Either you're out of town or traversing another highway if you weren't affected by that blood-boiling boulevard blockade caused by an unannounced picket by a certain religious group at the outset of the recent long weekend. Doesn't matter; with hate posts and news bits about the congestion conundrum being (literally) all the rage in social media, the public was able to stay in the know despite not being personally there.
But for those not satisfied with accounts from fuming netizens, the folks at Spot.ph came up with a straight-up timeline of what really transpired during that eventful—and somewhat hellish—long weekend:
Friday night (and the rest of the long weekend) felt like an endless traffic jam, but the events related to the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) protests actually started on Thursday, August 27. If you're still trying to catch up, here's a brief timeline of what happened over the weekend.
Video via INQUIRER.net
On Justice Sec. Leila De Lima's birthday, INC members converged in front of the Department of Justice (DOJ) office to question what they alleged was the extraordinary attention being given the case filed by expelled minister Isaias Samson Jr. against INC leaders, charging them with harrassment, illegal detention, threats and coercion. The members blocked the gates of DOJ, forcing De Lima to send a decoy unit and exit through the back gates.
Photo courtesy of Joel Liporada (Rappler)
Members stayed outside the DOJ overnight to hold a vigil. They were permitted by the local administration to stay in Manila until September 4.
Lets see if they will disperse INC rally! Hurray to free speech and freedom of religion!— Harry Roque (@attyharryroque) August 27, 2015
By Friday night, the crowd started to flock along EDSA and Shaw Boulevard. Reports say that the convergence started as early as 8 p.m.
Twelve midnight and it's still bumper to bumper traffic on Edsa??? 😳 are you hopeful that one day things will change? 🚓🚔🚍🚌🚒🚐🚙🚚🚕🚨— Ruffa Gutierrez (@iloveruffag) August 28, 2015
Motorists were in awe as EDSA traffi remained until an ungodly hour. The MMDA warned the public to expect heavy traffic, citing Megamall's four-day sale.
DILG Sec. Mar Roxas posted his statment in his official Facebook page, saying among others: "While all citizens have the right to be heard and to peaceful assembly, the exercise of these rights cannot impinge on the rights of others or cause inconvenience to anyone."
Mandalyong City permitted INC protesters to stay along EDSA-Shaw until Sunday, August 30. The protesters didn't leave at the prescribed time (7 p.m.), which prompted Mayor Benhur Abalos to extend their permit until Monday morning, August 31.
Early Friday, TV personality and known INC member Anthony taberna's coffee shop was rained on with bullets. Taberna later took a leave from his shows until the INC issue subsides, citing conflict of interest.
Meanwhile, an INC member spoke to Inquirer.net on condition of anonymity and admitted: "Wala kaming napala. Napagod lang kami."