Behind the Iglesia Ni Cristo’s King Maker Role: A Chain of Crimes and Mythical Numbers
Manila, Philippines – Unlike Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton’s long, heated rivalry in the 2008 US presidential campaign, there are politicians in other countries who choose to take the short cut to political power by wooing the kingmaker. Instead of patiently reaching out to the electorate, these politicians seek the person or group of people who has the capacity to influence the conclusion of a political run, a method that assures the former’s promise of the future in exchange for the latter’s favor.
On a different perspective, however, a kingmaker isn’t a kingmaker for nothing. Take for example Kakuei Tanaka, the most prominent political kingmaker in Japan. He served as Japan’s Prime Minister during 1972-74. But even after his term, he remained dominant and influential. Even though he got involved in political scandals, he was able to choke the Prime Minister at will without holding a position in the cabinet.
Monetary, arms, and politics are common players in a kingmaker scenario. More often than not, these factors entail negative effects to the government. In the Philippines, however, there is another player: religion. And the effect of this kingmaker, as far as records are concerned, is unexpectedly catastrophic. It is a chain of crimes and power – behind mythical numbers yet.
Detailed here by prominent newspapers, the Supreme Court and a television station are random reports of the criminal and related activities of one such religious group, the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) or Church of Christ, considered to be the kingmaker in the Philippine political arena. It spans contemporary times but leads back to 1954 where the founder, Felix Manalo, is featured as a rapist. Finally, it ends with Eraño Manalo’s own words about the nature of their mythical membership. Eraño, now in his early 80s, is the son of Felix Manalo…