Ang Dating Daan boycotts giant TV network GMA, Bro. Eli decries harassment

For bias and for lack of equityManila, Philippines (6/23/09) – The congregation of the Members Church of God, International (MCGI), more popularly known as Ang Dating Daan (ADD) have declared a formal boycott on GMA, a giant television network in the country for its biased and uncalled-for airing of a case against its Presiding Minister filed by one he had excommunicated in 2005.

GMA7, through Case Unclosed anchored by Arnold Clavio, on the night of June 18, 2009, tackled the double rape case filed against Bro. Eliseo Soriano by Daniel Veridiano alias Puto. The preacher had excommunicated the complainant from MCGI way back in 2005 for raping some 14 of his subordinates, and misappropriating church funds for personal use. Failing to be forgiven and received back into the folds of MCGI, Veridiano joined the Iglesia ni Cristo, where Soriano is its most severe critic.

Before some 70,000 members gathered in a week-end thanksgiving in Apalit, Pampanga, and several thousands more in 6 continents, the preacher explained on June 23, 2009 over satellite that he cannot issue any statement to a current case, otherwise risk himself to the sub judice rule. Sub judice, in legal parlance means “under judicial deliberation” or “awaiting judicial determination,” or in simple terms, “not yet decided.”

“There was no sense of justice and equity in the Case Unclosed of Arnold Clavio over GMA7. In the first place, the invented rape case against me is still in the courts,” the subject of Arnold Clavio’s program said.

In last Thursday’s episode of Case Unclosed, Veridiano played resource person, and without batting an eyelash, repeated what he had been saying ever since: that on two occasions in 2000 and 2001, the preacher raped him. As recorded in the court case, these incidents had been denied by Bro. Soriano and with evidences presented in the court, the case was dismissed on January 26, 2006 as penned by Alexandro Lopez, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor of Region III, San Fernando, Pampanga and as approved by Jesus Y. Manarang, the Provincial Prosecutor.

But months later, however, Raul Gonzalez, Secretary of Justice, on March 21, 2006, directed Regional State Prosecutor Jesus Simbulan to elevate the records of the rape case to his office, the Department of Justice. The Ang Dating Daan considers this as highly irregular and for a Secretary of Justice to be doing this, DOJ appears to have become personal and justice owned and franchised by some selected citizens.

“There was an email to me why we do not answer the broadcast of GMA. There is a principle of sub judice. Under our laws, I cannot answer because I will be cited for contempt of court. That case has just started.  It should not be part of the program, Case Unclosed,” Soriano said. “ If a case is already in the court, you cannot speak on the merits of it. That would be under the principle of sub judice. However, not talking about it does not mean that we are not responding at all,” he added.

For a self-confessed serial rapist, Veridiano was given credibility by Arnold Clavio. Veridiano also was the star of the moment  when the preacher’s bio was placed in the wanted list of the International Criminal Police Organization or Interpol as requested allegedly by a Macabebe, Pampanga court for “sex crimes” –  the word “crimes” to make it to Interpol level.

The international activities, however, of Soriano, is preaching the gospel now centered in the West.

Veridiano has become the accuser, and influential bodies like the courts of Pampanga, the DOJ and recently, the GMA TV have become vehicles used against Soriano. To Soriano’s group, however, the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) is behind all these moves in a desperate attempt to destroy the credibility of the preacher.  His challenge to Eraño Manalo to an open debate on TV as published in Manila Times dated March 27, 2005 to “once and for all settle our doctrinal differences” remains un-responded to until today. What remains active from the Manalo camp are filing of cases against him, using excommunicated members of Ang Dating Daan.

The INC practices bloc voting (“command votes”) where every member votes for their leader’s choice, a practice that has hooked Philippine politics ever since. No politician would dare displease INC leadership for want of power. Soriano, however, as fearless preacher, does not consider INC beliefs as godly and therefore exposes whatever he knows in every instance that he is asked. He has a program, “Ask Soriano,” where everyone can ask questions on matters of salvation and INC beliefs are most often touched.

Bro. Soriano said that what Arnold Clavio tackled in his program is not considered tenable.  What Clavio could have discussed are vintage cases like the bribery issue concerning former Justice Secretary Hernani Perez and the anomaly in the Expo Filipino, he said.

Arnold Clavio used to co-anchor Unang Hirit of GMA7 with Daniel Razon, the Vice Presiding Minister of MCGI.  Razon, who is now playing it great in UNTV as Executive, was asked by GMA some years back to choose between his religion and his job.  Asked not to be mentioning “Iglesia ni Cristo,” Razon uttered: “I would rather lose my job than lose my God!” Razon was then yanked out of GMA7.

Soriano notes that although the Iglesia ni Cristo tries hard to press charges on him, “there is no case filed by the Church of Manalo in which I was convicted,” he said. “Our enemies accuse us of the evil deeds they are doing, and wanting to cover up the evil works of their group, they impute their crimes on us,” he told the congregation.

When his lawyers updated him on court matters, Soriano said there is hardly justice in the country.  “This is a clear harassment and religious persecution. I can fully defend myself if the International court of Justice will allow me,” Soriano said.

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Ang Dating Daan ready to boycott GMA, leads signature campaign for Justice Puno

Daniel Veridiano alias Puto. Two faces. Before and after splurging on Church money.

Manila, Philippines (6/18/09) – Mass messages had been going around the membership of the Ang Dating Daan (ADD), officially called Members Church of God International (MCGI) calling for the boycott of GMA, one of the greater TV stations in the country.

The text suggested boycotting GMA and all its programs, with the information that the Presiding Minister, Bro. Eliseo Soriano is a topic in Case Unclosed, and the resource person is Daniel Veridiano, alias Puto, a former member of MCGI.

Case Unclosed is a program aired every Thursday evenings by GMA Network and is currently hosted by Arnold Clavio.

Before some 70,000 members gathered on a recent Saturday thanksgiving at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, north of Manila, and another set of thousands of members scattered throughout the globe in six continents, Bro. Eli Soriano told the congregation to prepare themselves for what may happen when GMA releases another report that is not totally representative of truth.

Records show that Daniel Veridiano was excommunicated in August 2005 by Preacher Soriano upon the recommendation of an investigating panel for various offenses unacceptable to the doctrines of the Church. In his bid to be forgiven, Veridiano wrote a confession letter admitting having raped only nine of his subordinates, but 14 were complaining. When asked to explain the difference, he said he could not remember anymore.

Because of the gravity of his offenses, including widespread misappropriation of funds of the Church, Veridiano failed to be acceptable to the ADD.  He then joined the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), an arch enemy of Bro. Eli Soriano. Now in the grace of the Iglesia ni Cristo, he filed two cases of rape against his benefactor some four to five years after these offenses were allegedly committed.

The case was dismissed by the Regional Court of San Fernando, Pampanga but was re-filed by Raul Gonzalez, who until this week was Secretary of Justice. Worse, Bro. Soriano was placed on the watchlist of the International Criminal Police Organization or Interpol for “sex crimes,” an offense he was never accused of in any court.

Soriano accused the Iglesia ni Cristo as being behind all these harassments in a desperate bid to blemish his reputation. The INC practices bloc voting wherein every member must vote for the choice of their leader. This explains why politicians would never try to displease the INC leadership. During election time, all roads lead to their doors and every candidate endorsed would feel elated.

It is public knowledge that whenever the Evangelist Soriano is asked questions concerning Christ in his biblical expositions, the discussion always leads to the Iglesia ni Cristo that believes that Christ is a man, always a man, and will remain a man. This would lead to classifying the INC as a false religion, a matter that gets the goat of every INC minister. Soriano is the most vocal critic of the Iglesia ni Cristo.

What had always been a proud, powerful religion that could make and unmake kings, only Soriano is able to tell to its face, “Face the truth; you are fake; you are not what you profess to be!” The preacher has a program, “Ask Soriano” that makes him the most queried man on earth. Referred to as the only sensible preacher in our time, Soriano is considered the nemesis of all false preachers.

In revealing this news, Soriano instructed his men to watch closely the members – especially the former members of the Iglesia ni Cristo – never to take revenge on their hands. “Leave it to God,” he would say. “Just continue doing good.”

With Clavio’s impending presentation of Case Unclosed without any input from the ADD Presiding Minister himself, or the physical presence of his attorneys, the congregation has already guessed it will just be another biased Iglesia ni Cristo – inspired item. Bro. Soriano went on exile in 2005 when he could no longer seek justice in the country.

Incidentally, the Ang Dating Daan would opt for an intelligent and morally upright man to lead the Philippines. Claiming they are tired of crooks and untrustworthy people easily twisted by outside influence, the best choice according to Bro. Eli is Reynato S. Puno, the incumbent Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Puno is eligible to run for elections should he retire earlier. However, Puno denied speculations that he will retire from the position of Chief Justice before May 17, 2010. Some quarters, however, claim that Puno never said yes, neither no.

Records show that as early as 2008, people were already asking Chief Justice Puno if he would consider running for president. Evidently, the question came up after the CJ’s deciding the corruption case against the Court of Appeals justices.  In an interview with media men, for example,  Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn banked for CJ Puno as someone credible enough with track record in the judiciary to be president.

The Chief Justice is said to accommodate invitations from Christian groups not just because of his commitment to uphold justice but to “share the word about salvation.”

The ADD signature campaign for CJ Puno for president is very much active in Mindanao. According to Bro. Eli, justice in the Philippines is so much wanting that every judge who wants to get promoted would readily prosecute him.

NOTE: This was written hours just before the Case Unclosed was shown.

Dr. Jose Rizal’s language very much alive in Bro. Eli Soriano

Analyzing text at a Language Translation ClinicOn Friday, June 19, 2009, the Filipinos would again be marking Dr. Jose Rizal’s 148th birthday. Jose Protacio Rizal Mercado, born June 19, 1861 at Calamba, Laguna, is recognized a national hero. At the young age of 35, the man considered as the greatest Filipino patriot of all time, accused of treason by the Spanish colonial government, was shot by a firing squad.

Historical records bear no name as to who killed Jose Rizal but his very own countrymen were used to shoot him dead. Nothing was also identified as the exact reason for his killing. In fact, Rizalista websites suggest that it was his turning to truth that did him in.

In 1889, Rizal wrote a Letter to the Young Women of Malolos, praising them for their courage. At that time, the country was under the rule of Spain, which rule ended in1898.

Filipininana.net describes the background:

Written in Tagalog, Jose Rizal wrote this letter – upon the request of Marcelo H. del Pilar – on 17 February 1889 in London while annotating Morga’s book. The letter praises the young women of Malolos for their perseverance to pursue the establishment of a “night school” where they can study Spanish. Based on accounts, on 12 December 1888, 20 young women from Malolos petitioned Governor-General Weyler for the establishment of a “night school” to study Spanish under Teodoro Sandiko, a professor of Latin. However, Fr. Felipe Garcia, the Spanish parish priest, objected to the petition, prompting the governor-general to dismiss the petition. Unperturbed, the young women continued with their clamor (for the establishment of the school) and eventually succeeded. Señora Guadalupe Reyes became the teacher of the women. The school remained open for three months. (Written by Teresa Lovely C. Rebatis ; Edited by Frederick N. Castillo).

THERE IS NO MORE RIZAL in the country, but his language is very much alive. Some sectors believe that listening to Bro. Eliseo Soriano of Ang Dating Daan, will make one notice a striking resemblance. Rizal is dead; Soriano is alive; but two of them speak the same language, same tone, same fervor in spirit. Two of them speak without fear; two of them wanted for their dauntless articulations.

Rizal was considered by the Spaniards as one of the best writers around. Soriano is hated for his most articulate tongue that spared no one that deceived anyone. Rizal was an exile; Soriano now is. Both men left their country to have an easier time to breathe and do their own work.

Preacher Soriano is alive but he is being hunted – by those who cannot stand his tongue. Should people one day find him killed by his own countrymen, it is not far-fetched. The ministers of the Iglesia ni Cristo in the Ang Tamang Daan of Net 25 had already been boldly suggesting his death by way of saying that a coffin, red carpet, and candles are ready, as well as the Amurao Funeral Home for Bro. Soriano. The Ang Dating Daan sector believe that it will happen, however, only if God allows it.

Bro. Soriano is the Presiding Minister of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) with church locales in six continents. The Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) is his highly successful radio-tv program that has consistently garnered web awards in the last six years. MCGI is more popularly known to the public as Ang Dating Daan.

Here are the excerpts from Rizal’s Letter that bears the usual discourses of Bro. Eli Soriano. The resemblance was much noted in a Translation Clinic given recently to some 40 Ang Dating Daan participants for language translation exercises. Without an author’s name, the excerpts were thought to come from Bro. Soriano’s bible exposition discourses.

THE EXCERPTS

Now that you have responded to our first appeal for the welfare of our people; now that you have set an example for those who, like you, long to have their eyes opened and be delivered from servitude, our hopes are revived and with you as our allies we even dare to face adversity, confident of victory.

No longer do Filipino women have to stand with their heads bowed or appear on bended knees. Hope for the future now quickened their heart-beats. No longer is there any mother who will contribute to the blindness of her daughter and raise her in self-contempt and utter moral debasement. Submission to an unjust order or ready complaisance is no longer the quintessence of wisdom. Nor a polite smile now the only weapon against insult or a humble tear the ineffable panacea for all tribulations.

You already know that God’s will is different and distinct from the will of a priest; that religiousness does not consist in bending one’s knees for a long time, much less in mumbling kilometrical prayers, counting the heads of big rosaries, and wearing grimy scapularies. It consists rather in spotless conduct, in the purity of one’s intention and in the uprightness of one’s judgment or criterion. You know that prudence does not mean blind obedience to whatever whims may strike the fancy of godlings. It means doing what is reasonable and just, because blind obedience is itself the cause of such whims, and hence those who provoke them are the real sinners.

Officials or friars can no longer assert that they alone are responsible for their unjust orders, because God has endowed each person with reason and a will of his or her own, and that reason enables its possessor to distinguish what is just from what is unjust. All of us were born free, unshackled, and nobody has the right to subjugate the will and the spirit of another. And why should one submit one’s thoughts, free and noble, to another?

It is cowardice and a mistake to believe that saintliness is blind obedience and that prudence and the ability to think are signs of presumption. Ignorance has ever been ignorance; it has never been prudence and honor. God, the primal source of all wisdom, does not demand that man, created in his own image, allow himself to be deceived or hoodwinked. He wants us to use and let shine the light of reason with which he has so mercifully endowed us. He is like the father who handed a torch to each of his sons to light their way in the darkness, bidding them to keep its flame ever bright and not to trust to the light of the others, but to help and advise one another to find the right path. Fools they would be if they fell headlong for following the light of another; and the father would be right in reproaching them, thus: “Did I not give a torch to each of you?” But he would have no reason to hide them if they fell due to the light of their respective torches because then the light might have been dim and the road extremely bad.

Nobody, but nobody, talks like this anymore in the country except Bro. Eli Soriano. When it comes to truth, he cannot stop talking – not even add nor diminish, he says.