Philippine religious sect holds massive rally

AP News
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Posted: Feb 28, 2012 7:28 AM
Philippine religious sect holds massive rally

Hundreds of thousands of members of the Philippine Christian sect Iglesia ni Cristo, or Church of Christ, have gathered in a massive rally in Manila that organizers say was "purely religious" and not political.

Iglesia members have rallied in support of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, who is facing a Senate impeachment trial. Corona's chief lawyer is prominent sect member and former Supreme Court Judge Serafin Cuevas.

Corona is a target of President Benigno Aquino III's anti-corruption campaign. He is also accused of giving favors to former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who is detained on electoral fraud charges.

Iglesia spokesman Bienvenido Santiago says politicians who joined Tuesday's rally were not allowed to make speeches.

Police estimated the crowd at 600,000.