge, they must be one in mind and in judgment, thus, to vote forcibly by bloc! This is clearly an intended evil interpretation of the holy commandment of unity among Christians!

To be a Christian is not to be a "robot"! Christians are free under a law called in the Bible as "law of liberty"!

JAMES 1:25
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Christians are not subject to the dictates of another man!

22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.
23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

Unity taught to Christians is unity in Christ and in the gospel, not unity in serving the wiles of some men – political, material, or otherwise! A wile is a trick or stratagem intended to ensnare or deceive. It is trickery on the innocent. Brandishing the flag of spiritual unity while undermining their human free will is actually a play of words that Christ never endorsed.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

"One mind" or "united minds" for the faith of the gospel is what is meant by Christ - not unity in commanded bloc voting!

Let us repeat 1 Corinthians 1:10.

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

What is "one judgment" or the "same judgment?” There are things in the church that must be decided on or judged upon within the church. The true church judges not on things outside the church.

1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders?Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?
13 God judges those outside. " Drive out the wicked person from among you. "

So it is clear that judging or rendering judgment wherein the unity of the brethren is required is on matters within the church - not among politicians!

Do you perceive the foolish interpretation of the Manalistas? I pray "harinawa!” So be it!

Christians have their share of civil obligations as provided for by the laws of the New Testament.

I PETER 2:13
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;

For the Lord's sake and for a peaceful life, Christians are duty bound to obey human laws!

For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

If religious leaders will abide by this Christian law, they will not coerce or threaten their members of excommunication if they will not vote for candidates of their leader’s choice.

The constitution provides that a voter must vote according to his own conscience with his own free will and without intimidation. That is the essence provided for in Omnibus Election Code - Article XXII – Election Offenses. Biblically, a Christian can by his individual capacity, "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's.”

Like Robots
Bloc voters under the coercion of their leader are like robots, not thinking, not choosing, not picking, and most especially not voting according to their conscience. They are but "zombies" moved by the evil power of their leaders! How did they come to be like this? They have become fanatics by their own will.

If Christians can choose for himself, a wife or husband, why can he not in simple choice of a candidate?

The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

If it is within God's permission to choose even between life and death, salvation and perdition, why can he not for a candidate?

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

In fact, it is a freedom of God's servants since time immemorial – to choose between one and the other – because not every thing is the same.

JOB 34:4
Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what is good.

What is termed in the INCM as "pagkakaisa" or unity is not really pagkakaisa. Why? Because the term, pagkakaisa, is reached after due consultation and consideration of everyone- not as dictated by only one.

Unity comes about not through coercion but through the submission of individual human free will – a will that is given by God intended to help the person discern between good and evil. Remove that will and you culture a robot, mindless and following no matter what evil you suggest.

May God bless you.

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