Said a Cabinet member who was privy to Arroyo’s negotiations with church leaders, Today the INC still seems to be treading carefully on two paths.“We lost some of our followers then,” a church member quotes a senior minister to explain why the church is inclined to support the EDSA 3 anniversary rallies.
At an average annual growth rate of 9.8 percent in the last 12 years, INC members could reach some 2.8 million today.
The Marcoses paid periodic visits to the INC headquarters in Diliman, Quezon City and were regular well-wishers at Erdie’s birthday celebrations.
“The bottom line,” says a presidential adviser, “is we must get the Iglesia support in the 2004 elections.” Presidential Adviser on Housing Affairs Michael Defensor, three-term congressman in a Quezon City district that covers the INC headquarters and bailiwick areas, is a close buddy of church spokesman Lowell Menorca.
Transportation and Communication Secretary Pantaleon Alvarez is a friend of PIATCO spokesman Moises Tolentino Jr., an INC deacon.
“We did not want to complicate one error (voting for Aquino) with another, which is to lie about our vote,” an Iglesia member of over 20 years recalled.
The rival contractor was Robert Aventajado, who had Marcos chief of staff Fabian Ver as broker.
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More conservative estimates put the INC membership at 2 million, and the most generous, at 8 million.
Perez hurdled his last two, testy days before the Commission on Appointments in January, after the senators stopped their objections to his nomination as justice secretary.
Almost unaided the sisters erect a three storey convent building and open it in 1861.