What will you give me if I can hand him over to you?

*Revisiting the “Interpol Wanted” caper, the group responsible for it and their futile attempts to force the courts to declare Bro. Eli Soriano as “fugitive from justice.”
*Challenging lawmakers to do something about the command bloc voting practice of the Iglesia ni Cristo that is practically making government servile to their whims.

By Jane Abao

Manila, Philippines (February 28, 2019) – THE JUDAS OFFER would flourish in a materialistic, godless world where there is loathing for anyone who stands in the way of one’s slide and carousel. In the same godless world are the venal, who, by all indications say, “Here I am; corrupt me!”

What will you give me… is not even a question but an offer. The person is willing to do it for a prize. And it is made possible because we have surrendered or are surrendering to people whom we have given political clout to.

Bro. Eli Soriano

People hating Bro. Eli Soriano’s big mouth is a case in point. Some people loathe him for what he says – because he gives them a run for their money. Most of all, some people want him dead and would hound him to the ends of this earth to stop him from talking.

But Preacher Soriano is not that totally hated; nor his words totally loathed. He has helped several souls come to know the true God and follow His ways, as such is Bro. Eli’s calling.

I am looking for lost sheep 

Bro. Eli doesn’t preach about false prophets as a topic per se, if that is what people hate; they are only side issues. The focus on them come only at certain points that there is any association with the topic at hand. The preacher doesn’t give long lectures to dumb the mind, in fact. He makes the audience highly engaged with his discourses similarly found in unique academies. He is teaching from the Bible – yet encouraging critical thinking. While he has to be sensitive to the probable absence or presence of his target audience (lost sheep), he, all the more, is very sensitive to his material – always. And this is where the “problem” begins because he has to teach the whole truth – not just a part – no matter how it hurts.

If the plan is intact, wherever you take it, the house will be built. Strictly speaking, even a jot or a title should not be diminished.

To show how important this principle is to Bro. Eli, before there any texto (topic) is given in the Members Church of God International (MCGI) , the following verse is displayed on the screen is several languages. [The screen is the blackboard for his worldwide preaching as viewed from Apalit, Pampanga to his audience in 6 continents]:

 “Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word:” (Jeremiah 26:2)

Following this order, random grabs from Bro. Eli’s lectures show a deep sensitivity for the Bible. Already, beginning with the first verse of the Bible, Bro. Eli has a comment, noticing the supposed logic of the statement in relation to the verse coming after it. He makes sure the translations are proper before proceeding.

GENESIS 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

[Checking against the Bible Concordance] Gen 1:1  In the beginningH7225 GodH430 createdH1254 (H853) the heavenH8064 and the earth.H776 

Gen 1:2  And the earthH776 wasH1961 without form,H8414 and void;H922 and darknessH2822 was uponH5921 the faceH6440 of the deep.H8415 And the SpiritH7307 of GodH430 movedH7363 uponH5921 the faceH6440 of the waters.H4325

If this were faithfully translated, he says, it would show the status of the earth when it was created. It should read, “When God began to create heaven and earth, earth was without form and void.” Moses was showing the status of the earth when it was created. It was without form and void, he says.

But in the case of Matthew 24:37, “days” should be actually be “day” only.

MATTHEW 24:37 (KJV) But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

This is not in the proper context, he says. Not days. Almost all translators put “days,” even in the Greek. You can only base on the original context of the Bible. It is not right to think that it is “days,” but only one day. Particular day. Particular hour and second of that particular day, he says.

PROVERBS 28:8 (KJV) He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.

It is not logical that he takes to pity the poor, so he increases his substance by usury and unjust gain. Illogical, he says.

[Checking against the Bible Concordance] Pro 28:8  He that by usuryH5392 and unjust gainH8636 increasethH7235 his substance,H1952 he shall gatherH6908 it for him that will pityH2603 the poor.H1800

There are words added in the translation, he says. There was no “he that by” in the original Hebrew. The subject is the action, hence, “Usury and unjust gain increaseth…” Consider this other verse.

DEUTERONOMY 15:11 (KJV) For the poor shall never cease out of the land:

The poor shall never cease. There will always be the poor.

An explanation for mistranslations, Bro. Eli says, is that readers of the Bible have their minds veiled. Translators read the Bible also, like the translators of the Douay-Rheims version which was derived from the Latin Vulgate. There are translators, and there are readers whose minds are veiled. The veil will only be taken away through Christ, he added.

Working against Soriano for promotion

Being a serious Bible student and teacher, exposing those with erroneous doctrines is part and parcel of Bro. Eli’s work, hence the hatred and vitriol from people who do not want to rectify their ways are expected. The system they don’t want to leave behind has monetarily supported them all these years, and they prefer status quo. They do not want anybody interfering. But ”interference” to one maybe “work” to another. Wherever there is lost sheep, expect a Soriano to speak.

And how “Eliseo F. Soriano” had ended up in the Interpol’s wanted list for “sex crimes” is a puzzle to most. Those in the know, however, are not surprised at how far the enemies of Eliseo F. Soriano, simply “Bro. Eli” to them, would go to humiliate him. They are wont to learning his identity get stolen; his very name used to counter information about himself; his biopage [at Wikipedia] mangled to include lies. The truth is, he has no enemies but false preachers he is trying hard to expose.

But there were really works done at the background to explain how these things happen: for placement in lucrative positions, for promotion, for retaliation in a supposed “libel.” And the system is very much accommodating.

As often pointed out, the INC’s bloc voting practice has earned for them preferential treatment in the government so that they can recommend their own men to sensitive positions even as high as the Supreme Court. When this happens, there is what Rivera (2015) calls “the willingness to prostitute convictions and the rule of law” – but this is not limited to politicians only.

Justice Presbitero J. Velasco Jr. is someone backed by the Iglesia ni Cristo as mentioned by Marites Dañgilan Vitug in “Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court.” This justice was the one who wrote the decision sustaining the suspension of Ang Dating Daan, the program of Bro. Eli, upon the complaint of the Iglesia ni Cristo. On pages 93-94 of Vitug’s book –

It did help immensely that Velasco was endorsed by Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, a relative of his wife, and the Iglesia ni Cristo. Velasco listed Cardinal Vidal as one of his references when he applied for the Supreme Court. Asked about the INC nomination, Velasco said, “Some of my friends and classmates may have approached the Iglesia ni Cristo.”

Years later, Velasco wrote a decision in favor of the INC when he upheld the three month suspension of the TV program, Ang Dating Daan, whose host used offensive language against a minister of the INC who also anchors a TV program, Ang Tamang Daan. These religious rivals had been at each other’s throats for years.

The majority sided with Velasco. Four justices dissented, calling the decision a “prior restraint” and therefore, a blow to freedom of speech.

The perception was that Velasco was paying his dues to INC. “It was an en banc decision,” [Velasco] said, dismissing the perceived bias.

The question is: Why didn’t Justice Velasco inhibit himself from the case, considering his links with the Iglesia ni Cristo? He even wrote the decision! (Astudillo, 2013)

When the Iglesia ni Cristo launched “Ang Tamang Daan” way back in 2001, Bro. Eli knew its principal function was to destroy the person of the preacher through that TV program. But the Interpol-wanted caper was different because of the scope and the sufferings that Bro. Eli had to undergo. Worse, it was a patent display of church and state in virtual collusion. In the words of Randy David (2015), “Nothing is more explosive than the mixture of religion and politics.”

Why was this made possible? The INC were able to place their men in strategic positions: in the police force, in the justice system, and in many similar others. And who can tell secrets best but the people who are/were also one of them.

Ebanghelista (2017), for one, mentions that there was/is an Eli Soriano Crusade. “Antonio Ramirez Ebangelista,” according to TJ Burgonio (2015) is the pseudonym of a blogger who not only exposed what he called irregularities in the sect, but also dished out timely updates on expelled INC ministers who were allegedly illegally detained or kidnapped.

The filing of libel cases against Bro. Eli, Ebanghelista (2017) says was a contribution from INC ministers. There was a covert operation (black-ops) on Bro. Eli and his supporters at the ADD Convention Center in Pampanga using none other than the INC Police Officers of the Quezon City Police Department… All those who belonged to this Black-ops (team of Atty. Barcellano) were under an oath of silence.  Result: The cases were never solved; Atty. Vimar Barcellano was promoted – immediately and strategically.

Some time ago during the Eli Soriano crusade, the head of the INC Legal Department was the Minister/lawyer, Restituto Lazaro and the one who handles the actual legal operations was the Ministerial Student/lawyer, Atty. Vimar Barcellano. These people were not forthcoming to the Administration of Bro. Eraño G. Manalo then. They reported lies to him and covered up most of their heinous crimes.  [Underscoring by Ebanghelista (2017)].

As a result, Atty. Resty Lazaro committed so many legal blunders for the church, he was eventually relieved of his position. As for Atty. Barcellano, after his wife discovered his extra-marital affairs, he was kicked out from the Ministry and from the INC Legal Department but because of his contributions to the Eli Soriano filing of libel cases, he was not expelled from the Church. Instead, he was “advised” to join the police force, after which he became Captain in the notorious INC bailiwick, the Quezon City Police District, as the head of its Legal Department…

All those who belonged to Atty. Barcellano’s Black-Ops Team were under an oath of silence, that is why the cases were never ever solved. And this paved the way to Atty. Vimar Barcellano’s immediate and continuous promotion in his position up to the highly strategic post he now holds as CHIEF PROSECUTOR of Dasmariñas, Cavite. It’s much clearer now, why most of the highly questionable activities of the Church Administration of Eduardo V. Manalo is done in Cavite, Philippines because Chief Prosecutor Vimar Barcellano is there to make everything “appear to be a legit procedure.” (Ebanghelista, 2017)

A black operation (or black ops) is a covert operation by a government, a government agency, or a military organization. This can include activities by private companies or groups. Key features of a black operation are that it is secret and it is not attributable to the organization carrying it out. (Wikipedia)

What went before 

On March 27, 2005, Bro. Eli posted on The Manila Times a challenge to debate with Eraño Manalo of the Iglesia ni Cristo “to once and for all settle our doctrinal differences.” He was refused and instead was pushed to ask Pope John Paul II at Vatican, who was dying that time, for a debate and to speak in Latin. That would be the time his request would be accepted. The implication was that the Iglesia ni Cristo was superior to the Roman Catholic Church.

By December 2005, Bro. Eli Soriano was forced to leave the Philippines, with so many cases filed in court.  While he was out of the country, a rape case against him was filed by no other than one he had excommunicated and went to the Iglesia ni Cristo. This case was dismissed In January 2006 for lack of evidence. Curiously, it was re-filed by the Secretary of Justice whose office fell under the Office of the President.

In 2007, INC members who had filed Criminal Case 5957 (For Libel) at the Regional Trial Court, Fourth Judicial Region, Branch 76 of San Mateo Rizal, sought a motion to declare Bro. Eli a fugitive from justice. Judge Josephine Zarate Fernandez on August 31, 2007 denied the motion. Soriano’s counsel had underscored that his client is under intense persecution by the INC, explaining his failure to return to the country. DENIED.

The following year (August 2008), the “Interpol wanted” news came out – at least from the news report of Alfred Dalizon of Journal Online. The offense being true or not, it said Eliseo Soriano was being wanted by the Interpol for “sex crimes.”  The Interpol website that displayed the photo and information of Bro. Eli dated January 28, 2009 said, “If you have any information, contact your national or local police, General Secretariat of Interpol.”

At the same time, GMA7 showed an interview with the supposed complainant with Arnold Clavio as the anchorman. That was the only time the MCGI congregation came to know Bro. Eli’s location: Brazil in Latin America. All the time, information about his location was kept from the organization.

The MCGI went into full force. To introduce to the Interpol the supposed victim, “Portrait of the ‘raped man’ for whom the Interpol would mobilize” was written on “Censored News Uncensored,” WordPress, a parody of the interview of Arnold Clavio, “Case Closed Unclosed.” It described the accuser and narrated the reasons why Daniel S. Veridiano was excommunicated by Bro. Eli in the first place.

All the while, the Internet helped to show: (1) That the rape case was dismissed, (2) The case was re-filed under questionable circumstances, (3) That there is an age-old and on-going battle between the INC and MCGI, (4) That powerful people, not involved, are themselves being used in persecuting Bro. Eli, and (5) That there is the INC to be pleased by these people.

In 2009, since nothing was happening with the Interpol notice (No Bro. Eli yet in their jails) but just a notice, INC complainants in Criminal Case 06-248365 (For Libel) at the Regional Trial Court, National Capital Region, Branch 8, Manila, also sought a motion to declare accused Eliseo Soriano a fugitive from justice. Just as with the first motion in 2007, this second motion seeking to declare Bro. Eli as fugitive from justice was turned down by the court. Penned by Presiding Judge Felixberto T. Olalia, Jr. on December 15, 2009, in the absence of evidences to support accusations, the court said the accused cannot be declared a “fugitive from justice.” DENIED

In fact, there was a third one: Criminal Case 06-248365 (For Libel) failed to get its motion to declare the preacher as fugitive from justice, and was archived. ARCHIVED.

By December 2009, suddenly Bro. Eli began broadcasting from a garage, turned into a makeshift studio, located in Florianópolis, Brazil. Here was the “wanted” man showing himself to the world. Yet he was still supposed to be “wanted.”

Fast forward to August 2011, GMA News, a sister station of GMA7, replayed the interview made on August 2008 made with the supposed rape complainant despite protestations from MCGI members. This resulted in more than 36,000 MCGI members responding with a boycott of the station and opened an online page purposely to communicate with GMA.

The following year [March] 2012, the Interpol dropped Bro. Eli’s name – after some three years. It said their investigations depended on up-to-date global data.

In sum, the Iglesia ni Cristo were not successful in having Bro. Eli be declared a fugitive from justice. They were not able to have him incarcerated. The cases they filed began to be dismissed one after the other. The Interpol Wanted list deleted Bro. Eli’s name. Meanwhile, on the Internet, he is being seen preaching worldwide from Brazil.

Was the Interpol really looking for Bro. Eli?

An Alfred P. Dalizon wrote in August 2008 a story on World News of Journal Online, saying Bro. Eli was served an international Red Notice from the Interpol for the charge of rape. The request was supposedly made by the Regional Trial Court of Macabebe, Pampanga. This was the very court that tried the rape case that was first dismissed, but was re-filed.

Dalizon was clearly partial to the INC that he wrote Bro. Eli was a former INC, just as he said, Daniel Veridiano, the complainant, was an INC member who went to Bro. Eli’s group, then returned to the INC. These are patent lies.

As records reveal, the investigating prosecutor found no probable cause to prosecute Soriano as he believed that Veridiano’s accusations were all lies and fabricated. It highly considered the rift going on between the INC and the ADD. It was penned by Alexandro Lopez, Asst. Provincial Prosecutor, and approved by Jesus Manarang, the Provincial prosecutor, Province of Pampanga, San Fernando City, on January 26, 2006.

But the case was re-filed. How was this done? Manarang, with some filial links to Raul Gonzalez, the Secretary of Justice under the Office of the President, was replaced by Jaime Umpa from Mindanao that took care of the re-filing of the case. After that, Manarang was returned to his place and Umpa was returned to Mindanao.

Ebanghilista (2015) on his website shows photos of the concerned documents. The document shots duly captioned, are as follows:

(1) Rape case filed against Bro. Eli was dismissed by Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Alexandro Lopez and submitted by Jesus Y. Manarang on January 26, 2006.

(2) March 21, 2006. DOJ Secretary Raul Gonzalez orders the records of the rape case to be elevated to his office. The President at that time was Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, widely supported by the INC for their bloc voting practice.

(3) April 10, 2006, Jesus Manarang, Provincial Prosecutor, complies with the order of DOJ Sec Raul Gonzalez to elevate the case.

(4) April 25, 2006, DOJ Sec Raul Gonzalez assigns Jaime L. Umpa to Pampanga especially to resolve the case, “Daniel Veridiano vs. Eliseo Soriano.” Department Order 255, April 25, 2006 was signed by Raul Gonzalez.

Ebanghelista’s (2015) assessment was that –

[This is] a case of special treatment, of obvious manipulation and interference! The “common sense” that can explain this is that the one who filed the case is an Iglesia ni Cristo member and the accused happens to be a Bro. Eli Soriano, one who has no influence [with] the government.

Notes: In (2), directed to elevate the records to the Office of the Department of Justice was Regional State Prosecutor Jesus Simbulan of Region III.

In (3), there’s a notation that says, ‘Together with the prepared resolution of Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Alexandro Lopez.’

ELEVATING THE CASE

Question: What happened now to the earlier resolution? Was Lopez forced to change his first resolution of ‘DISMISSED’?

Because the clear intention is to once and for all apprehend Bro. Eli wherever he was in any part of the world, the Interpol was used. So that the Interpol would have something to hold on to, a court case for mere libel (2007) sought a motion to declare him “fugitive from justice.” Hence, the following year (April 2008), the Interpol wanted list appeared, but that was all. Only a notice. In 2009, another court case, again for mere libel, sought a motion to have Bro. Eli be declared as fugitive from justice. Still no handcuffing. And yet a third attempt was made, despite the court junking the two earlier motions, but was archived. How persistent these efforts were, the court cases can tell.

The Iglesia ni Cristo were having a feast from all of these, as shown by their spams on social media sites. But their problem was that because Bro. Eli is being seen on the Internet preaching world-wide, how could he be someone hiding with activities that required the intervention of the Interpol?

Questions on Interpol Notice

The Interpol does not also involve itself in any political, military, religious, or racial crimes. This is written in its constitution.

Moreover, the work of Interpol focuses primarily on public safety, terrorism, organized crime, war crimes, illicit drug production, drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering, child pornography, white-collar crime, computer crime, intellectual property crime and corruption.

For which of these crimes was Soriano guilty of to merit an Interpol notice? If Bro. Eli Soriano cannot even be declared a “fugitive from justice” by the courts, how could the Interpol be looking for him? Two times denied; the third time, archived. For whatever motive his name was placed there, only the culprit knows.

The Interpol emphatically states in their database that a Red Notice is not an international arrest warrant in contrast to Dalizon’s report of April 2008 about Bro. Eli. It also gives a warning in bold letters that the person should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

But did someone make a killing for the temporary posting? The Internet was so full about this Interpol thing. The humiliation was too much. Those who had filed cases, and those that moved the powers that be to hound Bro. Eli, are those who had made a feast of all these – and it took 3 painful years, and more.

What were they able to disable from Bro. Eli?

Why in the world would Dalizon pretend to direct the Interpol to places where Bro. Eli goes as a tip? Was the preacher hiding? How could Interpol not know about the activities of Bro. Eli when he is on the Internet teaching the world day in and day out? For a while, the enemy seemed victorious. Bro. Eli laments to the congregation (Skype conference, 2016) –

The enemy was doing everything to destroy me. I asked permission from the court to leave the Philippines to conduct a Bible Exposition in Singapore.

When I was already in Singapore, the enemies filed a rape case against me, so that they can take me. That is without bail. Atty. Frank Chavez called me and advised me not to return to the Philippines. He said it would be dangerous for me to go home to the Philippines.

I did not know where to go. My mind was troubled.

Considering that they had wanted Bro. Eli to suffer, they enjoyed placing him in difficulty. While Bro. Eli was jumping from country to country, he was not able to preach – but he was thinking.

We jumped from one country to the next. We found out that Brazil is predominantly Catholic. I was thinking, there may be people of God there.

In the map, Brazil is the opposite of the Philippines. We had to go to Uruguay first. With God’s help, I was given a visa. But the lawyer advised me to lay low for a while. That was for three months. I was not happy because I was not able to preach.

We exited to different countries every 30 days. I was like a man without a nation because I had no visa in Singapore. And then I was eventually granted a work visa. I did not need to exit to neighboring countries. But we were not allowed to preach in Singapore.

I was thinking, what would I be doing here? Will I just die here without preaching? In Singapore, we sold snacks. I was earning. I had a savings account in a bank. But the bank told me to get my money and close the account. It turned out that I have an Interpol notice.

Enter the God of Justice

For all his sufferings, Bro. Eli knew God would not allow him to suffer injustice for long. He will assert his presence. The God of Justice will balance things. One day, his lawyer said, “They cannot arrest you anymore. There is no extradition treaty here in Brazil. Before they can have you deported, they have to get through me.”

Bro. Eli started going out. He told Bro. Josel Mallari, one of the ministers, to look for a television station. It was rather expensive, but they gave it a try. They aired a program. After two weeks, they received many responses, and so they conducted a Bible Exposition. Guests swarmed in.

People attended the exposition for the whole day – 14 hours. Bro. Eli spent much; it was in millions. It turned out that this thing is already in the Bible: the prophecy that salvation will start in the east and then go to the west. He asks, and answers his own question: “Was anyone able to hinder it? No!”

In December 2009, TV Verdade was born. Its broadcast feed originated from a small garage, around 48 square meters, transformed into a makeshift broadcasting studio located in Florianópolis, Brazil. The station now carries the 24-hour Portuguese broadcast of O Caminho Antigo (English: The Old Path, Tagalog: Ang Dating Daan) hosted by Bro. Eli.

After virtually driving Bro. Eli away from the Philippines, his enemies thought they would be safe from his mouth. But feeling that the Interpol would not be acting, they tried three times to have him be declared as “fugitive from justice.” No results. The courts did not approve. Worse, Interpol dropped Bro. Eli’s name from being “wanted.”

Now that Bro. Eli had based himself in Brazil, failing from the Interpol attempt, they wanted to have him extradicted so they can have some access to him. But such request was archived, too. With God’s mercy, Bro. Eli came to have legal status in Brazil.

Even if they killed me

The notion of an antipodes map first came to Bro. Eli when he tried to make sense of what was happening to him and found it is a package by itself. His being hunted and hounded is merely a part, but it doesn’t mean those party to it are blessed and should be blessed.

With the antipodes map, the direction of preaching that MCGI should follow is dictated: Coming from the east that is the Philippines, it goes to the west (Brazil); then it should go up north and finally go down south. That is in the prophecy. As far as the MCGI is concerned, the one tasked to save people in these areas is the Church affiliated with the Church mentioned in the Bible.

Bro. Eli has been 12 years in Brazil now. In all places in south and Latin America, there are now MCGI locales:  259 in Spanish-speaking countries (Latin America), and 149 Portuguese-speaking locales (Brazil). By April 2016, TV Verdade was announced as adding 23 relay stations, to total 50 relay stations in the west.

TV Verdade airs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via Star One C2 satellite in South American countries and SES-6 satellite which also covers South American countries as a redundancy, including other nations in North America, Europe and North Africa.

If you will look at the antipodes map, if you bury a tunnel right through the center of the earth to the other side of the world, you will end up in Brazil, in South America.

The church is growing. They cannot hinder it. Even if they killed me, the word of God is already planted. It already started to grow and to bear fruits. I hold Bible Expositions in different places. That’s how I look for lost sheep.

Why did he say, “even if they killed me?” From experience, Bro. Eli knows that there are people who cannot accept truth.

When he was just 27 years old, preaching in the barrios of Central Luzon, Philippines, the young Eli was mauled by deacons of the Iglesia ni Cristo in Betis, Pampanga. The topic he was discussing was about the “other angel ascending from the east.” According to several sources, Felix Manalo, the founder of the INC, had declared himself to be the fifth angel calling out to four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or sea or trees until we have sealed the foreheads of the servants of our God.”…

Santa Romana (1955) and four other sources write, it was in 1922 that Felix Manalo first declared himself to be the “fifth angel” or  “another angel rising in the east” as mentioned in Revelation 7:2. Accordingly, he developed this doctrine in order to accumulate power and reassert his leadership in the church.

Bro. Eli said it was impossible that, that angel was Manalo. Can he set one foot upon the sea and another foot on the earth? Impossible! Before he could even do that, he would drown, he said. Members of the Iglesia ni Cristo did not like what they heard. Five deacons beat the young man that he got hospitalized at Mercy Clinic for one week.

INC Interference in Government

Lawmakers should climb a little higher to take note of what’s happening in the environment. What they did to Bro. Eli Soriano is so far the most complicated operations carried out. Involved here were the courts, the media, the Interpol, and the governments of the Philippines and Brazil, with the Iglesia ni Cristo playing major role.

At the background were the many members of the MCGI in 6 continents actively following up on developments. All throughout, there was an online boycott of some 36,000 against GMA7 and GMA News because of their support of the supposed “raped” victim. There was a lot of disinformation on the Internet for three painful years and more, while the “Interpol wanted list” requested by the Iglesia ni Cristo was active. Has there been any other Filipino treated like this? Who will be their next victim?

And yet lawmakers have not done any move because they can milk the corrupt practice for their own purpose. Nothing is being done to check the Iglesia ni Cristo. Not to even mention accessions given to them on a platter, we trace this cancer to the INC practice of bloc voting that has made politicians servile and government corroding to the core. It begins with the Iglesia ni Cristo playing games with their members on one hand and candidates for elections on the other.

The politicians court the INC for votes, the INC dictates to their members. When these politicians win, they act as stooges. It is payback time, and the cancer cells spread out. Now, since the practice is aimed at national officials including the President of the Land, every part of government is not safe from defilement.

One can say there’s nothing wrong with bloc voting, but the kind that INC practices is one of command. There have been dissenting voices but it looks like no one is interested in solutions. As Columnist Conrado de Quiros asked, why do we allow this?

“Why do we allow the INC…to interfere in elections? We know that INC members vote as a bloc for the candidates of their leaders’ choosing. We know this because that church doesn’t bother to hide it; it parades it as one of the reasons for joining it or currying its favor…This is out-and-out flouting of the separation of Church and State, a thing expressly forbidden in a democracy. And yet we see no law stopping it, and yet we see only politicians seeking to profit from it.” (De Quiros, 2012).

Even thinking INC members are not fooled. They can see what’s wrong and they are concerned about the effects on the government –

“Oh, how terrible and weakening the feeling, hearing those words of politicians who are subservient to the influence of the Iglesia ni Cristo! It is like they have lost their mind. Can you imagine Pavlov’s dog? What these politicians actually salivate for are nothing but the bloc votes of these non-thinking Iglesia ni Cristo. That is the reason these politicians cannot stand up for law.

“It appears that the Iglesia ni Cristo ni Manalo can freely do anything they wanted to do without worry of interference from the government even if they aggrieve others. It is indeed discouraging and seemingly marginalized to feel that one belongs to the people who have no “say” to those in the government. (Ebanghelista, 2015)

Of the next victim, can you imagine? It only happens that the God of Bro. Eli is real who also wanted to prove his power. The spikes of the fierce and vicious, he was able to dumb down. But what if the victim is not a Bro. Eli?

Politics of religion

Yet the INC are ever ready to use the infamous tagline, “separation of Church and State” to defend themselves whenever they could capitalize on it. The principle is that the State cannot interfere in purely religious matters and the Church cannot also interfere in matters of the State.

Miraculously, after Bro. Eli was relieved from that “Interpol wanted” caper, things were happening at the Iglesia ni Cristo even as it approaches the INC’s 101st founding anniversary (July 27, 2015). There was fighting within, amidst allegations of corruption. The very family of the Manalos were in contention: the Executive Minister, that is Eduardo V. Manalo, had excommunicated his own mother and his brother (CNN_PH Staff, 2015).

Corruption was being alleged within the organization even by Angel Manalo, the very brother of the Executive Minister (Malig, 2015). Some ministers have either gone missing or were being held as prisoners within. Court cases flew. At one point in time, the Secretary of Justice Leila de Lima called for a preliminary investigation of several INC church leaders based on the testimony of Mr. Isias Samson, a former minister, with allegations of serious illegal detention.

Wikipedia records that on August 27-31, 2015, the INC held protests. The INC were calling it an alleged violation of separation of church and state due to the DOJ acting on the filed illegal detention case. The twin goals were: (1) Removal of DOJ secretary Leila de Lima from her post, and (2) Junking of the Case filed by Isaias Samson Jr. The results of the 5-day protest were that (1) The Iglesia Ni Cristo announced the end of the protests following talks between church and government officials. And (2) The Iglesia ni Cristo in protester created a heavy traffic jam on EDSA, causing major re routing and road closures. (3) De Lima remained DOJ secretary.

Here comes the question:

Who gave a minority religious group like the Iglesia Ni Kristo, not even one-tenth as many as the Catholic Church, so much power and influence that it has the audacity… to stage a protest and expect the State to kowtow in fear?…It is amazing why election after election, presidentiables and senatoriables have to make a courtesy call to INC leadership like their political lives depended on it. It is mind-boggling how the announcement of INC-supported candidates get more media mileage than the CBCP list (Rivera, 2015).

Buenaobra (2016) echoes the same sentiment: “Despite the failed endorsements, candidates still trooped to the INC compound to get the ‘blessing’ (and votes) of its executive minister.” As news accounts show, previous endorsements of the INC that have failed include: Eduardo Cojuangco who came in 3rd; Estrada who was ousted in 2001 because of corruption charges; Macapagal-Arroyo who had graft charges, and Manny Villar who lost the elections.

Rivera (2015) explains that the problem starts when people who want to control the State are willing to use the Church to get elected. Then, the separation of church and state becomes blurry. Wielding influence in the matters of State is made possible by giving religious groups leeway to dictate election results by their open endorsements, Rivera said.

That is the reason why some politicians are willing to prostitute convictions and the rule of law so they will not earn the ire of the INC and others who may already know their fate with the INC to readily criticize it (Rivera, 2015).

But it may not be the same again to claim that INC members are ‘just protecting their faith.’

Until we learn that we get our ails from our own doing, we cannot say to the INC, it may not be the same again. What we have now is a government fast deteriorating and cheapened from engaging in barter schemes with a “church” demanding special privileges. And this is done through politicians, prosecutors, justices, police and personalities of like stature from wrongful political couplings demonstrated herein. #

References

Abao, J. (2008, August 27). Portrait of the “raped man” for whom the Interpol would mobilize. Retrieved from https://jakeastudillo.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/portrait-of-the-raped-man-for-whom-the-interpol-would-mobilize/ First posted on Newsvine.com

Abao, J. (2014, October 22). Eli Soriano Not Fugitive from Justice: Two Courts Deny Motions. Retrieved from https://kotawinters.wordpress.com/2014/10/22/eli-soriano-not-fugitive-from-justice-two-courts-deny-motions/

Astudillo, J. (2013, April 3). Are We Now Going to Give the Country to Bloc-Voting People? Retrieved from https://kotawinters.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/are-we-now-going-to-give-the-country-to-bloc-voting-people/

Buenaobra, MI. T. (2016, February 24). The Politics of Religion in the Philippines. Retrieved from https://asiafoundation.org/2016/02/24/the-politics-of-religion-in-the-philippines/

Burgonio, T.J. (2015, November 29). Blogger ‘Ebangelista’ writes Inquirer, warns Iglesia elders. Retrieved from https://technology.inquirer.net/45477/blogger-ebangelista-writes-inquirer-warns-iglesia-elders?utm_expid=.XqNwTug2W6nwDVUSgFJXed.1

CNN Philippines Staff (2015, July 24). Iglesia ni Cristo expels Manalo siblings, mother. Retrieved from http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2015/07/23/Iglesia-ni-Cristo-expels-Manalo-siblings-mother.html1

Dalizon, A.P. (2008, August 16). Int’l arrest warrant out for Eli Soriano. Retrieved from http://article.wn.com/view/2008/08/16/Intl_arrest_warrant_out_for_Eli_Soriano/

Dalizon, A.P. (2008, August 17) [Tabloid version posted in People’s Tonight]. Retrieved from http://www.journal.com.ph/index.php?issue=2008-08-17&sec=1&aid=70285

David, R. (2015, August 30). Law, politics and the INC, Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved from https://opinion.inquirer.net/88043/law-politics-and-the-inc#ixzz5gcEUY8du

De Quiros, C. (2012, May 23). Why do we allow this? Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved from https://opinion.inquirer.net/29267/why-do-we-allow-this#ixzz5gVDXkCjH

Ebanghelista, A.R. (2015, September 21). Iglesia ni Cristo Straining the Gnats but not the Camel. Retrieved from https://incnomore.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/iglesia-ni-cristo-straining-the-gnats-but-not-the-camel/

Ebanghelista, A.R. (2017, June 7). Eduardo V. Manalo’s Administration: Undeniably a Bully Disguised as Holy. Retrieved from https://incsilentnomore.com/2017/06/07/eduardo-v-manalos-administration-undeniably-a-bully-disguised-as-holy/

Malig, J. (2015, July 24). Angel Manalo alleges ‘massive corruption’ in Iglesia Ni Cristo. ABS-CBNnews.com. Retrieved from https://news.abs-cbn.com/nation/metro-manila/07/23/15/angel-manalo-alleges-massive-corruption-iglesia-ni-cristo

Rivera, B.V. (2015, September 1). The Iglesia ni Cristo and the game of politics. Retrieved from https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/opinion/content/535108/the-iglesia-ni-cristo-and-the-game-of-politics/story/

Santa Romana (1955:381-5), Gumban (1968:41), Fabian(1969:7-8), Sanders (1969:353-5) and Tuggy (1976:57-9,116-9). Fallacies of the Iglesia ni Cristo. https://sites.google.com/site/fallaciesoftheiglesianicristo/biography-of-felix-y-manalo

Smith, Jr., W. Thomas (2003). Black-ops. Encyclopedia of the Central Intelligence Agency. New York, NY: Facts on File, Inc. p. 31. ISBN 0-8160-4666-2. In Wikipedia

Soriano, E. F. (2016, April 6) Lamentations. (Statements in italics). Skype Conference. Members Church of God International

Vitug, M. D. (2010). Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court. Public Trust Media Group Inc.

Wikipedia. 2015 Iglesia ni Cristo protests. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Iglesia_ni_Cristo_protests

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Bro. Eli Soriano: Not of their Level, Purely

By Jane Abao

Manila, Philippines (2/12/2019 ) – IT WAS NOT the first time these words came to him as a response, to cut him down to size: “Not of their level.” They are way up, and Soriano is way down. He is just a high school dropout; they would not forget that. At the time he was challenging a false preacher to a debate, the response was that Bro. Eli Soriano did not come up to the level of the one being challenged. Not of his level. So they say they are perfection and he blushes in his heart.

Bro. Eli Soriano

When Bro. Eli challenged Eraño Manalo, then the Executive Minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo to a debate, “Hindi ka ka-lebel” (You’re not of my level) was the answer. The latest one Bro. Eli was challenging and still challenging is Apollo Quiboloy, founder of the “Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the name above every name” who referred to his organization as “kingdom nation.”

Quiboloy claimed he is the Appointed Son of God. Accordingly, God took Quiboloy’s name and gave Quiboloy his name, purely! Therefore he and God are one! He has many other claims besides. And these claims, Bro. Eli would like to contest – for the reason that they contribute to atheism and primarily because they are built on lies and deceive so many.

Quiboloy, or PACQ as many refer to him on the Internet, is a graduate of a Bible school. To add to that, which is why he feels towering above everyone, according to his website, Quiboloy has been awarded 9 honorary doctorate degrees in 2018 alone by an accrediting organization named Royal Institution Singapore. This organization, RI Singapore, however, is not a University.

Backtracking, in the 1980’s, a rich woman who was excommunicated from the Church, tried her best to have Bro. Eli incarcerated. The case was all about money borrowed by 3 Church members from her business and Bro. Eli tried to pay with checks to settle the trouble. Add to the fact that the woman went abroad and the one receiving the checks was her daughter, the checks bounced because of the placed dates. Bro. Eli was then to be imprisoned – for 39 years! But much as the woman tried to make Bro. Eli suffer, she could not even physically take hold of him. In her derision and with all the hatred in her heart, she shouted, “Soriano, you are just a peso!”

Bro. Eli laughed. “Haha! That’s even more than what I am. One peso is 100 centavos. And I am nothing!”

It is mostly false prophets that call Bro. Eli “not of their level,” and only as an excuse not to face him in a debate. Quiboloy was more docile years before, during the times they were both airing their religious programs at Channel 13, but not now. He is way ahead with so many lies, with so many claims, that he has generated a lot of atheists.

BRO. ELI SORIANO: Let us play again the voice of Mr… our friend whom we are currently addressing, and let us listen to what he is saying so that we can continue to address it. Here he is.

PACQ: Mr. S, let me inform you that this ministry and this preacher will stand for all kinds of issues, whether spiritual, doctrinal, ethical, legal, even personal. My life is an open book. And not only am I willing to discuss in private, but even on television, like what we are doing now.

Choose the field where you want us to go into on all those issues. Even if the Lord comes, I will dedicate this program with the intention of clarifying things to our many listeners and watchers. I will dedicate this program if you are there to stand against the commandments of our Lord God, against the set of laws of man or set of laws we were brought up in, like ethics, legal, doctrinal or spiritual. Whichever of these you will go into.

While this ministry exists, this will be used by the Lord for all to be corrected in the path where the Lord wants us to walk, the path that will sanctify make one righteous, and will draw us near to Him and to His will.

BRO. ELI SORIANO: Pause it for a while, director. He challenged us. He said, “This ministry, this preacher, is ready to stand for whatever issue, whether legal, spiritual…” Et cetera, the things he said. “I am challenging you,” he said, “Not only in court, but even on television. I am challenging you on these issues.” I accept your challenge, Mr. Abuloy (collection). What do you want us to talk about? You said you can stand for legal, moral, and spiritual issues. “I will dedicate this television program if you want it on television.” Challenge accepted, Mr. Abuloy. I accept your challenge formally on the air.

Let us talk about the doctrines you are teaching. That is the most important of all. If you want us to have a discourse on television, let us combine our time slots. You have an hour-and-a-half, since our programs are aired after the other. I have an hour, that would be two-hours-and-a-half. Let us take another half hour. Let us ask the management of Channel 13 to give us three solid hours for us to have a discourse regarding your doctrine. Prove that the church you registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, your church, “The Executive Pastor of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name Administrator, Inc.” Prove that it is the true organization that is of God; I will disprove it! That group is of the devil, according to the Bible. I will prove it. Then prove that our group is wrong. Prove that our group is wrong and is of the devil. There are just two things. If you are not of God, you are of the devil. I am opposed to your group, the organization you established, even your by-laws, even the doctrines you are teaching, I oppose them. I will prove that it is not of God, it is of the devil.

This was years ago in Channel 13. Between the late 80’s and early 90’s, both Bro. Eli and Quiboloy patronized Channel 13 for their religious programs. But now Quiboloy is saying that he does not engage in debates anymore.

In response to Bro. Eli pestering him about Quiboloy’s so-called revelations, the Kingdom Nation pastor had issued in 2005 a “revelation” that Bro. Eli would be “stricken with a deadly disease that he cannot overcome.” With that, he had also warned that his followers better leave in 6 months, or else they will also suffer the preacher’s fate. It is now 2019. As it did not happen, Quiboloy was exposed as a false prophet.

Meanwhile, Quiboloy foisted “revelation after revelation” on the public, and all the more that Bro. Eli wanted to debate with him. But there are several reasons Quiboloy would give as an escape: “We are not anymore in the Church age, so there is no more need to debate.” And, “How can you debate with me? I am the truth, the way and the life!”

These recent days, there is an amount pegged as a condition: “I am expensive now. For two hours that I am speaking, $20,000,000 would have been collected.” That would be 1,040,210,000.00 Philippine Pesos (country currency rates conversion, Feb. 13, 2019), or one billion forty million two hundred ten thousand pesos, an amount that would provide a good budget for MCGI propagation programs to reach out to several millions in the world, than debate with a disillusioned false prophet who can no longer accept truth.

It is not the money though that Quiboloy had pegged to stop anyone from bothering him. Still, the challenge to him stays. One does not get paid to face anyone in a debate just like boxing is done. If you have the truth, you can stand for it. But if you are just fooling people, you simply advance so many reasons to avoid any debate – worse, face a Bro. Eli Soriano to examine you. So, even if $20,000,000 were given to you on a platter, can you defend your lies? Can you afford to be out-ed to your members? Would they want to know you have been fooling them all along – they, who have been your source of living in a honeycomb for several years?

But Quiboloy said, Bro. Eli is not of his level. “I am really nothing. It’s okay. You have Bro. Daniel Razon. He is a college graduate – of Mass Communication. And he has many awards – worldclass even. You won’t have to feel ashamed of him.”  Bro. Eli was comforting the congregation.

As known in the Members Church of God International, Bro. Daniel Razon, the next-in-rank to Bro. Eli, would take after the latter, should he go. But what about the needed understanding that is Bro. Eli’s signature in preaching? It will pass on to Bro. Daniel. Whoever is leading the Church, God will give the understanding needed. That much, Bro. Eli assured.

AT AGE 15, the young Eli was enjoying discussions with his classmates about religion in the high school corridors. While the Catholics had their class inside, those of other religions were outside having their own discourses.

By age 16, he had become too attracted to the Bible while he was also a student leader loved by teachers in his school. By age 17, like a magnet, the Bible finally had him pulled off from school a few months before he could finish his third year.

But it could not be just one way. While he was being siphoned by another domain, he was being pushed off from another. Bro. Eli mentioned a teacher who was a Catholic that was being nasty – different from most of his teachers who doted on him. During his last year too, he had had a little debate with a teacher who insisted on teaching about evolution, but the young Eli believed that as untrue and should not be taught. His classmates, who were still hopeful he would one day show up in school, were soon to learn that Eli had decided to dedicate his time in the Church. There was no turning back.

With a marked brilliance, the young Church worker eventually became the one drafting the topics (paksa) for Bro. Nicolas Perez who was leading the Church at that time. Perez died in 1975 and in 1976 Bro. Eli, in his late 20’s, was leading the Church that came out of a split of three groups.

DEBATE WAS THE only way people could be forced to accept truth. As a young church worker, Bro. Eli one day found out that anyone with false claims can be challenged with a debate. With an older brother-in-faith (Bro. Reuben Canlas) leading him to Plaza Miranda, they found someone preaching on the stage with various claims that were not found in the Bible. This man was lying. Finding out that he knew even more, Bro. Eli disputed those claims of the man and took the chance to show the Bible verses. The audience accepted him and his arguments.

Precisely why Canlas was bringing him to places where there were crowds was that he knew the young fellow was mastering the Bible and he would like him to be tried and tested. This incident was followed by another, and then another, until finally, Bro. Eli was himself representing Bro. Perez in debates with pastors of other religions.

Debates peppered the life of Bro. Eli even as he became a young Church leader. Curiously, someone was doing the scheduling. But Bro. Eli, himself, did not look for these people who were to be his opponents. The debates with religions, as diverse as can be, happened like an entertainment for someone who seemed not to entirely believe in Bro. Eli. Named Emmanuel Bacosa, he owned the place in Makati where Church in that area was being held during those days. Somehow, Bro. Eli believed the fellow was being used by the Iglesia ni Cristo to prove something. Yet, Bro. Eli took the challenge to face everyone scheduled to prove his mettle. From then on, he used debates as a tool to expose false preachers – from the Philippines to foreign lands.

In the history of MCGI, whenever debates are held, Bro. Eli was always the victor. A humble figure of debates that he had summed up in the Philippines would not be less than 40. In foreign lands, however, since he left the Philippines in 2005, there is not even 10 as they come to shove each other after knowing the man better from YouTube. That he was always the victor were on account of two reasons: First, he is strong in faith. Second, that faith allowed him understanding.

BUT WHO WOULD believe Bro. Eli is just a high school dropout whom one can easily dump? “Tried and tested on stage” – that was his description, but the tide has ironically turned against him. Now, people suspect he is only saying he is a high school dropout to highlight his victories. Now, people suspect he is someone well-versed in reasoning, he must be a lawyer, and not to believe the dropout story. You hear of Law students eagerly watching  how he rebuts, how he makes a defense, how he examines his opponent. Now, people think the dropout tag is only a ploy to attract unprepared pastors to face him and be exposed. In foreign lands, we learn of pastors having signed the papers but never arriving at the debate venue, even after preparations had been set and expenses were paid. The time runs, people are waiting, but nobody arrives. Why? They finally have watched Bro. Eli through the Internet how he would expose dumb pastors just with the Bible as reference. And it was not in a single debate alone that he was able to do this, but in several.

Given that there is no need to pretend what one is not, the young Eli, while leaving his high school must have taught himself so well only so that he could win in debates, defending truth. That was so far the only vestige that linked him to “school.” And because of his love and respect for reason, he had come upon First Principles, upon types of debates (You hear him talking about the Oxford type), upon argumentation, and necessarily the fallacies. So now, no one could win over him!

Tonight, he had just said: “It is impossible for the same thing to be both true and false at the same time. A thing cannot both be and not be in the same respect.” This is the principle of non-contradiction. According to Aristotle, a first principle is “the first basis from which a thing is known.” That explains why in debates, Bro. Eli is often heard asking his opponent, “On what principle is that based?”

It could be that among the young Eli’s books while he was out of high school were those of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. In Church he goes interactive and asks question after question, but answers a question with another question. This is Socratic. It gets you into thinking. And what a way to approach the word of God; it is very much high-level.

Until now, in his early 70’s, it’s very visible that Bro. Eli is studying very hard not to be left behind scientific studies and general information. If he had stayed in school, he would have only studied for exams and only for the passing grades – just like most students. But by going autodidact, he was free to schedule his learning and plan what to study. Placing very high standards upon himself, it is not surprising that he’s very much informed about God’s creation, he had also looked into long-time claims like going to the moon.

Is man going to the moon possible according to what the Bible tells us? One cannot escape the scrutiny of this man who uses God’s word for everything – and doesn’t apologize for telling the truth. This thing too, he had discussed to the congregation – no matter what claims those who “went to the moon” were saying.  When he was younger, his teachers were encouraging him to become a scientist as he loved science. He was naturally inquisitive.

As the Bible is his book, he also had to study writing and the probable intentions of the writer. The more he studied, the sharper his analytical skills got, that he would ask Why, and then the Why of that Why, and the Why of that other why. He arrives at informed conclusions connecting verse for verse. And with the way he uses his analytical skills, the listeners don’t get bored, but are also following as he makes sense of things.

For one, he’s sensitive with numeral adjectives, he doesn’t take them for granted. When he reads words like “twelve,” “all,” and “some,” he checks what they refer to because they’re that important. Twelve what? All what? Without identifying what these numeral adjectives refer to, it could be terrifying!

“And all the people worshiped him” (referring to the beast). “All,” indeed, would be terrifying if you didn’t know what “all” refers to. What did “all” include? Us, too?

And what preacher is he who can sense that a verse was mistranslated? That Bro. Eli’s ears are piqued for any mistranslation reveals years of patience placed at stopping for every word in frequent consultation with Strong’s concordance, just so there is perfection in all translations.

Is there any other preacher who talks about “parameters of truth” who has not determined what truth is by his reference that is the word of God? Obliged to study and study because aside from feeding the flock of the Members Church of God International, Bro. Eli is ever battling the rising tide of false preachers.

This is not a man who easily shies away from schooling. The way he thinks, analyzes things, and lines up his arguments reveal a man who has deeply studied and is still studying so well out of school. And he has for a teacher, a spirit.

This is yet something one has to figure out: his kind of learning (autodidact) and his kind of teacher (spiritual), are more than ordinary. Could this be why God favors him with understanding? This is not to include yet how he had fought as a young man to let the congregation survive. Oh, the many sufferings his little group had to undergo! But look at it now: MCGI has become international, with congregations all over the world.

“It is the spirit of God that teaches. I am also learning from what I am preaching. There are times I didn’t know that I knew those things I am preaching at the moment. They just come in at the proper times. Read your Bible.”

For the claim that Bro. Eli is not of their level, if that meant nothing, nothingness even is something to rejoice about.

“God is not mistaken about me. God values nothingness, or lowliness. And when God chooses, he chooses the least so that they can confound the wise.”

As mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 –

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.

The physical school is not the singular domain whereby man can be taught –because the true teacher is God. If that were true, why then has no one won over him yet in debates? As Bro. Eli has proven, understanding is a gift from God; it is not to be achieved. As the Bible says, only the wise shall understand, but the wicked will not.

So they can’t say they are perfection and he need not blush in his heart.

Eli in The Book of Eli: Parallels with the Living Bro. Eli

Eli’s understanding of the Holy Book can be compared to our leader, Bro. Eli Soriano. Besides memorizing God’s Words in his heart, he is the one gifted with understanding of God’s Words.

Rich and powerful religious leaders in our time may have a copy of the Bible but they cannot understand it. The Words are sealed. The book is locked. And only the wise can open and understand it.

By Joyce Esteban

It is the desire to attain life’s purpose and the faith and commitment that goes with it that led Eli (Denzel Washington) to start and eventually finish a long journey.

His quest begins after the war when an apocalyptic event came to him. It is when a voice guides him to find a book buried under a rubble. That same voice has instructed him to bring the book to the west with an assurance that he will be protected along the way. Thus, his journey begins.

In his search for water to quench his thirst on the journey, he passes by an old, dilapidated town where he kills a group of bikers. He also meers the town’s overseer, Carnegie (Gary Oldman), who is in search of a book which he believes to be a source of a certain power that can make him great and more powerful. Carnegie has assigned a group of his men to look for that book every day. Carnegie is impressed by Eli’s wisdom as well as his abilities and fighting skills. He encourages him to stay in the town, but Eli refuses and insists to stay for just a night. After Carnegie’s blind concubine Claudia (Jennifer Beals) gives Eli food and drink, Carnegie asks Solara (Mila Kunis) to seduce him to make him stay. Eli turns him down. Instead, he invites Solara to dine with him and start the meal with a prayer of thanks.

The next morning, before Claudia and Solara eat their breakfast, Solara prays with her mother, just as like how Eli prayed with her lthat ast night. Carnegie overhears the prayer and forces Solara to tell him what book Eli is reading. Solara says that she doesn’t know but forms the shape of a cross in with her hands, remembering the front cover of the book she saw. Carnegie then realizes that the traveler Eli has a copy of the book that he desired for so long.

It is the book that was all burned out during the time of war. Eli then sneaks out and Carnegie tries to stop him while his men shoot Eli as they follow him. Eli is able to avoid the gun fires, even hitting some of Carnegie’s men, and even Carnegie in his leg. Eli is able to escape and continue his quest. Solara follows him, wanting to accompany him in his travel and to escape the town. Eli agrees on the condition that she will tell him where the town’s water supply is. After that, Eli traps her and continues with his travel alone.

Solara is able to escape the trap, however, and follows Eli but she is then set up by two men as she tries to help a frail woman. As she struggle, Eli came and kills the men with his arrows. He has no choice but to bring Solara with him.

In the middle of the arid land, they see a strange house, occupied by a couple, Martha and George. After they fall into a trap by the door, they were invited for a tea by the woman. Eli believes that the man and the woman are cannibals as shown by their trembling hands, and the graves at the backyard.

Before they can escape, Carnegie and his men found them. George opens up a hidden huge chest in the sofa containing powerful weapons and ammunition. Exchange of gun fires continues, causing the death of some of Carnegie’s men and of George and Martha as well. Eli and Solara are captured.

Eli then is compelled to give the book, which is the Bible, when Carnegie threatens to kill Solara. Carnegie shoots Eli before they leave, carrying Solara with them. But she is able to escape and drives back to help Eli. The two continue traveling towards west until they reach a bridge and row towards shore in a secluded island inhabited by survivors of the war. They are allowed to enter the island when Eli said that he has the copy of the King James Version of the Bible. The bible he referred to, however, is in his memory.

Carnegie returns to his town carrying the Bible. He calls an engineer to unlock the book for him. As it opens, the words are found written in Braille but Claudia, the blind concubine, refuse to read it for him. He gets upset because he would soon die without even being able to read the Bible.

Meanwhile, Eli dictates the Bible from memory to Lombardi, the curator of the pre-war artifacts in the island. He recites it word for word as he remembers it from reading it every day in the last thirty years of his life. He is able to finish dictating before he dies of his wounds. Copies of the Bible are printed after then. Solara takes Eli’s weapon and choose to go back home.

The film directed by the Hughes brothers, written by Gary Whitta, and starring Denzel Washington, among others reminds me of the verse in Daniel 12:9-10 that says –
“And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”

Eli was the only man during that time who was able to read the Bible in its entirety. It took him so many years to memorize. Even though Carnegie was able to get the Bible, and open the lock with the help of an engineer, he has not triumphed to understand it because it was written in Braille, in a manner that he can’t understand – because he is wicked.

Eli’s understanding of the Holy Book can be compared to that of The TruthCaster, Bro. Eliseo Soriano. Besides memorizing God’s Words in his heart, he is the one gifted with understanding of God’s Words. Rich and powerful religious leaders in our time may have the copy of the Bible but they cannot understand it. The Words have its seal. It is locked. And only the wise can open and understand it. Bro. Eli fully understands it and he makes it very clear to people he is teaching.

Eli’s long journey carrying and protecting the Book can be compared with Bro. Eli’s determination to spread the Word of God in all nations.

Eli’s faith drives him to struggle and continue with his journey while carrying and protecting the book without being hindered by different obstacles. This can be compared with Bro. Eli’s desire to spread the Word of God in all nations. His quest to make the gospel known continues. Not minding the persecutions, the malicious tales being invented by his opponents; crossing over mountains, seas and lands to fulfill his purpose in life and follow God’s commandment to spread the Word. That is how Bro. Eli walks all through his life.

As what Eli said, “I walk by faith and not by sight… “The Lord is my shepherd and I shall not want,” the same is true with Bro. Eli, They both learn to master their way of life, having faith with the Ultimate Power believing that He will give them everything they need in their journey to follow His will.

But there is one thing I know that Eli differs from Bro. Eli that we Christians know. Eli said, “In all these years I’ve been carrying it and reading it every day; I got so caught up in keeping it safe that I forgot to live by what I learned from it.”

Bro. Eli is entirely different from Eli in this aspect. As Bro. Eli understands and accepts the word of God written in the Bible, the Word serves as his guiding light as he travels through life. He doesn’t just keep the Word in the Book but keep it in his heart and let it manifest through his deeds.

Most of the scenes were shot in dark lights, arid deserts and in old dilapidated town, and Eli’s travels by feet depict a long journey that is not so easy. Several armed men, the cannibal couple, and Carnegie represents the obstacles and foes that Eli was able to overcome to fulfill his life’s desire. Continuing to walk towards the west despite of the wound on his stomach shows his will power and faith to continue with his struggle.

Although the first few minutes of the film may tend to be boring, the movie gets interesting as it continues.

With its Biblical passages and character of the lead, any member of Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) organization cannot help but compare it to their leader of the same name, Bro. Eli Soriano.

GMA7 uses self-confessed serial rapist vs. crusading preacher, Ang Dating Daan boycott stays

The Giant TV network that allowed more lies to proliferate by glorifying a liar

By Jane Abao

Manila, Philippines (July, 1, 2009) – A giant TV network used a self-confessed serial rapist as a resource person recently to discuss a pending case he had filed against a fearless preacher known for exposing false practices.

GMA7, considered the biggest among TV networks in the country used Daniel Veridiano alias Puto as a resource person in an episode in Case Unclosed, a program in GMA7 the night of June 18, 2009.

Veridiano claimed that the preacher, Bro. Eliseo Soriano, raped him on two counts – in 2000 and in 2001. Soriano is the Presiding Minister of the Members Church of God, International (MCGI) or Ang Dating Daan (ADD) as known to the public. Tagged as “the most sensible preacher in our time,” a bible scholar so adept in biblical teachings that any question could be asked of him, he has become an international evangelist since 2005.

With the West as his present focus, Soriano has tremendously increased the membership of the MCGI or ADD in six continents with the effective use of technology. Known as TruthCaster for his biblical expositions, foreigners have largely come to know him through Truth in Focus, a compact disk reproduction of his discussions on the Word of God. Soriano’s preachings therefore have reached remote places like those in South Africa and Saudi Arabia.

Veridiano filed his complaint after a lapse of some 5 years when he could not be admitted back to the folds of the Church and subsequently left for the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) that readily accepted him. Preacher Soriano is considered the most vocal critic of the INC and Veridiano knew that.

According to court records that first dismissed the case, Veridiano is “indisputably ill-motivated from the inception” which is why he had filed the case. Soriano said Veridiano is retaliating for being excommunicated.

As penned by Alexandro Lopez, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor of Region III, San Fernando, Pampanga and as approved by Jesus Y. Manarang, the Provincial Prosecutor: “The foregoing facts, together with the rift going on between the INC and the ADD, which we cannot deny, only show that the complainant was indisputably ill-motivated from the inception, and these necessarily, without any scintilla of doubt, substantially affect, if not lessen, his credibility as an unperjured affiant.

Case Unclosed is a news and public affairs TV show in the Philippines aired every Thursday evenings by GMA Network.  Currently hosted by Arnold Clavio, it supposedly showcases vintage cases unsolved by authorities.

“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 preacher said. Suggesting that vintage cases should have been the coverage of such a program, he underscored the status of the case that is still in the courts.

Daniel Razon, the Vice Presiding Minister of the Church of God International, and a current executive of UNTV, used to co-anchor a morning show, Unang Hirit, with Arnold Clavio in GMA7. Razon was asked some years back by GMA7 if he could give up something from his religion to please the Iglesia ni Cristo. He instead chose to remain with his faith. From there, Razon was asked to resign.

The Ang Dating Daan began its boycott of GMA on June 19, 2009 the following day that the episode was shown.

GMA is publicly known to compete with ABS-CBN, another TV network, for ratings. The Kapuso network of GMA is bruited about as dominating ratings in Mega Manila and Urban Luzon, based on the data of AGB Nielsen Philippines. But even as they claim so, the ABS-CBN insists its programs from daytime to primetime trumped its rival GMA’s shows nationwide based on overnight TV ratings of Taylor Nelson Sofres. As publicly known, day in- day out, GMA and ABS-CBN would compete for viewer ratings.

The fight for ratings between GMA and ABS-CBN is seen by the Ang Dating Daan sector as partly the reason why GMA7 readily jumped into showing this highly questionable Case Unclosed episode. To reckon, the average number of ADD attendees in Apalit, Pampanga alone during regular thanksgivings is 70,000. If GMA7 thought of creatively increasing their ratings by dealing with this rape case where the accused is an international figure, then this network made a false move. This is the current mood of the ADD now that posted many critical assessments of that GMA show.

The presentation tackled only the side of the complainant, Veridiano, and nothing for the accused, Bro. Eliseo Soriano. As presented in Clavio’s program, Veridiano also added more lies to his statements, obviously calculated to mislead the public and that he is an innocent victim.

Veridiano has become a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo whose habit appears to be that of maligning Soriano. Preacher Soriano routinely exposes the INC of their false beliefs using largely the text discourses in the INC magazine, Pasugo. With it, Soriano has found many errors which he would discuss in bible expositions that obviously embarrass the INC ministers no end. As an effect, the dwindling of the INC membership is credited to Soriano whose preachings were able to enlighten several members of the INC to leave their chapels and join ADD.

“It was in May of 2000 when he summoned me to his room. I was shocked at what followed. At that time I couldn’t resist his advances. There is a teaching in Ang Dating Daan which says the messenger of God does not commit sin. Whatever he does to you is right and just. At that time, I was really terrified of him; and there also is a teaching in Ang Dating Daan that one must do what Soriano tells him to do, at all times. Obey him, otherwise you’ll be cursed. Something really, really bad will happen to you if you disobey this supposed messenger of God,” Veridiano said in Clavio’s program.

Veridiano ended his drama with this statement that sounded like a warning about a dangerous man:  “If I don’t fight and speak up, a lot of people will be in danger; and they need to know what he really is and that he is not sinless and he is not true.”

The Ang Dating Daan is readying charges against Veridiano, Arnold Clavio, and GMA. Veridiano knows very well that there is no teaching in Ang Dating Daan from where he was ex-communicated that the messenger does not commit sin and that what he tells one to do is a command to be followed or else one gets cursed.

That Veridiano had been raping his subordinates over many years, taking advantage of a Church credit card for a considerable time, vacationing around beaches during worship services, and traveling abroad at the expense of the Church money entrusted to him are facts that run counter to his made-up stories. Soriano said Veridiano was given all the chances to reform, but he did not. Instead, he tried to cover up some of his doings that surfaced later on after he was expelled from the ADD environs.

Veridiano was excommunicated from the church by Soriano in August 2005 upon recommendation of an investigating panel tasked to look into complaints of raping his subordinates at the ADDCIT, and gross misappropriation of church funds. Some 14 boys had complained of rape and acts of lasciviousness where Veridiano had admitted of the 9 in a confession letter that he wrote to two ministers of the Church dated November 21, 2004.

Records show that the double rape case was filed in October 2005 but was dismissed on January 6, 2006 for lack of evidence by the Regional Court of Pampanga. It was re-filed in higher court by the then Secretary of Justice, Raul Gonzalez who was particularly interested in the case. Through a memorandum to RSP Jesus Simbulan, ORSP, Region III, Gonzalez directed that the records of the case be elevated to his office. To the Ang Dating Daan, however, this action is highly irregular and suspect.

As earlier reported, Soriano explained to the congregation worldwide via satellite that he could not give a statement regarding the case. As such, Clavio should not have gone ahead and aired that episode, knowing fully well that his report is not balanced.

“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.

Meanwhile, members of Ang Dating Daan are actively encouraging their peers to delete GMA from their list of TV channels. All over the web, all church locales including those overseas are actively voicing their opinions of a biased TV network. Behind it all, however, they see the invisible hand of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) that habitually makes things difficult for the preacher and the ADD.

The INC intervention in the biblical expositions of Preacher Soriano reveals a pattern. Whenever the ADD would rent public venues for the affair, most often there is interruption, or the management of the place that has been paid for, calls for cancellation. This was what happened in Bulacan. In Malolos, a new Chief of Police that was a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo said the ADD could not use the paid-for venue but he could not give a reason at all. The ADD staff had to remove all their stuff and leave the place.

They recall that the same thing happened in Cainta, Rizal, in Tagaytay, and in Puerto Princesca of Palawan. In Palawan, it was the Office of the President, Gloria Arroyo, that called management not to let ADD use the facilities.

In Virac, Catanduanes, the management did not allow the ADD to use the facilities. Electrical wires were destroyed just so the air conditioning system of the building would not be usable. The bible exposition then was delayed.

Soriano then reminded his men not to be renting public places as the public officials are beholden to the Iglesia ni Cristo. The INC finds power in their practice of bloc voting where every member has to vote for the choice of their church leader. Every election time, the New Era palace of the INC in the Commonwealth Avenue of Quezon City becomes the beat of politicians seeking their endorsement. Such endorsements later on, however, transform into political debts that have to be collected later on in the form of interventions in government systems. This is what Preacher Soriano would condemn often as the root cause of corruption in government systems to include justice.

“I think they want to put me on hold,” Bro. Soriano said, referring to the INC. Perhaps they are so envious that we are able to establish churches in other parts of the world. Let them wait for the fulfillment of the prophecy. Let them witness the unfolding of the Church of God in the West.

“The Church of Manalo came ahead of us in Saudi Arabia but we are greater in number now than they are. I don’t know if they can influence the government here. The laws here are different,” Soriano who is overseas  said.

Interpol’s “Wanted” is People’s Choice Awardee for his Truth Blog

Those in the know, however, are not surprised at how far his enemies would go to humiliate him. His identity gets stolen; his biography gets mangled to include lies. His very name is used to counter information about him. However, he has no enemies but false preachers he is trying hard to expose.

By Jake Astudillo

He maybe in the wanted list of The International Criminal Police Organization but he is the People’s choice awardee in the recent 2009 Philippine Web Awards in the blog category. More than that, he is the awardee for the most popular website, besting all others in all categories.

The truth blog of Eliseo Soriano, esoriano.wordpress.com, tackled biblical truth which explains his monicker, Truthcaster. He has a YouTube channel too in this name.

Some people hate Bro. Eli’s big mouth. Some people loathe what he says. Most of all, some people want him dead and would hound him to the ends of this earth to stop him from talking. These days, there is one identified as Conrad J. Obligacion in Topix.net using Soriano’s monicker, Truthcaster, in various websites ironically with the aim of maligning the preacher as far as “editing” Wikipedia with false information.

But Preacher Soriano is not that totally hated; nor his words totally loathed. At the same time that his blogsite won, all his organizational’s affiliates won: the Ang Dating Daan – Bible Exposition Online (organization category), Kaanib.net – Christian Web Newsmagazine (magazines and zines category), UNTV – Your Public Service Channel (entertainment category; UNTV is heavily supported by the Church of God, International), and DanielRazon.com – Mr. Public Service’s Official Website (celebrities and personalities category. Razon is the vice presiding minister of the MCGI, second to Bro. Eli. Except for the preacher’s blogsite which was newly launched middle of 2007, these other websites has been winning year after year since 5 years ago.

How Eliseo Soriano ended up in the Interpol’s wanted list for “sex crimes” is a puzzle to most. Those in the know, however, are not surprised at how far his enemies would go to humiliate him. His identity gets stolen; his biography gets mangled to include lies. His very name is used to counter information about him. However, he has no enemies but false preachers he is trying hard to expose.

About August 19, 2008, a media man named Alfred P. Dalizon, writing in World News Network on Journal online, said that International Evangelist, Bro. Eliseo Soriano, is wanted for rape and that an international warrant of arrest is out for him. The story did not explain how come the Interpol is suddenly in the picture. The offices he mentioned like the Philippine National Police did not even carry a single name.

In order to maintain as politically neutral a role as possible, Interpol’s constitution forbids its involvement in crimes that do not overlap several member countries. The Interpol does not also involve itself in any political, military, religious, or racial crimes. This is written in its constitution.

Moreover, the work of Interpol focuses primarily on public safety, terrorism, organized crime, war crimes, illicit drug production, drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering, child pornography, white-collar crime, computer crime, intellectual property crime and corruption.

Therefore, Dalizon or whatever group he represents, cannot merely call upon the Interpol to do things to their bidding as implied in the report he produced.

The Interpol emphatically states in their database that a Red Notice is not an international arrest warrant that Dalizon would like to have the public believe. It also gives a warning in bold letters that the person should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

Dalizon also said “the PNP noted that the Bureau of Immigration has already included Soriano in the Bureau’s watch list effective November 11, 2005.” However, a check with the office of the BI that time revealed that they had received no order from proper authorities to that effect. While Dalizon kept quoting the Philippine National Police in his report, he could only come up with just “PNP.”

Soriano is the presiding minister of the Church of God, International, more popularly known as Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path). This is, however, a multi-awarded radio and thence television program of this preacher that has been running for almost three decades. Being the head of an international church organization, the evangelist is now based in foreign countries although he reaches his Filipino audience 24 hours a day through his satellite programs. All over the world, there are locales for this church which is growing leaps and bounds.

Time and again, while the evangelist is out of the country, Philippine media is used as a weapon against him but the contents, Soriano said, are pure lies. Now and then, reports about his arrest or surrender are bannered by Philippine tabloids and picked up by TV and radio as legitimate news. In these instances, a pattern shows that media men are being used to make life difficult for him.

The style of Dalizon is the same one repeated over and over in the Philippines. The news rendition is not complete but come with generic terms and with no particular names. What are prominent are the whereabouts of the evangelist. Because they could not get Soriano killed, his enemies use the media, perchance other newspapers pick up the items and reproduce them as legitimate news. The danger, however, is that the public might be fooled – and this time, the Interpol. Dalizon reveals himself partial to the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) by saying that Soriano is a former member of this group which is not true.

The Iglesia ni Cristo is often challenged by Preacher Bro. Eliseo Soriano to defend its teachings, since it runs counter to the task of Soriano who looks at himself as having to save Filipinos from the continuing deception of the Manalos. Felix Manalo, the founder of the Iglesia ni Cristo in 1913 is succeeded by his son, Eraño Manalo whom Soriano has long been challenging to come out to a debate on television live. Manalo has not bothered to answer, however.

Due to Manalo’s silence, Soriano challenged him to a debate in March 2005 as published through Manila Times, a national broadsheet. As expected, Manalo did not come out but his ministers told Soriano over television Net 25 to debate first with the Pope who was then ill at that time and speak in Latin. Then and there, Manalo can debate with Soriano, they said.

Instead of answering to the charges of false preaching, the INC short cuts things and use media people in the guise of news scoops. Most of the time, these media people used are innocent about the tricks the INC uses and more so about the long-time feud between the INC and the Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) group that Eliseo Soriano heads.

With the same style of Dalizon, the INC ministers as anchors in their Ang Tamang Daan (The Right Path) program, had been airing over Net 25 television station the usual travel routes of Soriano and encouraged the Abu Sayyaf (Moro rebels in the Philippines) to run after him. They say that on particular days, he is in San Vicente and passes by these distinct routes. For the hearing of Muslims, these ministers claim Soriano has called them killers and therefore Muslims should run after him also. It is not a secret that the INC had been using the Muslims against Soriano with some of the latter unaware of the issues. Ang Tamang Daan program (ATD) of the INC is a poor counterfeit of the successful Ang Dating Daan of Soriano that had reaped the Gawad America Award for the most informative religious program in 2006. A large portion of ATD is used to hit Soriano and spite him as the direct cause of their dwindling membership.

Dalizon’s style is the same trick applied by Rizalino L. Arrabis, most rabid defender of the INC. Over in NowPublic.com, Arrabis had been calling for people to post the phone number of Soriano, his fax number, his email address, his phone number as the preacher, he said, is wanted for rape and other crimes. He also called for the Interpol to catch what he called a criminal. For all his personal attacks, however, the site deleted all of his hundred and one posts with a warning from Rob Walker. Commenting November 14, 2007 to an article in OhmyNews International, Arrabis called Soriano the phenomenal criminal fugitive preacher and wrote “WORKINGMEN OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!!! POLICE OFFICIALS OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!!! LEASH AND IMPOUND THIS RABID DOG, ELISEO SORIANO, BEFORE HE SPREADS HIS CORRUPTION.”

In World News of Journal Online, Dalizon said Soriano would likely be visiting the following places: Brazil, Singapore, Thailand and the United States. Some quarters believe Dalizon is pitching for the Interpol who may believe that they are being tipped off by proper authorities. The Interpol who are not aware of the ways of the Iglesia ni Cristo may believe the story just upon the word of the Philippine military who are INC members without verification.

This World News incident was protested over by publication editors of Soriano’s group. They demanded that World News of the Philippine Journal group of publications sanction the erring reporter who obviously did not check his details before posting. The evangelist has in his possession two evidences to counter the rape case that Veridiano filed with the courts: (1) Lipa City Youth and Cultural Center permit for the use of the premises for the Bible Exposition that Soriano held for May 17 of 2000 – the day that Veridiano claimed he was raped; and (2) Chelation Therapy Schedule by the doctors who had attended to him that day before he went to his Bible Exposition. Veridiano, alias Puto, in the case he filed with the courts, claimed that he was raped around 1:30 in the afternoon of May 17, 2000 at the Convention Center in Pampanga. At those times, the evangelist was out of the Convention Complex as he was being attended to by his doctors and then he moved on to his Bible Exposition which ended at midnight. These Bible Expositions usually take time to prepare for the public and they begin much early in the day and end at midnight.

On what Veridiano reported as a second count of rape on June 8, 2001, Soriano said he went with Rico Fernandez to the office of one Ma. Evangeline Veloira in a bank located in Bambang, Manila. They then proceeded to Sushimoto Restaurant to meet a certain Aida P. Briones, an accountant recommended by Veloira regarding the loan transaction they were applying for. The preacher is known for gallantly financing big church projects which explains the growth of the congregation to an international scope. The transaction was held from 12noon to 4pm. Veridiano said he was raped around 3:00 in the afternoon that day.

The investigating prosecutor found no probable cause to prosecute Soriano as he believed that Veridiano’s accusations were all lies and fabricated. The case that was filed sometime before October 5, 2005 was dismissed on January 26, 2006. It was penned by Alexandro Lopez, Asst. Provincial Prosecutor and approved by Jesus Magarang, Provincial prosecutor, Province of Pampanga, San Fernando City. It highly considered the rift going on between the INC and the ADD.

Veridiano only filed his complaint after some 14 of his subordinates complained to Soriano that he raped them.

The story of Dalizon that is being protested to by the editors can be found here: http://article.wn.com/view/2008/08/16/Intl_arrest_warrant_out_for_Eli_Soriano/

The tabloid version posted in People’s tonight can be read here:
http://www.journal.com.ph/index.php?issue=2008-08-17&sec=1&aid=70285

The rape story was one connected with Daniel Veridiano, a former member of Ang Dating Daan and who had joined the Iglesia ni Cristo. While he was the one who raped his office mates, he filed a rape case against Preacher Soriano, obviously helped by the new church group he joined to spite Soriano after being excommunicated from Soriano’s group.

In Dalizon’s story, Veridiano was untruthfully presented as a former member of the Iglesia ni Cristo, just like Dalizon did in the case of Soriano – a poor attempt of Dalizon to hide his connections with the Iglesia ni Cristo. Dalizon also implied that Veridiano merely returned to his former fold, the Iglesia ni Cristo, when the truth is that Veridiano could no longer be acceptable to Soriano’s group.

Veridiano was excommunicated by Soriano for several offenses, including rape of some 14 of his subordinates and pilfering the church collections. His confessions can be viewed in YouTube. According to the church leader, the rape case Veridiano filed against the evangelist was in retaliation for his excommunication. This case was once dismissed by the courts for lack of evidence, but due to the intervention of Raul Gonzalez, himself the Secretary of Justice, the case was re-filed. Wikipedia carries this item in the biography of Eliseo Soriano where it mentions that Gonzalez has no connection with the case and yet he had it re-filed.

Some of the false teachings of the INC that Soriano had been attacking are: That anyone who is outside of the INC will not be saved, and other churches are of the devil thus condemning their members to the fires of hell; that Jesus Christ is a human being, was a human being, and remains a human being, and that Manalo is an angel; that holy supper is observed in the morning and with financial contributions.

Soriano had to leave the country in late 2005 upon receiving word that he would be left for dead. The INC had been filing case after case against Soriano beginning with libel and other cases to include rape. When he found that he could not even get the local and national courts to give him justice, he filed a case with the International Court of Human Rights.

The most vicious of the strategies that the INC had been using against Soriano is that of media. First, they used comics to depict Soriano in sodomy. These comics have been mandatory for their ministers to distribute and they were required quotas. Abner Martizano, the INC minister who got affiliated with the Ang Dating Daan group had provided all the details and showed on screen the directives from his former church in the viewing of thousands of Ang Dating Daan members.

The INC is known for its king-maker capacity with its bloc voting practice and is well sought for by politicians in times of elections. After the elections, these elected people return the favor in so many ways. Soriano, as beleaguered international evangelist, has left his country on account of persecutions by this rival church group quite influential to the Philippine government. Fortunately, for him, his being abroad has turned much good for his work as evangelist. More church locales have been opened and many nationalities have joined his faith including those from Canada, North and South America, Africa, Spain, and some from Asia.

The Face of War: Preacher in Exile Dares Powerful Nemesis to Finally Debate

By Jane Abao

An international evangelist, considered as the most queried man on earth today reiterated his need to face his powerful nemesis in a one-on-one debate on television live. Also counted as the most sensible preacher of our time today, his challenge is not one to be easily dismissed. Some quarters look at this challenge as a spur to the debate of the century long expected by those familiar with this preacher.

Filipino evangelist Bro. Eliseo Soriano who had exiled himself for expediency, reiterated today (23/1/2008) his challenge to a church leader of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC, translated as Church of Christ) to come out in the open so that this man could defend his teachings. Soriano had been very critical of false preachers ever since, most especially those of the INC.

Eraño Manalo, the Executive Minister of the INC, one whom Soriano calls a false preacher, has been ignoring Soriano’s call for a debate. Soriano is the presiding minister of the Church of God, International, better known through their program, as Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) by the public.

Eraño is the son of Felix Manalo, founder of the INC. He is politically a kingmaker in the Philippines for his bloc-voting congregation and is much sought after by politicians for help come election time.

Soriano, 61, left the Philippines in a hurry towards the end of 2005 when conditions turned sour to his interests as preacher, on the belief that Manalo had much to do with the string of cases maliciously filed against him. Word had reached the evangelist of impending events to happen. As he did not want anyone of his people to be sacrificed if they defended him, Soriano left the country upon advice of his security personnel.

A formal challenge to debate with Manalo was published by Soriano in one whole page of the broadsheet, Manila Times, in March 2005. The intention was to end once and for all the contentions between them and to let the public see who among them was telling the truth.

However, the INC Executive Minister Manalo merely told Soriano through his ministers in their TV program, Ang Tamang Daan (The Right Path), to debate with the Pope of Rome first and speak Latin before attempting to debate with him.

Ang Tamang Daan is an INC counterfeit of Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path), Soriano’s long running program which has won several awards. For the nth time, Soriano who has been based abroad for two years now is reiterating the call for debate with Manalo.

In a bible exposition where the interactive portion, “Ask Bro. Eli” was held today at Marinduque, south of Manila, via satellite from the United States, Soriano who is called Bro. Eli, has been challenged by a minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo or INC to explain why Soriano kept referring to his church as Iglesia ni Manalo (Church of Manalo). Soriano replied that there are so many churches of Christ but it is only the INC who refers to Christ as man and that he never was God at any time. Therefore, to make a distinction that the church of Christ he was referring to is the one that believes in Christ as man, Soriano had to refer to this group as Iglesia ni Manalo, he said.

Further, Soriano reasoned out that the Wesleyans did not find it offensive if their church was referred to as the Church of Wesley, just as the Mormons and the Aglipays did not feel slighted when they were referred to as the Mormon church or the Aglipayan church. Soriano also showed some documents on screen for the audience to see that Felix Manalo, the founder of this church, referred to the Iglesia ni Cristo as “my church.”

Piqued with the preacher’s answer, the minister of the INC (name unidentified to the audience) insisted that he could debate with Soriano at that very moment, but the latter countered that he must have the authority of Manalo first. The minister claimed that Soriano had been evading debate with his group, to which Soriano retorted that he was the one who had long been challenging Manalo to come out in the open and defend his teachings. He also warned the INC minister not to reverse the truth.

Answering from his seat abroad where is he based, Soriano said in a raised voice, “It is I who kept calling for Manalo to come out in the open and debate with me. Don’t you dare reverse the truth.”

As published in Wikipedia, “Eliseo Soriano posted a paid advertisement in Manila Times broadsheets and invited the camp of Iglesia ni Cristo in a one on one debate and discussion. The Iglesia ni Cristo answered Soriano on their program by asking him to debate first with Pope John Paul II which was bedridden at that time and died a few days after this was posted.”

The INC minister, who was tagged as the 14th inquirer in the “Ask Bro. Eli” portion of the program that night, walked out of the hall after failing to get what he wanted. As he left the hall, many of his followers took after him that several seats were vacated up front. However, even as the INC group left, there was excitement in the air.

It is nights like this that the audience becomes excited whenever one would dare challenge Bro. Eli. Until now, it is said, no one has proven this man wrong when it comes to biblical matters. His work history is one tracked with many exciting debates – with the losers leaving in bitterness after their erroneous teachings were exposed. Bro. Eli does not flinch whenever he comes face to face with false preachers, it is said. The INC are not excluded from the many fiery attacks of this evangelist.

It was evident that the inquirer was not there to ask questions on matters of faith or salvation but to register his angst and anger against the host for labeling their church as Iglesia ni Manalo.

Eliseo Soriano comes off as the most queried man on earth today. Working initially with Filipino audiences wherever they could be found, he had expanded on to international audiences. In his program, “Ask Bro Eli,” he is asked several questions ranging from relationships, to dreams, to ailments, to spiritual concerns, to management, to governance, to deep matters of truth, and he would answer by reading direct from the bible.

Each month, Soriano’s program gives off an average of 10 bible expositions where about 20 complex questions in each are asked and he would give long comprehensive answers. Each month, therefore, Soriano’s program that is held in the evening up to midnight could reap about 200-250 questions and each year, about 2,500 questions. The program had started its heydays in the radio then. Most of the questions are those not answered by the pastors of the inquirers. They included questions about idols, spirits, prayers, death, tithing, the real Jesus Christ, resurrection, judgment day, living, God the father, false preachers.

“Ask Bro. Eli ” has long been showcasing Soriano’s prowess in answering questions where most of the inquirers were enlightened and had joined Soriano’s faith – not excluding those from the Iglesia ni Cristo.

Soriano is now facing multiple charges in the Philippines filed by the Iglesia ni Cristo and its sympathizers – all of them arising from his work as evangelist. The witnesses are either those Soriano had excommunicated from his congregation for various offenses, public officials who had benefited from the bloc-voting practices of the INC, and even those who stood to gain from the filed cases.

The impact of the evangelist’s work has drastically reduced the membership of Manalo’s church that heavily depended on tithing – which practice Soriano has been preaching against. Tithing according to him is merely Mosaic law that is not applicable to Christians today.

Wanting to continue with his mission as one in a hurry, Soriano tries yet to be safe from those who would want his downfall. With his impressive humanitarian work of caring for the helpless of Philippine society, he feels he is not being given the justice due a Filipino citizen.

In one of the many earlier discussions of Soriano on Biblical topics, he had intimated that the last war to be fought will be a war between truth and evil.

Soriano had earlier filed a case with the International Human Rights Commission.