Separation of church, state even with Manalo appointment Malacañang
Iglesia ni Cristo Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo was picked as President Rodrigo Duterte's special envoy because of his 'established network' among overseas Filipinos, says Malacañang
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday, February 15, defended the appointment of Iglesia ni Cristo Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo to a government post, saying this is not a violation of the principle of separation of church and state.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement in a Palace news briefing on Thursday, in response to questions about the appointment of the religious leader as President Rodrigo Duterte's Special Envoy for Overseas Filipino Concerns.
On whether there is a violation of the principle of separation of church and state, he said, "None, because there are two elements to separation of church and state: the freedom to practice your religion and certainty that government will not endorse any religion."
He also denied that Manalo's appointment was "political accommodation" owing to the political influence of the INC, a religious denomination known to vote as a bloc during elections. (READ: How potent is the INC's vote delivery system?)