TopTen Judge: Making a Destructive List For Ratings

By Jane Abao

Manila, Philippines (12/92015) – Making a list of “Top Tens” can be subject to abuse. It inherently requires authority, research, and truth. If it is only about material things, there is not much quarrel expected if one does his research. If it concerns people, the higher level of care is imposed upon the one making the list.

Sometime this December this year, the Members Church of God International or Ang Dating Daan as more popularly known, noticed a blog posted by PinoyTopTens or toptendotph titled, “TOP 10 WORST RELIGIOUS SCANDALS PHILIPPINES.” There is no name of author except TOPTEN.PH and there is no date reflected on the blog. However, a check on Google says it was posted on August 26, 2014. That means that blog had been going the rounds for more than a year. That expanse of time for exposure increases the liability of this blog writer.

The blog started with a Bible quote, suggesting that those about to be named are false prophets.

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves … For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” (Matthew 7:15; 2nd Corinthians 11:13)

This is opening paragraph –

If the Church is losing its believers, it would not be because of other faiths – Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS or what-not- it would have been because of implosion: from the inside. Increasingly, priests today have become the Pharisees of long ago. Moneyed, in wheels, untouchables. And where Jesus has walked the Earth almost barefoot, these new leaders cruise in their beautiful SUV’s and preach not by example but by show. At least that’s what we see in the list below. Yes, good leaders still abound. Pope Francis is a blessing, no doubt. But the “Padre Damasos” of today abound. From the looks of it, it seems a Pandora’s box is just waiting to explode. Tick! Tock! Tick! Tock!

This is followed by a list of nine catholic priests and bishops. The only exception is that the author inserted Bro. Eli Soriano of Ang Dating Daan in the middle (#5). After each name, the author placed “allegations” but does not show any reference where he got all these stories. Therefore, after each story, he placed: “Alleged offender: XY.”

If we focus on the extraneous one – that of Bro. Eli Soriano – the composition is only 132 words. “Alleged” was used twice: once for what the complainant, Daniel Veridiano, claimed, and once for the name of supposed offender. “Scandal” was also used twice: for the title, “Televangelist Sex Scandal” and its introduction, “Now for a non-Catholic scandal.”

His rendition of the piece in some parts sounded like truth: For example, “On May 2006, rape charges were filed against this charismatic religious leader of Dating Daan. The defiled: his former staff, Daniel Veridiano.” It did not even quote a source. And there’s no indication of the status of the case as if his words were final.

The part on Bro. Eli ended with, “Analysts suspect Veridiano was instigated by INC (Iglesia ni Cristo), a rival religious group to which the complainant now belongs. Said sex offender has been reportedly lambasting the sect to no end.”

While the writer was trying hard to do a semblance of objectivity with the above phrase, he had lumped Bro. Eli with his accusation in the beginning: “Increasingly, priests today have become the Pharisees of long ago. Moneyed, in wheels, untouchables.”

The Questions

First, we take the author to task. What is your name? The readers, more particularly those of Bro. Eli’s camp, are entitled to know who is this accusing who.

Bro. Eli is moneyed? He has businesses established here and there to take care of propagation; in that way he is able to expand more the work of propagation without unnecessarily burdening the members. But to say he is moneyed suggests carrying and using money that is not his own like the Pharisees that he compares Bro. Eli with. The earnings of the businesses he put up are meant to take care of God’s work.

In wheels? Bro. Eli has no private car, but rides public transportations, even willing to wait for hours at terminals. You can see him in international airports also waiting for his turn. Whatever the church provides for his convoy to go to Bible Expositions, he is content with that. He would rather use money for Bible Expositions to reach out to more and more, rather than spend for private property. He has no need for that. He lives in a home where there are many working for the church and backing up his busy activities. The garage, he uses for impromptu broadcasting center.

He is not untouchable? He is even powerless that many cases have been filed against him by the powerful Iglesia ni Cristo. Although most of the cases had been dismissed, there are others yet pending, including this case filed by Daniel Veridiano, himself a self-confessed rapist. It is not yet over as Veridiano has all the backings of the powerful. But your Top Ten #5 implies it is over. [Here’s a peck into Veridiano.] https://jakeastudillo.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/portrait-of-the-raped-man-for-whom-the-interpol-would-mobilize/

Neither is Bro. Eli acting like “the Pharisees of long ago.” You are wrong, mister! More yet, he is not a false prophet. Knowing Bro. Eli well, he would even call you the false prophet hiding under anonymity! Again, what is your name?

Making a List of People

Making a list is not valid, more yet destructive – when it comes to simply naming people. How acceptable is your list? By what means did you make that up? What criteria did you use? Simply put, a judge of one is debatable.

Merely making a list of people is easy but has many pitfalls. In fact, making a list is equivalent to making an opinion and therefore necessitates defending one’s list.

There are several reasons one makes a list, and one of that is to facilitate writing, which writing does not require very much thinking because one can refer to other documents. That works for the individual items that make the list. How about the total make-up of it? How did you judge your entries? How did you make sure the items fit well? In other words, what was your methodology in composing the list?

Juvenile Thinking

It is juvenile to think one can simply make a list and that is truth already. If you make a list about this kind of things, you may be right, you may be wrong, but no one is going to fight you because no one may get offended: Biggest Casinos in the Philippines, Accidents that Kill Pinoys the Most, Common Modes of Transportation in the Philippines, Diseases Killing Pinoys the Most, and Weirdest Food Pinoys Eat, among other material things.

Standards in Practice

It is clear TOPTENdotPH wrote a sexscandal story, supposedly of priests that are “moneyed, in wheels and untouchable.” The supposed offense is sex crime. Unfortunately, Bro. Eli does not even fall under any of these categories. The author had acted as judge, jury and executioner – all in one. When it comes to people, one must be careful in making a list.

Expectations

There are expectations when one makes a list of people and are the following:

  • It is a competition and all participants have submitted themselves as willing participants.
  • For such submission, all are bound by the rules, one of which is selection from the best of these participants.
  • The competition is not meant to bring destruction to participants but to advance and encourage their cause.
  • There are judges whose selection have been based upon knowledge, familiarity with the field being judged, and free from bias.
  • There is a period covered or a range for which they are Top Ten.

The Danger

Sadly, using the terms, “Top Ten” gives the impression that the list has been vetted. More yet, using the privilege one step more to come up with the name, “ Pinoy’s Top Ten,” for the website’s nomenclature. Do you represent the Filipino people? That is the impression you give.

About all the lists the site has produced, there is not much contention when it comes to simply material things. When people are concerned, however, one must be extra-careful.

This irresponsible blog we are addressing can be subject to cybercrime laws.

What could be the Motive

Bro. Eli’s camp have become wiser. They know, for example, when a giant TV station wanted to exploit the popularity of the preacher for ratings. This station aired a one-sided interview from his supposed accuser. When they opened a sister station, on the first anniversary of that sister station, it aired that controversial interview even after being told that they erred. Now, they are subject to boycott that is going 5 years already.

[You can read the long description about the boycott here.] https://www.facebook.com/kotawinters/info/?tab=page_info

Websites that attempt to exploit Bro. Eli’s popularity can no longer take that tack: the million members of the Ang Dating Daan are not biting. They won’t go to your sites one by one and comment one by one so that traffic will lead to the road going to you, and in the end, make you popular.

Assurance

There’s one thing the public can be assured of: If Bro. Eli Soriano is corrupt in any way: money, sex, character, teachings from the Bible, you can be sure the members of the Church of God International that he is Presiding Minister to, will leave him immediately. There will be no need to destroy him. It will be the very members who can discern right away if he is.

But to include him in your list of corrupt Roman Catholic priests and bishops, that is not acceptable. You have to answer for that.

Zero Rating

And by the way, here’s about TopTen.ph as described by HotSiteD:

Overview: Topten.ph has a global Alexa ranking of 340,912 and ranked 12,146th in Philippines. The global rank improved 104,105 positions versus the previous 3 months. The website server is using IP address 67.20.76.113 and is hosted in United States. The Google page rank of this website is 0/10.

You rank zero on Google!

So enough is enough!

Trending Hashtag #Noynoyparin Report of News5: The Transcript

Photo Credits: Rappler.com
Photo Credits: Rappler.com

Manila, Philippines (2/21/2015) – The following is a transcript of conversations in the report of Lourd de Veryra titled “NOYNOYPARIN | NETIZENS, NAGPAHAYAG NG SUPORTA KAY PNOY,” uploaded on 2/18/2015 on their site. We are placing it here for readers to have a better grasp of what they said.

WARNING: The participants here are talking about online media sites and what is being done in those sites, particularly Facebook and Twitter. There are distinctions in these two social networking sites. Facebook is mostly free but it earns through posts, through boosting. Boosting means you pay so that your post (mostly news and ads) can reach more people. In Twitter, however, there is NO such thing as boosting. In Twitter, it is followers you can pay for – for wider reach of your posts or for vanity. But honest people like Bro. Eli Soriano depend mostly on Members of the Church of God International (MCGI) for followers. Add atheists and those of other religion interested in his posts, and that makes his followers – all unbought.

Preacher Soriano uses Twitter to teach mostly. He also uses Twitter to gather readers to his blog, http://www.ControversyExtraordinary.com. Just this one time, he used Twitter to voice out support for President Benigno Aquino. It has caught wildfire and surprise from media and the general public.

The participants here at News5 are giving their views. There is no direct accusation, and they are trying to make sense out of #Noynoyparin. But obviously they could not believe that the first twitter, Bro. Eli Soriano could muster wide support to rally his cause. Lourde de Veyra and his companions refer only to “netizens,” not realising that it  is MCGI or Ang Dating Daan people twitting and re-tweeting. Soriano has such extensive followers in Twitter (going 70K to date), considering that the organisation he leads is international. The evangelist openly twitted that he is behind the beleaguered President whom the Catholic Bishops wanted to step down due to failed leadership they attributed to the fallen SAF44.

But Soriano disagrees: He wanted the President to continue and finish his term. He also took note of these bishops’ unwarranted intervention in the government. The #Noynoyparin started by Bro. Eli reigned as the top hashtag for more than 5 days in a row beginning February 16.

And why the support for Aquino? In Gloria Arroyo’s time – the regime before Aquino’s – Soriano was rained upon with case after case by a group that Arroyo allowed to meddle in government affairs including in the justice system of the country. Aquino did not do such: he never favoured a religious group to lord it over in the courts. Soriano was then able to do propagation efforts unhampered.

Now, about suggestions of Malacanang being spin doctor to help Aquino, that is up to these people. A spin doctor is “a person (as a political aide) responsible for ensuring that others interpret an event from a particular point of view.” Sour grapes can be found just every where, and there must be a spin doctor they can point to. – Jane Abao

START

Lourde De Veyra: Matapos na batikusin, bumabaha na ngayon ng suporta si Pangulong Noynoy Aquino. Nag-trending pa nga ang hashtag na #Noynoyparin. Unang nag-tweet ang religious leader na si Bro. Eli Soriano. Para sa kanya di tama na pababain sa pwesto si PNoy dahil dito sa usapin sa Maguindanao. Hindi naman daw nito ginusto ang nangyari. Sang-ayon naman sa kanya ang ibang netizens. Tanong pa nila, eh, makukuha ba natin ang katarungan at sagot kung bababa sa pwesto ang pangulo?

Ikinatuwa naman ng palasyo ang suportang natanggap ng Pangulo. Sa kabila niyan, isang kaalyado ni PNoy ang nagsabi, humina na ang kakayanan nitong mag-endorso ng susunod na presidente sa 2016. Pero, naniniwala si Speaker Sonny Belmonte na makakabawi pa rin ang Pangulo.

(Video Clips)

Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao: Our perception is that whoever is chosen by the president, siguro, we really have a very, very distinct advantage – whoever is supported by the president. But with this, the public perception is… Let us somehow deal [with it] a bit.

Rep. Sonny Belmonte: Let’s face it. As a politician, nakikita ko naman na up and down, up and down ang popularity ng mga tao depending on the issue of the day. Pero, wala naman akong duda na makakarecover din sya.

Lourde de Veyra: Ang tanong, repleksiyon ba ng nag-trend…. nagtrending? ng hashtag ang suporta ng mga Pinoy sa Pangulo?

Grace Lee: Nabasa ko nga rin yung mga naglabasang mga article …

Lourd de Veyra: Noynoy ka rin ba, Grace?

Grace Lee: I mean, ni-retweet ko ba? Naku, mahirap na sagutin yan. Kung ano naman ang sagot ko diyan, yes or no, alam mo ng lalabas sa mga di kanais-nais na mga websites sa alam mo na… pero sa akin, kahapon, sa social media, biglang naglabasan itong mga articles tungkol sa kung bakit gusto pa nila si Presidente. Bakit naniniwala pa sila sa kanila, at kung ano ang meron tayo  ngayon ay dahil sa kanya. At kung ano ang mawawala sa atin kung mawawala siya. So there are articles nga, trending also on Facebook yesterday and I read some of them. But para sa akin, ha, it seems a little bit too plaid. Ibig sabihin, parang… hindi.. halatang hindi… sincere. Mukhang…

Martin “Mart” Andanar:  May spin-doctor sa likod.

Grace Lee: Mukhang, it is a job that they were tasked to do. It didn’t touch the heart.

Martin “Mart” Andanar: It was too clean!

Grace Lee: Oo. Kasi talagang naka bullet points eh, nakita nyo ba? Naka bullet yung mga ginawa ni Pangulo. Tapos yung pinaka cover photo pa ng mga articles na yun, kung naalala nyo na binabatikos si Presidente na di siya gaanong nagtatrabaho katulad ni PGMA, at naglabas ang Malacanang na parang nagtatrabaho siya? O, yun yung litrato. So, tapos it didn’t give the right message. The picture and the way the article is written. So, ako, di ko in-expect na magti-trend ang #Noynoyparin just because of the articles.

Lourde de Veyra: They manufactured the trend. They can actually, artificially, manufacture the trend.

Grace Lee: Aha… lahat ng trending tungkol sa TV5 alam ko, genuine yun.

Martin “Mart” Andanar: Di naman chismis yung pwede kang magpa-trend. Totoo yan. There are people paid to do that. There are really people paid to do that. Add more trends or add more likes to your page… ganun.

Lourde de Veyra: Baka di nyo lang alam, mga tol, yung mga nagfa-Facebook diyan. Makikita nyo, may like, comment, share, may makikita ka rin dung “boost”. Yung “boost” na yun, sa halagang 3,000, may 20,000 o 30,000 na tao na may makakabasa nitong post mo, magbabayad ka ng credit card. May mga antas yan. Gusto mo ng ganito, pwede mong paabutin ng … sa isang milyong piso, ganito karaming taong makakabasa.

Martin “Mart” Andanar: Kaya nga sinasabi nila, Lourde, di ba, na yung Facebook, sa Twitter.. sa Twitter, you can do that. Also, you can place an ad on Twitter, eh yung kanilang business model, eh naging business model na rin ng telebisyon. Kung gusto mong maglabas ng produkto dun ng paulit-ulit, eh, you have to pay, kasi, ganun din sa Facebook. Magbabayad ka. Para gusto mong dumami yung manonood sa iyo.

Grace Lee: Parang ano nga siya eh… Recently, dahil sa isang negosyo, nag-post ako ng nag-post. Ang mahal ha! 20$ parang per boost.

Lourde de Veyra: It’s just a bucket for you.

Grace Lee: Grabe ka naman. Isipin mo kung gusto mong 1 week na tuluy-tuloy na ibo-boost niya everyday, grabe din yun ha! Umaabot ng more than 5,000 pesos.

Lourde de Veyra: Eh, billionaryo naman si Mark Zuckerberg. Teka muna, paano tayo napunta dito!

Grace Lee: May nagbo-boost nga daw ng hashtag….

Lourde de Veyra: Pinag-usapan talaga itong … siguro inisip nila or they contemplated another alternative. That dark alternative. Which is the words… yung kay Binay. Siguro weigh nila, ang daming kasong ibinabato kay Binay. Sino ba ang pwedeng pumalit dito?

Grace Lee: Di ba agad-agad na nag-komento, na walang power itong si Pinoy na mag endorse ng candidate for 2016, kaagad-agad? Sinabi agad ng kabilang kampo.

Martin “Mart” Andanar: Parang yung diskusyon ngayon, ng mga gustong pabagsakin ang gobyerno, iniisip nila ang bagong sistema etc, sino ba ang papalit? Binay? Ano ba ang gagawin ko kung di si Binay? Sino? Meron silang mga Transformation Council.. kung anu-ano…

Lourde de Veyra: Nakakatawa lang kasi ano, Mart, dahil sa social media, napaka instant ng gauging ng emotion, yung sa kainitan ng 44 issue, di ba, ang dali? Iharap mo yung celfone mo, may internet connection ka… bam! Bam! Bam! Ang celfone mo ang nagtatranslate. Di ka na nagkakaroon ng moment of reflection. Inis ka eh, so may mga hirit ka na ganun. Until in hindsight o humihina-hinahon na, nagkakaroon ka ng perspektiba sa mga issues. Siguro, napagisip-isip ng lahat, ang ayaw ko lang sa mga nag-isip nito…

Martin “Mart” Andanar: Sa Noynoyparin…

Lourde de Veyra: Itong Noynoyparin, isip-aso. Siguro mga bata ang nag-isip nito ano? Kasi kung mga 40 and above ka, maaalala mo yung Marcos pa rin. ]

Martin “Mart” Andanar: Parang ikaw!

Lourde de Veyra: Bata naman ako ng konti… mga 9 years old. Noon, “Marcos pa rin”  smacks of desperation. Yung mga 1986 na holding on to the last power. Yung illegitimately, sinasabi nila.

Martin “Mart” Andanar: Yung kay Cory naman, sobra na, tama na… yung slogan nila.

END.

Please refer to this video.

http://n5e.interaksyon.com/videos/7B88051F5E714C1/noynoyparin-netizens-nagpahayag-ng-suporta-kay-pnoy

Eli Soriano Not Fugitive from Justice: Two Courts Deny Motions

By Jane Abao

Manila, Philippines (10/22/2014) – Two courts refused to declare an international evangelist a “fugitive from justice” as sought by his enemies, particularly those he had been criticizing for their false beliefs and practices. This means the preacher is still far advanced over his enemies trying hard to see him dead.

BRO. ELI SORIANO. Keeping quiet when he sees something wrong is not his cup of tea. Photo by Sweetwasabe.

As court records would show, Bro. Eliseo Soriano was accused of libel twice for which complainants sought the courts to declare him fugitive from justice but failed to get a favorable ruling.

The preacher who is referred to simply as “Bro. Eli” by his constituents, is the Presiding Minister of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) or Ang Dating Daan as known by the public for its flagship radio-TV program.  By practice, the preacher readily exposes false practices in his effort to preach truth from the Bible. He does this particularly through his Bible Expositions or in his preaching to the congregation. The result is sometimes vehement reaction from those who prefer to remain as they are, in terms of filing court cases aside from libel.

The preacher left the country sometime in December 2005 after a series of attacks from the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) in the form of court cases and a raid of the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, north of Manila where Bro. Eli held office.

The complainants in Criminal Case 5957 (For Libel) at the Regional Trial Court, Fourth Judicial Region, Branch 76 of San Mateo Rizal, Philippines sought a motion to declare accused Eliseo Soriano a fugitive from justice and to issue a hold departure against him.

However, in a decision signed by Judge Josephine Zarate Fernandez on August 31, 2007, the motion was denied. Soriano’s counsel had underscored that his client is under intense persecution by the INC, explaining his failure to return to the country.

Despite a court denial, in 2007, two years later, the 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. The court this time took pains to explain the meaning of “fugitive from justice” as one already “convicted by final judgment.” Until proven guilty, an accused is considered innocent.

In a decision 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,” thereby the motion was denied. Among others, the decision said the prosecution admitted that the accused left the country before the filing of the case (September 5, 2006), therefore the intent to evade prosecution is not present.

Incidentally, the first Libel case (Criminal Case 5957) was dismissed seven years after it was filed. In an eight-page decision penned by Josephine Zarate Fernandez, Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Fourth Judicial Region, Branch 76 of San Mateo Rizal, TV Broadcaster Eliseo F. Soriano was acquitted of the charge of libel. The order signed on January 14, 2014 said that malice was not proven beyond reasonable doubt.

According to Law, malice is one of the four elements of libel that must be sufficiently satisfied for the case to succeed. The three others include: the allegation of a discreditable act or condition concerning another, publication of the charge, identity of the person defamed, and existence of malice. The absence of anyone of these elements will not make the case prosper.

The private complainant was a Dr. Nancy Pascua represented by her counsels Atty. Abraham Espejo and Atty. Rodel Morta. Pascua was found vilifying Bro. Eli to her peer doctors who happened to be members of the MCGI that Bro. Eli led. The decision records that at that moment, Pascua was with Bernardo Santiago and his wife, both excommunicated members of the MCGI who were admitted to the INC. For background, Santiago’s wife Yolanda, legally belonged to another MCGI brother for which reason (adultery) Santiago was expelled. Bernardo Santiago is now an INC minister.

Bro. Eli reportedly reacted to the attempt at disinformation: “Baka quack doctor yon kaya galit sa akin,” (She may be a quack and that is why she’s mad at me). It was on this basis that Pascua filed a libel case. The preacher’s statement, however, was reportedly meant to underscore that a true doctor does not inflict pain on people – be it physical, mental or psychological. This case was dismissed including the earlier attempt to declare Bro. Eli a fugitive from justice.

The other case (Criminal Case 06-248365 – For Libel) that failed to get its motion to declare the preacher as fugitive from justice, was archived. According to the camp of Bro. Eli, INC Ministers named Michael Sandoval and Ramil Parba incited Muslim suicide bombers to run after Soriano to avenge the criticisms of the preacher about their beliefs and raid the ADD Convention Center. Here’s an excerpt from their exchanges on television:

Ramil Parba: Hindi ako papayag niyan! Kung ako ngayon ay miyembro ng Abu Sayaff? Miyembro ako ng MILF? Halimbawa, miyembro ako ng Suicide Bombers? Naku! Hindi ako papayag na basta ganun lang yan!  (I would not allow that! If I were a member now of the Abu Sayaff? Member of the MILF? For example, I were a member of the Suicide Bombers? Oh, no! I would not take things just like that!

Michael Sandoval: Lulusob ako sa Apalit. (I would raid Apalit).

The ministers openly did this through Net25 in their program, Ang Tamang Daan.

This went with the filing of a libel case by Muslims against the preacher in 2006 but which was archived after all these years.

These court cases relieving Bro. Eli were not publicized earlier by the MCGI such that enemies capitalized on rumors being perpetuated by his enemies that he is running away from the strong arm of the law. Recently, a disinformer went as far as writing to the editor of a publication in the United Kingdom  named Planet demanding to know why a ‘fugitive from justice” is allowed to advertise his activities instead of being reported to authorities. The MCGI thought it is high time the public should know about these two court decisions.

To Bro. Eli’s camp, the only group that is gaining from this syndrome inflicting injuries on the preacher is the Iglesia ni Cristo. Soriano happens to be the most severe critic of this group.

The “INC Syndrome” to the MCGI is actually a package that includes the following: 1) Excommunication in the MCGI means the person is not anymore acceptable due to filthy living and/or continuing violations of doctrine. But Church members excommunicated from MCGI are readily admitted into the INC after which they are made complainants or witnesses in court cases filed against Bro. Eli; 2) Court cases rain on Bro. Eli running the gamut of libel, obstruction to justice, murder, rape; 3) Net25 is used by the INC ministers to incite Muslims to run after Bro. Eli to avenge his criticisms of Muslim beliefs;

-4) Several broadcast programs of Bro. Eli  or he and his co-anchors get suspended with time or indefinite time by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB); 5) Rape case filed against Bro. Eli by an excommunicated Church member that went to the INC gets dismissed for lack of evidence; the Department of Justice under the Office of the President of the Land intervenes, gets the case elevated to them and then refiled;

-6) Bro. Eli is forced to leave the country late 2005;  7) Net25 is used by the INC ministers welcoming back Bro. Eli home with the free services of Amurao Funeral Homes, Amurao, being their “kapatid.”

-8) Interpol is attempted initially to locate Bro. Eli as Wanted for “sex crimes” which scope is not even covered by the concerns of the international body; 9) Motion to declare Bro. Eli a Fugitive from Justice is filed in two courts; and

-10) Disinformation campaign from the Internet extends to foreign media.

In each of these, Bro. Eli believes the The Almighty he serves has been saving him. Advertisements welcoming people to listen to his Bible Expositions are a part of normal routine. The fact that he advertises himself belies the claim that he is in hiding, the MCGI explained. Secondly, he preaches to the world via satellite and could be located if he is really wanted. The disinformer exerting influence on foreign media had not considered that advertising oneself and preaching openly could hardly be the behavior of a fugitive from justice.

Despite the continued disinformation, instead of seeing Bro. Eli banished from the face of the earth as desired by his enemies, all the more he has widened his base for preaching. When he speaks in Bible Expositions, all six continents are linked to his base. From statistics, the MCGI has tremendously grown over the last seven years since Bro. Eli set base in South America.

When asked about images, tithing, practices that are not espoused by the Bible, Bro. Eli continues to irk religious leaders with his answers. But it is part of his role as Truthcaster, preaching the Bible whole, the preacher claims.

What did the INC not want the world to hear from Bro. Eli as broadcaster? For one, the preacher underscores the devious effect of the Iglesia ni Cristo Command Votes practice that is actively influencing politics in the country. Public knowledge reveals that the members are commanded to elect certain candidates – be it someone judged to be unworthy for the elected position. Failure to do so would  merit sanctions. After the elections, the INC would recommend their people to sensitive positions as forms of payback. The devious effect can be said to have filtered into the justice system of the country by way of these Command Votes for the President of the Land and other national elective positions. [Read this book for more on the justice system: Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court by Marites Danguilan Vitug, Public Trust Media Group Inc 2010].

To analytical minds, “Command Votes” is the right term because there is bloc voting that allows the will of the voter to reign. In contrast, in the Command Votes practice of the INC supposedly for unity, there is no freedom to choose, such that some leave the INC on account of such practice. Most leavers can be found in the MCGI who lament that they had to vote for the rivals of their very own relatives – against their will.

An earlier blog of Jake Astudillo (April 21, 2013, this blogsite)  wrote –

Alex Magno of Philippine Star calls this more of “command votes.” As practiced by the INC it is command votes, he said, “evoking sad imagery of witness voters and omnipotent political lords.”

Whatever you may call it, the INC had perfected this practice by declaring candidates to support only a few days before the actual casting of votes – when the most likely candidate to win is already palpable. They then appear to have exerted some influence when the candidate wins, who usually would call in to thank them.

As discussed by Preacher Soriano, this bloc voting syndrome has affected the country as exemplified by politicians’ sycophantic bestowal of favors to the Iglesia ni Cristo. There is the obvious hope of abbreviated efforts in having to troop to their chapels for endorsement during election time.

Jake Astudillo is talking about the controversial re-naming of already-named streets to Felix Manalo Street’s by politicians, and granting INC (July 27) holidays to INC members in their localities. It is a practice gradually getting established that takes a less strenuous exercise than having to go to the INC Palace for endorsement or inclusion in bloc voting.

Why do politicians do this – rename streets in heroes’ names into Felix Manalo’s and grant holidays to INC’s in their localities?  Did the INC ask for these street re-naming and July 27 holidays? They did not, some INC claim. Isn’t it an effect or more precisely an offshoot of this Command Votes practice? To re-quote Astudillo, “There is the obvious hope of abbreviated efforts in having to troop to their chapels for endorsement during election time….  this syndrome has affected the country as exemplified by politicians’ sycophantic bestowal of favors to the Iglesia ni Cristo.”

The INC Command Votes practice is really at the root of the INC Syndrome, some quarters swear to that. They get their influence from it and use it to persecute others. Meanwhile, they ensconce themselves in power. This INC is hardly a CHURCH, according to Bro. Eli. If this were a true church, it would not display these symptoms.

But there is the necessity to speak – for the benefit of others. At his age, when Bro. Eli goes, at least he has been harping about the nefarious practices of this so-called very influential group: scattering their grandiose chapels everywhere but deforming their members within. With him, enemies may do everything, but he depends on what God can do.

“I am old. I don’t know how far my work will take me. As to preaching, there’s a direction to follow: from east to west to north to south. We are going north,” Bro. Eli would say.The Bible indeed points to that direction in not only with a single verse. When you consider what the preacher is saying and referring to, it is the Antipodal Map that he is busy following.

Corruption in News Media and the Charge of Power-grab

By Jane Abao

Manila, Philippines (9/24/2014) – Arrogance is defined in the dictionary as revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance. It can also mean displaying a sense of overbearing self-worth or ability. When media does this or when one ascribes to media such power or importance, then its performance of its supposed social function of being watchdog is being judged amiss. Indeed, is media incorruptible?

The Column

On September 9, 2014, an Efren N. Padilla wrote an opinion blog titled, “VP Jejomar Binay and the third commandment.” He wrote this in an online site, gmanetwork.com. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The columnist began with a public pet peeve: that of Binay being of ill repute. Vice President Jejomar Binay was said to deny the testimony of his former vice mayor in Makati at a Senate blue ribbon committee investigation – that he received kickbacks from the construction of the Makati City Hall’s overpriced P2.3-billion building.  He swore in Tagalog that he never received kickbacks –

Sa Diyos at sa tao, taas-noo kong sinasabi na wala akong tinanggap o hiningi na anumang pera sa proyektong
ito o anumang proyekto sa Makati. (Before God and people, I hold my head up high and say that I never received or asked any money for this project or any project in Makati).

Padilla said such denial and swearing sent shivers down his spine. “It stunned me. More so, it terrified me,” he said. The reason was that Binay had the gall to swear in God’s name.

Then Padilla inserted a short anecdote about Svengali, one he looks at as a powergrabber –

And talking about power-grab, I am reminded of Svengali, a fictional character in George du Maurier’s 1895 novel “Trilby.” The story tells of Svengali who seduces and controls Trilby into becoming a great singer using hypnosis. Of course, without Svengali, Trilby cannot perform.

Padilla’s piece was short of calling Binay a power grabber. From whom, Padilla did not elaborate.

Just like our power grabbers, they seduce and control particularly the “great unwashed” to do their bidding for power and make them helpless and dependent. Oh, how quickly we are reminded of the charming and bewitching entrepreneurship of our political and religious personae, and the involuntary ignorance of the lived experiences of our people.

Next, he pigeon-holed Binay with many others.

Is there a difference between the likes of Binay, Estrada, Marcos, Arroyo, Enrile, Revilla, Velarde, Quiboloy, Manalo, Soriano, et cetera? For me, there is none. Our political reality is that religion is now simply a sinister means rather than a noble end to pursue.

The many others, however, do not fall into one category.

Finally, the columnist made an exaggerated claim – that of news media being incorruptible.

I am glad that our people still have an advocate whose job is also to research the issues and to present the facts, to debunk the lies, and to tell the truth—the incorruptible news media!

Rhetorical Analysis

Everyone is presumed right until another one comes forward to prove him wrong. Padilla ended with an arrogant endorsement of news media as being incorruptible, but that is also his claim. What was his issue? That Binay is of ill repute is not debatable anymore – from the context that Padilla had detailed and supported this contention. Indeed, from the daily news reports, we read of the public wish that Filipinos will have as next President one who is not connected with any corruption charge. That is one thing no one would quarrel with. It is every nation’s desire anywhere in the world. From this angle, Padilla’s charge is tenable.

The structure of Padilla’s argument led to discussions about a Svengali. Who is he? The word origin and history for Svengali, according to Reference.com is “one who exerts controlling or mesmeric influence on another,” 1914, from hypnotist character of that name in the novel “Trilby” (1894) by George Du Maurier.

Another definition from Chris Welles as posted in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition is “A person who, with evil intent, tries to persuade another to do what is desired. In the story, the “singing machine” who was Trilby was under the spell of Svengali.

Padilla was therefore referring to non-thinking people made victims by powergrabbers. But he appeared confused because Svengali worked by hypnosis – not by power-grab – although Svengali held power. What do these grabbers do?

They seduce and control particularly the “great unwashed” to do their bidding for power and make them helpless and dependent. Oh, how quickly we are reminded of the charming and bewitching entrepreneurship of our political and religious personae, and the involuntary ignorance of the lived experiences of our people.

This charge is serious! Padilla should go to court – now that he had included Soriano in his tirade against Binay which he implied as power grabber and playing on the ignorance of the great unwashed.

What is Power

Power is different from power grab. One can have power through the appointment of people or through the appointment of God. Power taken forcibly is power grab. But Power is not hypnosis and people are not that frail and corrupt as to be mindless following fools.

Power is not the same as power grab. Power is not always negative. In fact, power can bring order. Power does not necessarily take away thinking as in hypnosis. When people are ruled in a democracy, their minds do not melt at the powerful’s will.

Not Protected Speech

By equating Binay to a potpourri of personalities, this opinionator is left without a conclusion to the ethical issue he presented.

It is not protected speech anymore, Mr. Padilla, when you cannot give reasons why WXYZ is equivalent to Binay. Here’s an analogy:  You would get angry if someone said your book is like the book of Weber on Page 31. One said that without support, with nary a proof given. From a Johari window, that is how you appear to the audience, Mr. Accuser. You get angry because it implies you plagiarized someone. But that is how you impress those assessing your opinion blog. You may have bulls-eyed with Binay, but you hit and run in some.

What is protected speech? The freedom of speech is enshrined in the Philippine Constitution. Article III Section 4 of the Bill of Rights provides that: “No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.”

Free speech comes from facts – not rumors – and the intention must be constructive, not to do harm. There are laws to protect a person’s good name and integrity against false information. There are laws against saying or writing things to incite hatred against others because of their ethnicity or religion. Freedom of speech is not an excuse to harm others. One can always speak, but what if one comes up to demand you to support your allegations?

Responsibility

The right to speak means you are entitled to voice whatever you want to say. However, freedom of speech does not give you the right to anything without consequences to the law.  If you defame anyone or lie about him, there are laws to prevent that, which is in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights article number 19. This Declaration states that every human being has the right to express their opinions and ideas without hindrance. But you cannot besmirch one’s reputation and cite free speech. It is said that with the right to free speech there comes a responsibility.

Missing Supports

Padilla was making an assertion without an explanation as to why audience would agree – to his equation. What are missing are reasons responsible for his claim. Reasons to arguments are beliefs, evidence, metaphors, analogies, and other statements offered to support or justify conclusions. They are statements that together form the basis for demonstrating the credibility of a conclusion. But the man was hardly reasoning out at all. After describing a scoundrel and fully showing why he thinks of him as scoundrel, he merely dropped bombs on many others innocent to his charges. One of them is Bro. Eli Soriano.

When Freedom is Bad

There is a time that freedom of speech is bad. When is that? When it is practiced irresponsibly, freedom is bad. Too often, some take advantage and claim freedom of speech and of the press and use it as a shield to hide behind. There is a misuse of freedom of the press when anything in print or other media is used to harm another, for whatever reason. There is a misuse of the press when a writer publishes what he chooses without considering the facts. Freedom of the press is misused when reporters, columnists, editors, publishers have little or no accountability for what they produce. That is what this law means.

Disinformer

We call the misuser of this freedom a disinformer. Unfortunately, Efren Padilla has chosen to be a disinformer – a naïve public relations man for media, while at the same time condemning innocent people. Did he do research? Did he look at his facts? Does he really know Bro. Eli Soriano? Or is he merely quoting Soriano’s enemies? Why did Soriano come to have those enemies? Isn’t it because he tells the truth from the Bible?

In fact, it is because media has become foxy that media literacy came into force to protect the public which purpose is to inform the citizens how media can work negatively and how not to be fooled.

Looking back, the reason a government should affirm freedom of the press is to enable the free flow of ideas. In a democracy, the authority to govern comes from the people. The people need to be able to freely access information and put information out for others to consume.  But media can be wayward some ways and that is why media literacy is being taught especially to the youth.

Column Writing

What is the scope of opinion writing? Columnists are opinion writers, but they do not simply write opinions. Here is the scope of opinion or column writing according to ZeePedia.com (MCM 514:19)

Anybody can be trained to write straight news because it is very mechanical. Feature articles, though also somewhat formulaic, are harder because they require good writing.  But column writing is the hardest type of writing of all because it requires good thinking.

To write a good column requires more than just the ability to articulate an opinion. Your opinions must make sense, provide insight and be convincing. And you must do this in an entertaining way.  It requires you to be almost like a lawyer. Through your arguments, you will need to convince the jury (your readers) that your client (your viewpoint) is right. Shaping a powerful argument takes practice and requires both breadth and depth of knowledge as well as the ability to critically analyze a particular issue.

It is clear that column writing is highly personalized journalism but it does not mean one can be illogical and irresponsible. Padilla’s work shows thinking tools that are poorly calibrated for any analytical work. Just from concepts alone that jump from one thing to another without showing their valid connections, it doesn’t pass for a positive teacher’s mark. Especially for one known to have written a book and the fact that an author is expected of more refined thinking than one who is merely writing opinions, one can only shake one’s head.

It is unfortunate that Padilla is as a pretentious visionary whose vision does not have a foothold on reality. When did news media ever become incorruptible?

For one making a prognosis such as looking for facts, facts, and more facts to save people from power-brag and hypnotism but never considering the system that houses his fawning compliments, there is much to say. You should have done your research, man! (Clue: Google for boycott and 37K+ supporters). And did you ever imagine that fawning could be a form of corruption too?

Padilla’s Argument

Here’s the actual structure of Padilla’s simplistic argument:

  1. Binay is a scoundrel (has moral/ethical issues).
  2. Binay is like the following: a, b, c, d, e, f, g (who are Svengali-like).
  3. The answer is facts, facts, and more facts.
  4. News media is incorruptible.

The best that the gentleman could have done is to tie his prescriptive issue to a conclusion and fix it there.

Prescriptive issue: A Presidential Candidate should be upright and proper. Lying and swearing, using God’s name is the last thing he should think of doing.

Supports: A, B, C, D, E, F, and G.

A: The Office of the President is the conscience of the nation, it deserves a moral occupant.

B: Swearing in God’s name does not make a lie true.

C: Binay swore lies in God’s name.

Etcetera.

However, what Padilla did was to drag in other people aside from mixing the concepts of power-grab and hypnotism, and then finally tossed in the uncalled-for praise on media that is devoid of logic. In effect, how is the flow of connections? If this is not the equivalent of garbled wires in an incoherent’s head, what could it otherwise be?

Mere Assumptions

There is no coherent structure in Padilla’s opinion piece. From his charge of a “Svengali-like political or religious character who covets power by all means, even if it means damning one’s soul or undermining one’s sense of personal integrity,” he was only cat-pawing. Was this Binay?  Estrada? Marcos? Arroyo? Enrile?  Revilla? Velarde? Quiboloy? Manalo? Soriano? But he made an equation, right?

So all of them are deemed equivalent to Binay in Padilla’s assertion. The assertion, however, was not supported and his supposed conclusion for “the incorruptible press” to look for facts, facts, and more facts is looking for truth in reverse. He then takes a dangerous, illogical and unjust path: that of making assertions first and then calls for the press to prove his assertions.

Mr. Padilla, you have included Soriano in your accusation, right? Then prove it!

The Soriano

The only link that can be seen between Bro. Eli Soriano and “power” is that of him correcting Pope Francis in his skewed statements to an atheist. That is because Bro. Eli is well-versed in the Bible and is primarily a faithful steward of Bible truth such that he cannot let these things pass: Firstly, calling Christ a man and not spirit; and secondly, advising Eugenio Scalfari, journalist of the Italian Newspaper, “La Repubblica” to follow his conscience on the question of whether to believe in God or not.  Correcting the Pope maybe shocking to Padilla who does not appear steep in spiritual experience but to people honed in an environment that is suffused with learning, that is expected of Bro. Eli. Is that power-grab? That was rather power of knowledge and understanding at play but not power-grab.

If thousands of Catholics are leaving their Church every week after learning the truth from the Bible Expositions of Bro. Eli, that is hardly power-grab. It is enlightenment.  It is the power of the Holy Spirit in the man that can explain mysteries from the Bible. Bro. Eli does not merely tell stories like priests in other churches do. He expounds on Bible verses very well.

It is also not the work of hypnotism if people can listen to Bro. Eli for hours and hours on end for three consecutive days and more. It is rather due to the understanding of the man that is un-equalled in the entire world. Of all churches, it is only in the Members Church of God International or Ang Dating Daan as locally known where members are encouraged and challenged to think with the preacher. They do not merely listen. Bro. Eli conducts his preaching through Socratic questioning. The style is interactive – between preacher and the audience – and a group that facilitates Bible reading because every teaching comes from the Bible.

Here, there is no place for a Svengali because the culture within is characterized by questioning and answering all the time. Every week-end where there is Worship Service followed by Thanksgiving, there is a Consultation Period where any question can be asked.

To be sure, the language used in Church services is mostly Tagalog and then translated into English, Spanish, and Portuguese, so there is nothing hidden from the members attending services through satellite systems worldwide. Lately, Chinese and Japanese translations were added. There are no images around to venerate and everything is directed to God where the members are taught to worship The Almighty in spirit and in truth.

The names Padilla mentioned do not fall under a single category. Are they dictators like Marcos? Are they known as corrupt like Arroyo? What connection do they have to power-grab that Padilla implied?

Padilla is hitting fellows he does not like. The danger with his equation is that he has hit innocent people like Soriano. Surely, there is no other Soriano that is a religious leader than Bro. Eli – or a religious leader of his stature.

Now, ask the millions of members of the MCGI if that is how they see Soriano. Is he like Binay that he described as corrupt and a liar with the gall to be swearing in God’s name? Does Bro. Eli have entrepreneurship to speak of that are the product of corruption?

Between one man who cannot construct well his arguments, yet accuse Soriano whom he only knows from rumor, and the average of 1,500 people getting baptized every week from Bro. Eli’s preaching, credibility would incline more to the latter than to this opinionator. Verily, he has not even seen fit to supply a single support to his equation claim. Logos, Mr. Padilla! You have to supply it to be credible.

And to a supposed author, tsk! Of course, anyone can be an author nowadays, but not a writer. A writer would be careful about his reasoning.

Media Literacy

Why was there a need for media literacy to be taught in the first place? The premise is that media is not all the time responsible. It can give out lies or half-lies. It can be tricky. Why so? There are many factors. There are many influences that may come in between performing its social responsibilities and offers for material comfort. There are the owners of media who may want to earn profits from political ads and would like to forego rules of parameters. There are the advertisers who may threaten to leave if their rival is given preferential treatment. There are the customers with money with some demands, and the like. On the other hand, there are the audiences that can believe that whatever they read and watch are true – just like what Padilla just wrote – until debunked.  In effect, some people become victims of media carelessness or irresponsibility.

Padilla’s column is clearly confused.  It is false and hollow in most parts. Yet, let’s bet: That piece will stay there no matter what untruth it preaches. Written on GMAnetwork.com  the author appears to be merely ingratiating himself to those housing his opinions. Now is the time they will know that Padilla lacks proper perspective – to even call himself a journalist. Haw-haw! Media is incorruptible? A backhanded compliment – that is rightfully what it is! An “insult” according to the dictionary.

Aside from tossing that unmerited praise to media, the sycophant clearly lacks a wide perspective on religion, more yet a sound spiritual experience. Doesn’t he know that religion cannot be forced on anyone – much less play it by hypnosis?  It appears that his search for truth – if there is – is very much behind his eagerness to write and blow off praise to those who do not deserve while he compromises the innocent. He writes –

This means that the only way to debunk lies and to uncover the truth is to research and present the facts, facts, and more facts.

Sure! As scholarly writing is, yes! That also goes for journalism – even personalized journalism like column writing. This advice is apt for you, Efren Padilla.

Scholarly writing, as well as journalism, does not exaggerate and encourage the penchant for observing adjectives only at the extreme ends of supposed binaries. There could be things in-between as one thing may not be the opposite of another. Nor is everything in superlatives or necessarily the cause of another. For example, how could Svengali-like leaders thrive in our midst? From the other extreme, how could news media be incorruptible? If there is incorruptible news media, there could still be Svengali’s – like it or not – because media is not god nor has the power of God, and secondly, because it depends upon the people if they submit to hypnotism or not. Will they? Definitely, where church services are held in Latin and where idols are venerated, there is hypnotism there because people cannot tell what is true or not.

Here are recent charges of corruption in Philippine media. It doesn’t look like Padilla has been in a cave, yet why doesn’t he know these?

Corruption in Media

Chay Florentino-Hofileṅa (1998, 2004) wrote “News for Sale, The Corruption of the Philippine Media.” This is part of the books of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ). Notice the introduction and the beginning –

No one in journalism will deny that media corruption exists. There is contention only in the extent of the corruption and the damage it causes…. This study shows both the remarkable continuity of the forms of media corruption as well as the new types of malfeasance that emerged in the 2004 campaign.” (http://pcij.org/bookshop/newssale.html)

Fast forward to 2014, posted in ABS-CBNnews.com is “Time to speak up about media corruption – NUJP”

In a statement, NUJP Chairperson Rowena Paraan said: “We hope that any discussion of ethics and professionalism shall encompass all aspects of the media industry as a whole and not be limited only to weeding out individual offenders. After all, for all its virtues and faults, the Philippine media is a reflection of the society from which it springs and which it claims to serve.”

This comes on the heels of a Philippine Daily Inquirer report that claimed broadcast journalists Erwin Tulfo and Melo del Prado received payoffs from the National Agribusiness Corp. (NABCOR), one of several government offices used in the pork barrel scam. (http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/03/20/14/time-speak-about-media-corruption-nujp?

The news said among others that Paraan mentioned ownership as well as management patterns that play a major role into why journalists “fall astray.” This is a reality playing into the work of journalists which is why one cannot say news media is incorruptible. Just like in other professions, journalists can fall astray in their work.

Already there is a dictionary for corruption in media in the country (Glossary, 2004). Just where did these terms come from if not from experiences, from reality? We have, for example, Hao siao or Warik-warik. The first is used in Manila while the second one, in Cebu. It is “a derogatory term used to refer to pseudo-journalists, those not employed by a reputable news organization but pass themselves off as journalists in order to cash in on payoffs and bribes made by news sources, particularly during elections.”

Then there is smiling money. The compilation says it is “Cash that is given to reporters or editors for no particular reason except to create goodwill between a source and the journalists. It can also be used to refer to a payoff given after the publication of a positive story, supposedly as a gesture of the source’s appreciation.”

Among many others, there is also Shepherds. These are “journalists who are either jobless or on leave from their news organizations and act as guides to reporters covering a particular candidate or party.” Shepherds are said to take care of the reporters’ needs including accommodations, food, plane fare and other transportation expenses, as well as “extras” like nights out.

Here’s a snippet of a profile interview (Magno, 2004) on Chay Florentin Hofileña on how to battle media corruption. Hofileña from the Center for Journalism, Ateneo de Manila University, is the author of News for Sale. Leo Magno was IT editor of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and executive editor of INQ7.net when he spoke with her about her latest book.

Magno: In your book, Malaya publisher Jake Macasaet said the problem with mediacorruption is that businessmen and politicians are afraid of the press, that’s why they resort to bribing journalists. Has the press become too powerful and too drunk with power en route to gaining freedom that it feels it could now throw its weight around?

Chay: There is no such thing as absolute freedom. With freedom comes greatresponsibility. The press in the Philippines enjoys tremendous freedom and it has become terribly irresponsible. This irresponsibility will have its costs as credibility is continuously eroded. Look at print – diminished credibility has affected readership,circulation and sales. This is the future of the media that insist on being obstinate and irresponsible.

Jon Joaquin (2014), the managing editor of the largest circulation newspaper in Mindanao, the Mindanao Daily Mirror in Davao City, wrote in Pilipino Express

There are enough bad eggs to spoil the reputation of the media. These are the ones who think nothing of twisting facts in order to enrich themselves, spreading lies or withholding the truth in exchange for money. Some do it passively, merely receiving grease money from their benefactors, while others do it actively, literally extorting money from hapless victims who are targeted for their so-called “AC-DC” activities — Attack-Collect, Defend-Collect. The truth suffers, and ultimately it is the people who are victimized.

Media corruption is a painful topic according to Marissa Robles (2012) –

There is one main reason why readers do not get a complete understanding of the corruption in mass media – the people in the industry don’t want to talk about it. The reason? It involves colleagues, friends, people you see and work with everyday. Apart from this, it’s hard to give names for the simple reason that there is no documentary proof. It’s the kind of practice where people don’t keep records, for obvious reasons.

Talking about corruption in different kinds of media reporting, Robles says of opinion makers –

A different set of rules is followed by newspaper columnists or opinion writers. Sometimes, columnists come from the ranks of reporters but oftentimes they don’t. They are contracted by the newspaper owner or by an editor to dish out opinion on mostly anything under the sun. Because of this, political and corporate strategists love to sit down with columnists, massage their egos and shower them with presents and favors. Some columnists are quite ethical in their dealings with news sources. Others are not.

I have been frequently told by colleagues in the industry the names of this or that columnist demanding freebies from hotels and airlines – just because they are columnists.

The point I’m trying to make is, please don’t blame reporters in general for what columnists write. Columnists are not writing hard news but their opinions and if they parrot word for word the stand of companies or corporate sectors on certain issues, then just stop reading them….

In January 2013, a Covenant Against Media Corruption 2013 was drawn. It was basically about election deals where politicians used to pay for media favors to journalists. In the covenant they are to stop doing these practices and to report of such cases when there are.  The covenant is said to be an outcome of Media Nation 9 last November 2012, an annual conference of media leaders convened by anti-corruption advocates from civil society. The covenant was signed by a diverse group that included representatives of three major TV networks and political parties and the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Not long after, on May 19, 2014, there was publicized a report that some media personalities allegedly benefitted from the notorious pork barrel scam. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that some media personalities allegedly received cash gifts from pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim Napoles as shown in financial records by principal whistleblower Benhur Luy. How did the covenanters take it? The statement of the National Union of Journalists (NUJP) began this way –

Let Us Take the Bull by the Horns

We have said it before and we will say it again, there can be no denying that corruption is as serious a problem within the media as it is within government and, let us face it, society in general.

Media, after all, do not exist in a vacuum.

Without passing judgment on anyone, the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s report on media personalities who allegedly benefited from the pork barrel scam according to accounting records purportedly drawn up by whistleblower Benhur Luy comes as no surprise….

It is time that the Philippine media – and we speak not only of those who work in the news but everyone in the industry, including, yes, the managements and owners – recognize the problem and save ourselves and our people from ourselves. 

Foxy Media

So there!  News media is after all as corruptible as ever! And to preach that it is not is insane. The likes of Efren Padilla feeding the public about news media being incorruptible is already corruption itself. It can make the people believe that everything written and published is true and incontestable. The truth is, with too much entertainment from media, the great unwashed are made content and forgetful of their realities. With focus on celebrities from media, the great unwashed are taught that success is materialism, and that life is about make-up and false pretense. With games and time-consuming gift-giving programs from media, laziness is encouraged and that lining up for hours as a gamble is preferable to working meaningfully at home. With gyrating at the studios from media, the children are taught that learning from their books is painful and that the boob-tube is a better school. With gossip and exposure depending on power and exchange of favor preferred by our media, the great unwashed are all at attention, and that is about all the information they get. Add the campaign for media being incorruptible and you peddle total untruth.

In writing about, “The high cost of media corruption” in his column for Philippine Star, William M. Esposo (2012) wrote –

Planting false information in peoples’ minds is a worse form of corruption than simply giving a public official a bribe. A poisoned mind fails to properly discern and eventually makes some very bad decisions for the country — like electing the worst candidates that corrupt media promoted. The only reason why these corrupt media practitioners have not been checked and prosecuted is because legislators are politicians and are afraid of a media backlash.

What about the Filipino minds? Should we blame their kind on Svengali-like leaders like Padilla said?

Filipino minds today are over-entertained and under-informed, with a good part of the blame going to the tri-media that failed to provide its most important service. This over-entertained and under-informed state of the Filipino mind can be likened to the proverbial devil’s workshop of the corrupt media practitioners.

Marites Vitug (2012) from Rappler.com wrote on “Media Secrets” and began, “Are you prepared for this? Colleagues in the media estimate that 85% of us are corrupt! That’s a super majority.” That is closer to truth because the respondents are media people themselves. But according to Transparency International, only 14% of the respondents think Philippine Media is corrupt. That shows how the public is sadly ignorant of what is happening.

Accordingly, in other countries like United Kingdom, the latest Transparency International on corruption reflects that media is perceived as the most corrupt group at #1 (69% respondents), beating politicians (45% respondents). In France, media is #2 most corrupt next to political parties; and in Germany, media is #3 most corrupt, next to political parties. In Switzerland, media is #2 perceived worse than public officials, and in the United States, media is #3 most corrupt group next to government and congress.

Last Word

In helping media to know themselves better, this piece is written as reader feedback to column writing that needs CORRECTION. Following Danguilan-Vitug’s (2012) proposal for covenanters to “not get caught” corrupt as part of media’s attempt at self cleansing, here’s an advice to Dr. Efren Padilla and those like him: 1) Shun away from loose talk about media being incorruptible; 2) Increase your research and retrieval skills before you publish; 3) Don’t believe gossips and rumors for you build on falsities; 4) Own up to innuendos you have started. Support them or else apologize for your error if you made one; 5) Man up if you cannot, and face the world. When you fail to do these that is corruption too.

____________

 

References on Corruption in Philippine Media:

A glossary of media corruption. Excerpted from News for Sale. The Corruption & Commercialization of the Philippine Media. (2004, October 12). http://www.hotmanila.ph/content/media/glossary-media-corruption

Buenaobra, M. & Reyes, J. (2013, January 30). New covenant to curb media corruption in Philippines ahead of Midterm Elections. Retrieved from http://asiafoundation.org/in-asia/2013/01/30/new-covenant-to-curb-media-corruption-in-philippines-ahead-of-midterm-elections/

Danguilan-Vitug, M. (2012, November 26).  Media secrets. Retrieved from http://www.rappler.com/thought-leaders/16756-media-secrets

Diaz, P. (2012, November 28).   Corruption in the media. Globalita.com. Retrieved from http://globalbalita.com/2012/11/28/corruption-in-the-media/

Esposo, W. M. (2012, December 30).  The high cost of media corruption. The Philippine Star. http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2012-12-30/891421/high-cost-media-corruption

Florentino-Hofileṅa, C. (1998, 2004). News for sale. The Corruption of the Philippine Media. http://pcij.org/bookshop/newssale.html.

 In face of shady election deals, media leaders issue covenant against corruption. (2013, January 22). http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/291507/news/nation/in-face-of-shady-election-deals-media-leaders-issue-covenant-against-corruption

Joaquin, J. (2014, April 1).  Corruption in Philippine media. http://www.pilipino-express.com/editorialopinions-sp-161843661/pov-philippines/2418-corruption-in-philippine-media.html

Magno, L. (2002). Battling media corruption in the Philippines: Profile interview: Chay Florentin Hofileña, Center for Journalism, Ateneo de Manila University, Asia Pacific Media Educator, 15, 221-225. Retrieved from http://ro.uow.edu.au/apme/vol1/iss15/20

Media tackle issue of corruption, Philippine Daily Inquirer. (2012, November 24). Retrieved from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/312063/media-tackle-issue-of-corruption

Robbles, R. (2012, November 30).  “Part 1: A painful topic – media corruption,” http://raissarobles.com/2012/11/30/part-1-a-painful-topic-media-corruption/

Time for PH media to address corruption in ranks – NUJP. Raapler.com. May 19, 2014. http://www.rappler.com/nation/58413-ph-media-corruption-nujp

Time to speak up about media corruption – NUJP. ABS-CBNnews.com. http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/03/20/14/time-speak-about-media-corruption-nujp. 03/20/2014

 

 

Trembling Catholic Defender Warns Members, “Keep Away from Bro. Eli Soriano”

By Jane Abao

Manila, Philippines (8/22/2014) – Beset by fear and anxiety, a Roman Catholic apologist called on the RCC members to maintain distance from Bro. Eli Soriano whom he calls a liar and all sorts of names.  The preacher recently had critiqued Jorge Mario Bergoglio or Pope Francis.

Aloysius Kayiwa, a Roman Catholic apologist, recently pleaded to Catholic members to guard their families and not fall for Bro. Eli. He posted his plea in Splendor of the Church, a blog that stands as Catholic Apologetics where he also attacked Soriano and his followers.Kayiwa2

Bro. Eli Soriano is the Presiding Minister of the Members Church of God (MCGI) or Ang Dating Daan as locally known. He has long since become a byword in the country and abroad for his kind of preaching through Bible Expositions that he does worldwide through satellite. The group reaps an average of 1,500 converts in weekly baptisms in Central Luzon alone and most of the converts come from the Roman Catholic Church. This has serious implications for great subtraction from many religious groups especially from the RCC membership.

Kayiwa, a Ugandan who is former Pentecostal and had converted to the Roman Catholic Church, is a correspondent of Splendor and is based in Africa. He is one of the three whom MCGI members referred to as “squids” covering up for Pope Francis. The other two are Abraham Arganiosa, the priest that initially handled the Splendor blog decorated with many images, and a Duane Yan aka Lay Person Scripturist.

Earlier, Duane Yan challenged Bro. Eli to a debate – not on doctrines but on which is a better Bible, emphasizing knowledge of Hebrew and Greek alphabet. Duane claimed Bro. Eli kept attacking the RCC. Meanwhile, Arganiosa merely called Bro. Eli names and shamed him in a blog, on top of photo-shopping the preacher’s image, placing his head on the body of another, and making him appear like a clown and childish. The third one is Kayiwa who is more knowledgeable than the two, but based his apologetics on saint worship and traditions of Catholic fathers that are not honored by other Christians.

As one of those involved in doing squid tactics that tried to derail discussions on what Pope Francis said, Kayiwa took over when not one of the Filipino apologists could speak up for the Pope’s words. He had also asked his brothers that his blogs be translated into Filipino but Jane Abao of Ang Dating Daan wrote, “Before you spread your heresies from Uganda to the Philippines, stand up and be measured!” This properly calls for Kayiwa to be tested in a debate before he spreads his false teachings, she retorted in her response on this blog .

The beginning of all these is that Bro. Eli found issues with the pronouncements of the Pope: about using conscience as guide to believing in God or not, and about Jesus being man, not spirit. In his letter to Eugenio Scalfari, founder of La Repubblica in Italy dated September 3, 2013, Pope Francis said, follow your conscience. Scalfari asked if God would forgive those who do not believe in him. At another instance, Pope Francis said, Jesus is not spirit; he is man. This was registered in RomeReports.com.  Bro. Eli posted his blogs titled, “Pope Told to be More Biblical in Pronouncements” and  “The Greatest Fallacy of the Roman Catholic Church Ever,” contesting these pronouncements on his official blog. Three Catholic apologists arose to respond, but managed to do squid tactics to obliterate the issue.

As responses to Bro. Eli, Duane produced two blogs, “A Response to the Attack of Eli Soriano against Pope Francis” and “Response to the Response of the Coward Leader of Ang Dating Daan.” Arganiosa wrote a shouting blog with every word capitalized,  titled, “MAMA ELI SORIANO TOO COWARDLY IN HIS ALIBIS; REFUSES DEBATE CHALLENGES;” and Kayiwa, three: REFUTING ELI SORIANO & HIS FELLOW FALSE PROPHETS ON THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST, Response to Eli Soriano’s Puppet, and Exposing the Fallacies, Lies, Hypocrisy and Insinuations of Soriano.”

Of the three “squids,” Aloysius Kayiwa had the penchant for going thick on everything to impress a bubble stock knowledge especially for his first blog. He is also the one that warns and in warning his brothers-in-faith, his insecurity is patent. Here are his last words in his blog3 titled, “Exposing the Fallacies, lies, hypocrisy, and Insinuations of Soriano by Aloysius Kayiwa” –

Please readers, do not fall for the deceptive reasoning of this thug false teacher Soriano. Guard your families and children; guard your brothers and sisters not to fall for this wayward agent of the Devil. This claim to “truth” or “true preacher” is a red flag characteristic utilized by this cult to instill an exclusiveness within their followers. Soriano is masterful at instilling elitism, tricking loyal followers into false reasoning that it is a privilege to be one of the Members of the Church of God International when he is actually leading them (sic) the garden path of hell.

This Blog3 deceptively sports a newspaper-looking top wherein Soriano’s photo is largely inserted in the middle, and to appear like a news clipping, the following is bannered: “Eliseo Soriano: False prophet, fugitive preacher and rapist.” However, there is no story body that follows the title – about his being “false prophet, fugitive preacher or rapist.”

The fallacies employed by Kayiwa will be the meat of discussions here.  These are either to defend himself or calculated to mislead the Catholic members whom he fears will believe in Bro. Eli. But first, here’s the background.

BACKGROUND: Bro. Eli Soriano found issues with two of Pope Francis’ pronouncements: 1) Follow your conscience whether to believe in God or not (Answer to an atheist, Eugenio Scalfari); and 2) Jesus is not spirit, but man (Registered in RomeReports.com). In the first, Bro. Eli said conscience is not a real guide because some men have seared conscience.  Bro. Eli also said, one who does not believe is condemned already, according to the Bible.

In the second issue, he said that some truths are time-bound and when the Pope gave his pronouncement that “Jesus is man,” it is not true anymore. From here, three apologists came up supposedly to defend the Pope but merely did squid tactics to obliterate the issue.

In an earlier response, Duane was shown to have simply boasted of his knowledge in Hebrew and Greek alphabet. Meanwhile, Arganiosa was shown to have merely photo-shopped the image of Bro. Eli on top of bad-mouthing him but never hit the issues. Aloysius Kayiwa was also answered in this blog for his first post.

The focus now is on Kayiwa’s Blog2, “Response to Eli Soriano’s Puppet,” that is addressed to Jane Abao. Excerpts of his statements (n) are posted first, followed by the fallacy committed. The author takes the opportunity to respond to these fallacies and then make a conclusion. Towards the end, being the addressee, the author will provide two questions asked by guests during random Bible Expositions to acquaint readers with Bro. Eli, even in a superficial way. Sic means “as is,” indicating wrong grammar or typography as Kayiwa placed them.

KAYIWA’S FALLACIES IN REASONING

(1)When someone is hurt, the option is either to keep quiet (if one is humbled) or react. Now one of the member (sic) of the Dating Daan (sic) Cult did the latter after her thug cowardly leader Eli Soriano was exposed and refuted. The lady who made the attack is named Jane Abao in a blog article – I do not know her personally – but for defense’s, (sic) I will respond to her asservation in a more articulate manner. I must say delusion is her tone but I also observed that truth is too painful for her and if she accuses me of not refuting what Soriano really said, I will accuse her missing the whole point in my article or still for committing the sin of omission. (Fallacy: Poisoning the Well, Distraction, Begging the Question)

It was your Pope whom Bro. Eli exposed, and his two exposes were the issues or points. You are changing the truth. Your article is not the one we are contending with. It was the Pope’s errors. Your article stood as your defense to the Pope. Therefore, they will be weighed as responses – but not the one presenting the issues. You also assume things that have not even started. I see you desperately painting a picture that you are on top of the situation. But you are trembling!

(2) The Splendor BLOG is a public blog and it is frequently NO. ONE (sic) in the Top Blog list ranking. Many people have found that blog useful and many people, whose souls were at a danger of being misled by your cult, were saved by this blog. Once again, many people have been converted by this blog including some from your sect. I myself have improved my Apologetics with the aid of this blog and that is why I chose to be its correspondent for Africa. There is nothing you can say about that. (Fallacy: Ad Populum or Appeal to People)

Splendor may be Number 1 in blog ranking, but it has failed to answer for Pope Francis. Now that you are boasting about it, has it won an award? None! Bro. Eli’s blog at www.esoriano.wordpress.com has won a Shorty Award for Most Educational To Follow in 2009, besting even Paulo Coehlo, a popular Brazilian author of the multi-translated The Alchemist fame.

Do not boast about ranking because it is mostly factored by using SEO algorithms of the following kind: controversies, scandals, nerve-wracking posts. No wonder, you try to destroy the reputation of people beginning with questionable photo-shopped images and fool your members as if those were true. You don’t care for truth if being Number 1 is your preference and so you thrive on scandals and controversies.

About our members being converted by Splendor, that is impossible because our culture does not include images and idol worship. Before I came to know Bro. Eli and his teachings, I have already learned that images are not to be prayed to. How? At the young age of 10, I had an extra-ordinary experience. I was leading a group of children praying before the image of Virgin Mary one summer night. (We were boarding a dormitory of an Episcopal Church that owned the school we attended). While I was approaching the image to kneel before it, my mind was telling me that we were simply before an idol. I led the prayers addressing “the Virgin Mary” but suddenly I broke into laughter. I laughed and laughed. No one was tickling me, but my funny bone was at its most active state. The prayers were then disrupted. In my embarrassment, we began again. But here went my uncontrolled laughter. We stopped again. Since that event had to be done with, we finally finished with my suppressed giggling. From there, I confirmed we were praying to an idol. I grew up really wondering why people prayed to stones and concrete images. I am glad I was never a Catholic and never had to do what they do. It is not impossible to know what is what.

(3) Your false teacher Soriano writes poisonous articles with a corrupt gospel but what have they helped his followers other than misleading them? In them is (sic) contained fretting, deception, cynicism and hypnotism. What have you done to prevent that? Soriano’s writings are like slow doses of poison, it is funny how you discredit my article in order to pass your attacks on me and shelve the false teachings of your leader. But let me tell you, there is no amount of deodorant and cosmetics you use that can cover the shame and rot in your thug leader. (Fallacy: Poisoning the Well, Begging the Question, Strawperson Argument)

Wrong assumptions, wrong conclusions. God’s words that Bro. Eli propagates have helped many understand the truth in the Bible, including having nothing to do with images that the Catholics worship. Fretting, deception, cynicism and hypnotism? You should rather write on a charge sheet and file a case if you believe Bro. Eli is doing this instead of merely blogging to mislead your people. You are feeding them with lies.

What have we done to prevent that? Nothing, because “that” is merely your bunch of lies. You got to shape up and be true to yourselves. What do you get out of fooling people just so they stay with the Roman Catholic Church? Beginning with the name, it is not even in the Bible. This is what Bro. Eli taught us –

DANIEL 9:19

O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

He said, if you are of God, it is the name of God that should be attached to you.

It is Church of God that you find mentioned 12 times in the Bible, but there is not a single mention of the Roman Catholic Church. You also say something that is not there, and then you try to destroy it. It looks easy to you, but there is nothing to destroy with the straw you put up.

“Shame and rot in your thug leader.” What are these? We do not know what you are talking about. The lot of cases fabricated against Bro. Eli, we know about them. Those were filed by the Iglesia ni Cristo where Bro. Eli is considered their most fierce critic. Those who filed them were former members that Bro. Eli excommunicated for offenses. They were thrown away and were accepted by the Iglesia ni Cristo. Some of the cases were won over; the others are being worked out. As it is, anyone with money can file a case against another. If someone files a case against you, it does not necessarily mean their allegations are true.

A lot of these cases were filed with evil intentions. You were taken in by those lies and it would not do good to your members if you teach them also to believe in lies.

Was there ever a case wherein members applied deodorant and cosmetics to cover for Bro. Eli? We would leave him, if there is a reason. It does not appear to you that what you are accusing me of is what you are doing for the Pope – squirting ink for the public not to see what is happening. Your Pope has been critiqued!

(4) It is so self-deceiving for you to think I wrote about “many topics” which you even do not mention. In my article I explained the Nature of God and the Divinity of Christ with the intention of crushing the inaccurate and misleading methods your false teacher uses to explain about God. If you will interpreted (sic) those interconnected topics as being “many topics,” fine for you but don’t impose your narrow mindedness on me. I am not responsible for your delusion. When I wrote, I wrote in the general sense so that people can learn the larger issue but you are so dumb to realize that. Shame on you! The aim of writing is not for eloquence (although that is necessary) but conveying the truth, that is the aim of my writing and I will write thick articles so long as they convey truth – and as long as you label them like that but there is nothing you will do about that. (Fallacy: Non Sequitur or It doesn’t follow)

I can understand by now that you do not know how to engage in arguments. That is why you enlarge an issue more than it is. The issue(s) were the Pope Pronouncements.  Period. So that is where we should stay put. Do not say you wrote something for general use and then complain when you are measured as being “thick” with extraneous material. Supposedly, was that to impress people that you were doing something for the Pope? Your members may be impressed but thinking minds can see through your padding tricks.

And before you shame anyone and lecture about writing, find out whom you are talking to!

(5) Actually it goes deeper than that. You see, I have read the arguments of the very early church – the very early church that gave you your Bible and I have compared the mumblings of your kind with those of the Early Church Fathers on the same issues – my analysis is your heretical beliefs were refuted long ago by Church Fathers. Who are you that your 21st Century knowledge and understanding can compare with excessively heavenly intelligent Justin Matyr and Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp and Jerome and Aquinas and Augustine? (Fallacy: Non Sequitur)

Sorry, but I do not read nor listen to “excessively heavenly intelligent Justin Matyr and Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp and Jerome and Aquinas and Augustine.” What truths have they taught? I listen to the appointed preacher of God who was given understanding and a mouth that cannot be assailed.

It doesn’t follow that since the Roman Catholic Church came ahead, they have godly ascendancy over others. In fact, there was a blackout of knowledge for over many centuries, so how can they be that knowledgeable than now? Understanding what was prophesied to come in the end times plays a role here – and that means the True Church, affiliated with the Church of the First born that started in Heaven, will arise in the end times with understanding as its main tool and a mouth that cannot be assailed. You will see this one in Bro. Eli Soriano, and that has been tested by time.

Do you think I would spend many years studying and then fall for a fool? Over my dead body! When I chose my religion, I was led to it like the way I was able to understand that the Virgin Mary image was an idol. So, coming to know that was spirit-inspired. One Sunday, I simply took a bus to go to the next city and find the House of God because I wanted to worship. The pressure was so much that I rode without a destination in mind. The bus had arrived and yet I didn’t know where to go. When I finally went down, I went from one church to another and found myself rejecting them one by one. The sun was already up; it was way past high noon and yet I had not chosen a church. Still, I wanted to worship. Finally, I found one Church Locale of the MCGI (Ang Dating Daan). I fitted quite properly as if I belonged to them and as if I came to know them for many years. That was because I was already like them: wearing long skirt, no make-up, maintaining long hair and staying simple, as being taught by Bro. Eli. I sang songs with them easily and listened to the texto. That is the House of God – with simple people having simple hearts, ready to be led to truth with no baggage of the questionable traditions of men.

(6) The stupidity in you is seen when you claim Church Father’s (sic) teaching (sic) have no credibility for others but I was not writing only to refute your false teachers but also to enable others learn (sic) – I mean our Catholic brothers and sisters and all those who may be concerned about the strange and unusual teachings of Dating Daan (sic). (Fallacy: Ad Misericordiam. Appeal to sympathy ahead of reasons).

You were really on the wrong tract. What you were supposed to do is answer the issues presented. Answer what Bro. Eli said about the pronouncements of the Pope. Your article was not responding to the issue.  If you were to advance the learning of your brothers and sisters in faith, your materials were pegged then of saying “Do not listen to Soriano.” Sure enough, you ended this blog with warnings. But where was the answer to Bro. Eli’s allegations about the Pope’s words? They would ask you, was the Pope correct or not? What would you tell them since you have no answers for the Pope?

Here was your conclusion, in attempting to save Pope Francis from his critiqued statements  (from thick blog1, titled , REFUTING ELI SORIANO & HIS FELLOW FALSE PROPHETS ON THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST) –

(7) A human mind cannot hope to understand the reality of God; spiritual beings are beyond the comprehension of physical beings. The closest a fleshly being can come to understanding the spiritual realm, a realm unknown to daily reality or scientific understanding, is through the approximations of anthrop morphological (sic) statements. For this reason, any description of God is merely a vague humanized likeness.  As the reality of God is an unsolvable mystery, incomprehensible until we see him “face to face,” it is foolish to judge others with marginally different points of view.” (Fallacy: Appeal to Ignorance)

In other words, you are saying, it is foolish to judge the Pope’s pronouncements as either right or wrong because we cannot describe God anyway. That is your prescriptive view – in answer to the critique of Bro. Eli on the Pope’s words.

I wouldn’t buy this reasoning. Man cannot know God then? Is that why your Pope and the Roman Catholic Church are so full of errors? The Catholic Church sells indulgencies and people pay to get themselves and their relatives out of hell.  Just what are indulgencies? Research says the RCC claim they have a reservoir of grace built up by the saints and could tap these resources to save people on earth and purgatory. What a pagan teaching! Heaven’s reservoir of grace you sell? If you cannot describe God – as either spirit or man – it is because of these money-making schemes. Every church service (baptism, weddings, funeral, and the like) is being paid for in the RCC.

God is not that cruel not to allow man to come to know him, but it is possible. There are things God reserves for those he appoints to propagate his words. He gives them understanding. And it is these people we have to follow – so that we can know God and describe him. Some people cannot know God because they refuse knowledge. Here is what the Bible says –

PROVERBS 1:24-31 (KJV)

Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at naught all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

Back to your attack on Jane Abao.

(8)Actually, this St. Athanasius is the one who produced the Canon of the Bible you hold in your hands. Let me tell you, you are a parasite of Arius the Heretic, you are trying to divert us from telling the truth of what transpired in ancient times in a bid to cover up for your sects (sic)  corrupt gospel. (Fallacy: Red Herring, Appeal to Emotion) 

Let me warn you Madame, that will not work for you. The truth is that your beliefs from your thug organization are demonic and what I mention are fundamental Christian beliefs believed for 15 centuries before your thug organization came after as a result of Luther’s reformation. Your Dating Daan (sic) has borrowed much from the devious teachings of Luther and his former heretic Arius, who even your fellow Protestants disowned as heretics. Don’t you feel ashamed that your beliefs stem from the falsity of Arius and Luther. There’s nothing Christian about your Christ-deity rejecting cult. (Fallacy: Red Herring, Appeal to threat)

I was not born just yesterday. Judging from your own words, you are writing more to be believed by your members than by me as the addressee. It is on account of your great need to impress them that by throwing insults, you are deemed by them as correct. That is not how truth comes about.

The Bible is “God-breathed,  the source of truth, the standard for meaningful life” as accepted by many – but not the Catholic version that has questionable portions added.  Isn’t it obvious I wouldn’t be using a Catholic Bible?

The MCGI has no corrupt gospel.  We do not baptize infants who do not understand and cannot give their consent to baptism. We do not espouse image veneration or worship. We do not sell Church services like the RCC does. When one dies, we do not sell masses to be celebrated in many churches. If that is the case, then only the moneyed can find “repose” for their souls. We believe that when one is dead, he is in the hands of God. He is only resting, waiting for the resurrection, so that there is no need to buy salvation for them. We do not make sign of the cross – a sure sign of the devil. There are many things we do not do because God did not say they are godly to do.

The “fundamental Christian beliefs believed for 15 centuries” that you boast of may have been outdated, corrected and dropped after new truths were revealed. Remember that some truths are time-bound. That is what you do not understand in the RCC and so you find fault in Bro. Eli. He taught us that at the time of the end, there is a possibility that the closed book will be opened. What will happen? “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” And what he taught us are found in the Bible.

Daniel 12:4

But thou, o Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

So what was not known in those many centuries are being revealed now. You have a wrong sense of time if you think “time” to man is also time to God. In the MCGI, Bro. Eli reveals the mysteries of God as understanding comes to him. There are truths that have been reserved for the future, especially for the end-times. See the texts in Daniel.

You are not correct about the way you seek information.  The MCGI is not protestant; it has never been a part of Luther and what he stands for, nor Arius that you link to us. If that is the way you seek truth, with even as basic as researching, you do not have the proper skills to advance. No wonder you build on shaky ground.

THE FEAR OF KAYIWA SHOWS

For all your laughter, Kayiwa, in jeering Bro. Eli, the real character of fear in you manifested when you came upon the word, DEBATE and quickly misunderstood me with whom you were discussing. You were analyzing my work –

“Like the others, you mention many things that are only true to you. I will just show you some of what you said:

In his first line, Soriano says that: “Now, if the son is equal to the Father and the Father is a spirit, it follows that the Son must also be a spirit!” This is a bogus statement confusing the nature of God and cancelling out Soriano. Notice how he confuses the Spirit to be the Father and the Son and not Himself. Soriano does not know what “equal” means and he confuses the nature of the one God and through misapplying and torturing Scriptures to support his erroneous views.

If Jesus is also a Spirit like His Father as Soriano says, why does the Spirit come on him during Baptism by John the Baptist?

Resolution for this is a televised debate.”

It means, for these things to be settled, a televised debate is being proposed by me. That is the simple grammar of it. The one who said “bogus statement” and that “Soriano does not know what equal means” was you, Kayiwa; and for that to be examined, a debate was proposed.

Now, notice your answer, Kayiwa –

(9) “Madame, you do not know what you are talking about surely. Who told you this is a televised debate or was a televised debate? Who told you? Stop being self-deceiving. This was a blog post. Let me tell you, even if this was a televised debate, there is nothing from the kinds of you. We have refuted all the Iglesia ni Manalo Debaters in televised debates. These Iglesia debaters themselves defeated Ang Dating Daan debaters. Rest assured, Madame, there is nothing we fear – even on Televised Debate. The problem is that your debaters are afraid to engage us, including your thug coward false teacher Soriano. Just come out of your dens and debate us (sic) if you are confident. Tell your thug leader to come out from his den and prove the fallacies he accuses us in real debate. We (CFD Debaters) fear nothing! That is the writing on the wall for you and him.” (Fallacy: Ad Populum, Appeal to Emotion)

As a practiced debater – local and international – Bro. Eli has his batting average recorded. In the space of four years from 1995-1998, Bro. Eli had a record of 17 total debates or 4 debates each year. Now, it is becoming less and less especially in foreign lands because these debates on video are posted all over the Internet. Challengers are withdrawing although there are times the tickets for Bro. Eli and his staffs have been bought already and the venue paid for.  Once these challengers are able to view these videos, they retract. I leave the readers to judge these allegations of Kayiwa.

(10) Besides, has your cult produced any Saint? Do you have Saints in your cult? No one. Yet you are accusing us for having Saints, the righteous of God. These Saints mean a lot to us Catholics as Role Models together with Jesus… (Fallacy: Distraction)

Maybe the idea of praying to the Saints is a bit strong for the likes of Jane Abao so I like the idea of praying with the Saints who intercede on our behalf in their praises to God. In our human nature, we are always looking for heroes. Football’s hall of fame is located everywhere. The Catholic Hall of Fame is located in Heaven. Just as we honor some of the great sports legends and war heroes, we especially honor those who lived for God and are in Heaven. (Fallacy: Strawperson Argument)

What is a saint? A saint is a Christian, dead or alive, who does God’s will. He or she does not need to be “canonized” by the RCC for holiness. Therefore, saints are found in the House of God. This is where the saint is to be perfected – in the house of God. It is God who judges who is saint – not human beings.

There is no need for intercession in praying.  Intercession is the cause of money flowing from people to the Roman Catholic Church unnecessarily as if access to God is through money – only. If you are a child of God and he is your Father, why do you have to pray to other people – especially dead people – to pray for you? What can dead people do when they are resting (no consciousness) and waiting for the resurrection?

And, the Catholic Hall of Fame is located in Heaven? In Heaven where God is, there is no competition. No one there is famous or non-famous. Here on earth, each of us is expected to toe the line as Christians and so everyone can be a saint. The field is leveled for everyone moneyed or not – and there’s the Bible to guide us – plus our proper thinking tools to process information through logic, plus rightful research, but never the traditions of man that have become questionable.

Fear is very patent in the response of Kayiwa. What is he afraid of? Of sheep being stolen from the RCC. He said that. Then he ends with a threat. This is his threat –

(11) Besides, do not be a hypocrite Madame. Empirically Protestants have more leprosy than Catholics. I can prove that if you want me to do (sic). This is not an argument boast but a fact. Make no mistake about that. And as long as you want to attack us, we shall respond with equal measure. I mean we shall respond even with greater force. We are qualified for that. There is no doubt about that. (Fallacy: Red Herring, Ad Populum, Appeal to Force).

We are not Protestants – in the sense that we do not or do deny the authority of the Pope. We are Christians and have nothing to do with authorities of other people. Go prove yourself to the Protestants – for all we care. We are not Protestants. AND your threat is hollow!

“Attack” is your word, but that is not the way we look at searching for truth. If there is something we find that we must not hold on to, no matter how many centuries it was counted on as “truth,” if understanding is given by God through our Church Leader to let go, then we let go that “truth” and follow God.

(12)The Bible calls Soriano a liar. (Fallacy: Red Herring)

However, the cult’s teachings are like a flawed product disguised by impressive packaging. Although their teachings appear truthful, they are embodied in a fallacy with a deliberate attempt to mislead. The Dating Daan (sic) literature is saturated with these fallacious statements in which the error is not obvious. Eli Soriano uses this to masterfully deceive, trick, control and manipulate his followers.  (Fallacy: Circular Argument)

Do not let clear thinking be swamped by these semantics and devious teachings falsely presented as the “established truth” and “of God” – they are not true in the real sense. They are the fanciful falsehoods of human imaginations of Eli Soriano and are specific statements that manipulate the actions of members like this Jane Abao. (Fallacy: Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc or After this, therefore because of this)

Kayiwa goes round and round in his fear and trembling, where there is no danger. You cannot impound people when they look for truth by your many words that tend to paint someone falsely. Somehow, a person will have to search, as most of former RCC members that have been enlightened by Bro. Eli’s preaching do.

“It is true that as told in the Bible, there is a time the book is closed and no one can understand.

Daniel 12:4

But thou, o Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

“But in the later times, that understanding needed will be given. Understanding is very important. It shows us whom God appointed to handle his word. But to whom will it be given? There is a prophecy for understanding –

Daniel 12:9-10

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.

“The wise shall understand. They will understand the content of the prophecy. They are called wise. This will also happen in the end times.

Daniel 12:3

And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars forever and ever.”

I am actually quoting from a book of Bro. Eli in Q and A.  He ended his answer to the question like this –

So the wise will be used by God as instruments in turning people to righteousness. Many will come to know the Lord. Those who will be God’s instruments in bringing people to righteousness are wise.

I did not say I am that, but I can be one of them. There is no necessity for Daniel to describe my person. You just have to fall under what is prophesied.

The un-equaled understanding of Bro. Eli is his claim to being one of those chosen to preach God’s word, although Kayiwa condemns him as liar. If Bro. Eli is a liar, why does he have understanding that the Pope does not have?

Back to the plea of this trembling apologist –

(13) Please readers, do not fall for the deceptive reasoning of this thug false teacher Soriano. Guard your families and children; guard your brothers and sisters not to fall for this wayward agent of the Devil. This claim to “truth” or “true preacher” is a red flag characteristic utilized by this cult to instill an exclusiveness within their followers. Soriano is masterful at instilling elitism, tricking loyal followers into false reasoning that it is a privilege to be one of the Members of the Church of God International when he is actually leading them the garden path of hell. (Fallacy: Slippery Slope)

Wrong assumptions. It is best that you ask those who have left the RCC why they followed Bro. Eli. They are laughing now at what they had been taught to do for many years. Their eyes were opened; the veil that covered their understanding has been lifted.

Now we come to the physical lay-out of the page.

 (14) [The blog response of Kayiwa deceptively sports a newspaper-like top wherein Soriano’s photo is largely inserted in the middle, and to appear like a news clipping, the following is bannered: “Eliseo Soriano: False prophet, fugitive preacher and rapist.” However, there is no news story that follows as a body of this title]. (Fallacy: Desperate attempt to mislead readers. Red Herring)

Anyone not familiar with photo-shopping tricks like this one will think there was a newspaper that really came out like that. It is public knowledge that the Splendor of the Church blog tagged as Catholic Apologetics is notorious for doing such photo-shopping tricks to malign their subjects. Obviously calculated to mislead their readers, they unknowingly show the true character of their religion. That is how some sectors view this blog which apologists like Kayiwa boast of as protecting their people from the likes of Bro. Eli.

It is wrong to do this. It is un-Christian. We should be ashamed of other religions that do not call themselves “Christians” and yet do not do what we do. Splendor has a Website man that does foolish things online to make the blogs more biting and respond to SEO algorithm for more article exposure. But the blogger still has the responsibility on whatever is posted to accompany the article.

CONCLUSION: The author now takes the opportunity to conclude about Aloysius Kayiwa’s prescriptive view that “A human mind cannot hope to understand the reality of God; spiritual beings are beyond the comprehension of physical beings…. therefore, it is foolish to judge others with marginally different points of view.” [See (7)].

The supports and evidences that Kayiwa gave are not supports at all to his conclusion that we cannot describe God, so it is foolish to weigh the pronouncements of Pope Francis.

What Kayiwa could have done is to write on Pope Francis and what the Pope could have meant in light of situations surrounding him. Kayiwa could have given more effort for supports to back up the Pope in order to debunk the claims of Bro. Eli – if he could do it.

Instead, all Kayiwa did was write “Shame on you!” to me several times, call me a hypocrite, and condemn me as a puppet of “a leader of shame and rot.”

What is a puppet? The dictionary says, a puppet is “a movable model of a person or animal that is used in entertainment and is typically moved either by strings controlled from above or by a hand inside it.” So a puppet has no mind of his own. And yet, between me and Kayiwa, who prays to an idol and doesn’t even know it?

Most of all, Kayiwa flung blind accusations on Bro. Eli, calling him “wayward agent of the devil” with “writings of slow doses of poison,” of “poisonous articles with corrupt gospel that contained fretting, deception, cynicism and hypnotism.”

Surely, this is not the way of a people looking for truth. If we use critical thinking to discuss and advance with truth, it is not a chance for us to shame people.

YOU BE THE JUDGE

This is the first of two questions  presented here. The first was asked in one of the Bible Expositions of Bro. Eli in a Q&A portion by a guest from United Kingdom. This was excerpted from an EFerSon Context Book -a book devoted to Bro. Eli’s ministry. When it comes to questions, Bro. Eli can tell what religion you belong to, so he takes every opportunity to speak. You be the judge as to who Bro. Eli is – as against the contentions of Kayiwa.

Q88_From UK_Guest (7/8/2012): Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ. Sir, what is your authority in preaching?

Bro. Eli Soriano: Thank you for this opportunity to correct you with your impression. I pray that you will be enlightened with the answer I will give you.

First of all, please do not address me as Sir. While others like to be called sir, I prefer to be called Brother. The word “sir” or “sire,” implies somewhat of lordship. I am not a lord over the members of the Church.

I Peter 5:2-3

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.

To be acknowledged like a lord or of higher rank over the brethren in faith is prohibited. The implication is not biblically good. It is as if I were acting like a lord of the flock.

Matthew 23:8 -9

But be not ye called rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. and call no man your Father upon the earth: for one is your father, which is in heaven.

The recommended way of calling one another is Brother, Sister. The apostles themselves were addressed as brothers. They were not called “Reverend,” “Most Reverend,”  “The Very Reverend,” “Honorable,” “Most Honorable.” As far as I am concerned, Brother, Sister is the most respectful way of addressing a co-servant. I am requesting you not to call me Sir. In baptism, you should receive the Lord Jesus Christ, not Brother Eli Soriano. We are not preaching ourselves.

II Corinthians 4:5

For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

There are instances that I have to prove that I have the right to preach the Gospel. That is not preaching myself. I am preaching the Lord. I am preaching because I want to obey the commandment of the Lord – not because I just want to preach.

One of the commandments is in –

James 4:17

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

I do not want to commit sin. Committing sin is not just transgressing the law. Knowing good but not doing it is also sin. That gives me desire to preach the gospel. I have known the scriptures.  It has been my pleasure to study spirituality since my childhood. I have read books of different doctrines. I have investigated all areas of faith in the world. After knowing that others are not preaching the truth, there’s urgency in me to do what is proper to do.

What I share is what I know is true that others do not preach. Some can’t even ask questions or investigate. I am the only preacher mingling with people and giving people chance to voice out their doubts. Then a question arises: What is my authority in preaching?

John and the Lord Jesus Christ answered such query. There are times the same question is posed to me. Then I read prophecies. But I cannot remember any instance when I uttered, “I was prophesied.”  I just read prophecies such as this –

Daniel 12:4

But thou, o Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

At the time of the end, there is a possibility that the closed book will be opened. What will happen? “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”

Historically, there is no time like our time when there are as many running to and fro and knowledge is increased. I have seen the fulfillment of this prophecy. There may have been televisions in progressive countries but not in the Philippines during the 1950’s.

I saw the advent of the transistor radio. I was young then when the television was introduced.  I have seen how knowledge has increased. Today, just having a laptop gets you connected to the whole world. That is in the prophecy. Coincidentally, with that prophecy –

Daniel 12:9-10

 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.

So there is a prophecy of understanding. The wise shall understand. This will also happen in the end times. They will understand the content of the prophecy. They are called wise.

Daniel 12:3

And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars forever and ever.

So the wise will be used by God as instruments in turning people to righteousness. Many will come to know the Lord. Those who will be God’s instruments in bringing people to righteousness are wise.

I did not say I am that, but I can be one of them. There is no necessity for Daniel to describe my person. You just have to fall under what is prophesied.

Daniel 12:3

And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars forever and ever.

I can be one of those wise who will turn people to righteousness. And it is happening. Broken families are being mended. Vicious people are turned to Christ. The prophecy is happening in my person. I can be considered one of those who will turn people to righteousness.

Every word of God has its fulfillment. But I am not elevating myself to a degree of exultation. I may be one instrument of God to turn people to him.

There are many ways for me to presume that God uses me to turn people to God. I used the word presume. It implies not putting too much trust in one’s self but trusting in God.

Proverbs 3:13

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

Is it evil for me to presume that I am a man who found wisdom and has understanding? I can feel within me that God is giving me understanding to his words. You judge the fruit of what God has done to me. Whatever anyone thinks of me, I can speak for my authority in preaching. Is there anyone – in the whole world – who can preach what I am preaching now?

AND THIS IS THE second question. It is about SAINTS from a former Roman Catholic member who underwent indoctrination and was getting ready for baptism in MCGI. The question was asked in 2011. It is placed here because Kayiwa had boasted about their “saints.” Let us learn what SAINT means.

Q14_Guest (9/17/2011): What does saint mean? Why are graven images of the Catholics called saints?

Bro. Eli Soriano: We don’t give meaning to the word “saints.”  But the bible gives meaning to it.

PSALMS 51:11

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

Saint or Santo means holy. The final authority in the meaning of terms is the Bible. Saints in the Bible can mean holy people or holy angels – because there are angels that are not holy.

EPHESIANS 3:5

 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

There are holy apostles. There are holy angels also.

MARK 8:38

Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

There are holy angels; they obey god. There are holy people; they also obey god.

JAMES 5:12

But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.

This teaches us not to be liars. It teaches us to be true to our words.

JOHN 8:44

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

WHAT ABOUT BRO. ELI’S TEACHINGS?

The truth in Bro. Eli’s teachings is what made me stay for the last 13 years. I came from the Worldwide Church of God where I stayed for almost 3 decades until it broke up – into many groups. From that experience, I was ever alert for possible errors from preaching. BUT the more I listened to Bro. Eli and the longer I stayed with MCGI, the more I am convinced it is The True Church.

The teachings as taught by Bro. Eli are biblical. There is not a time that he does not quote from the Bible as he teaches. All topics are backed up with Bible verses and everyone can check what he is saying. Then they can be followed up with more discussions during weekly consultations that are an integral part of the Church Service. He encourages asking questions – unlike many pastors who do not even know the scriptures.

Bro. Eli’s topics are GOOD NEWS and spirit-inspired, and they have never been heard of before and elsewhere. They are a fruit of understanding given him from time to time. This explains why in other so-called churches, they have one-hour service – at most 1.5 hours – but in the Members Church of God International, they can stay awake up to the wee hours of the morning, listening to Bro. Eli, yet never getting tired of it. You can see this happening mostly in the ADD Convention Center at Apalit, Pampanga, north of Manila – the base of activities in weekly thanksgivings that are telecast through satellite in all the 6 continents of the world where the church members are. More so during 3-day quarterly thanksgivings where at the end of it, you can still hear some of the members wanting for more – time to be together and listen to God’s words.

LIKE RATS TO THE BEAM

Contrary to Kayiwa’s allegations, evidences of what are stated here are there for easy checking. The truth is, when a man trembles with fear from lying, he fears more for one nightmare: that of the RCC ship being abandoned by members – like rats racing out quick to the beam.

 

Courts Acquit Bro. Eli for the Second Time this Year on Cases Filed by Iglesia ni Cristo Members

By Jane Abao

Manila, Philippines (5/2/2014) – In two cases filed separately on two related incidents by members of the Iglesia ni Cristo against Eliseo Soriano, the evangelist won his second round of court case. The first case filed in Marikina City was for attempted murder and spoke of an incident on September 4, 2001; the second filed in San Mateo, Rizal was for libel and zeroed in on an incident, three days after.

People's Journal, May 8, 2014
People’s Journal, May 8, 2014

Soriano, who is referred to as Bro. Eli by his constituents, is the Presiding Minister of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) or Ang Dating Daan as known by the public for its flagship radio-TV program. The evangelist is now based overseas in accordance with his antipodal direction of preaching.

Judge Josephine Zarate-Fernandez dismisses case of attempted murder on January 14. 2014
Judge  dismisses case of attempted murder, Feb 11, 2010. No evidence of alleged conspiracy.

In an eight-page decision penned by Josephine Zarate Fernandez, Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Fourth Judicial Region, Branch 76 of San Mateo Rizal, TV Broadcaster Eliseo F. Soriano was acquitted of the charge of libel. The order signed on January 14, 2014 said that malice was not proven beyond reasonable doubt.

According to Law, malice is one of the four elements of libel that must be sufficiently satisfied for the case to succeed. The three others include: the allegation of a discreditable act or condition concerning another, publication of the charge, identity of the person defamed, and existence of malice. The absence of anyone of these elements will not make the case prosper.

The case docketed as Criminal Case No. 5957 charged Soriano for the crime of libel as punished under Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code.  The complaint in part said that on the 7th day of September 2001, the evangelist, during his TV program in SBN21 located at Pasig city,  uttered in particular, “Sabi nila sa akin, baka quack doctor yon, kaya galit sa akin (They told me, she may be a quack doctor and that is why she is mad at me.” Subject statement referred to Dr. Nancy Nakpil Pascua, the private complainant of the case, the decision said.

On September 4, 2001 or some three days immediately before the TV program wherein Soriano allegedly uttered that statement, Pascua happened to be found with some Iglesia ni Cristo members in the house of Dr. Alberto Jimenez and his wife who belonged to the congregation of the Ang Dating Daan. With them was Bernardo Santiago, one excommunicated by Soriano for adultery and then became a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo. As alleged by Witness Rolando Ocampo, this Bernardo Santiago, a companion of private complainant Dr. Pascua, told the Jimenez couple that Soriano is “bakla,” among others.

Judge found no malice. Accused acquitted
Judge finds no element of malice. Accused acquitted, Jan 14, 2014.

 

The decision ended, saying the degree of proof mandatory to establish malice was not attained. Soriano was therefore acquitted by the court.

Incidentally, in a separate case dismissed four years earlier, Bernardo Santiago of the Iglesia ni Cristo had filed a case of attempted murder against Bro. Eli Soriano and his companions. Docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 2002-4236-MK and referring to September 4, 2001, the same date he and Dr. Pascua were visiting the Jimenez couple, private complainant Bernardo Santiago alleged that accused Soriano acted in conspiracy with the others to kill him.

According to the order dismissing the case, the prosecution presented Witnesses Glen Fernandez and Rommel Elbambuena who both heard one of the accused say, “Patayin yan! Patayin yan! Utos ni Ingkong!” (Kill him! Kill him! Order of Ingkong!) Ingkong is a monicker for Bro. Eli Soriano.

Judge Geraldine Fiel-Macaraig of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 192 of Marikina City, however, dismissed the case for insufficiency of evidence on February 11, 2010. Conspiracy was not proven.

The most recent case won by Bro. Eli and filed by Iglesia ni Cristo members was for libel but was dismissed on February 11, 2014. Ramil T. Parba as representative of the Iglesia ni Cristo along with Marianito Cayao and Bernardo Santiago, accused Eliseo Soriano and his companions, Danilo Navales, Jocel Mallari, Wilfredo Santiago and Luzviminda Cruz, of libel in Criminal Case No. Q-05-136679 for a program aired on January 21, 2005.

Soriano and his co-hosts in UNTV, after denying the allegation of the Iglesia ni Cristo that they were selling goods inside four church locales, were discussing the Supreme Court decision in People vs. Abella, G.R. No.127803, August 28, 2000 http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2000/aug2000/127803.htm

Judge rules that INC is a public figure. Comments on the Abella case is a matter of public interest.
Judge rules that INC is a public figure. Comments on the Abella case is a matter of public interest. All accused absolved, February 11, 2014.

 

In a 15-page decision signed by Judge Jose G. Paneda of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 220 of the National Capital Judicial Region of Quezon City, Bro. Eliseo Soriano and his co-hosts at UNTV37 were acquitted of the crime of libel even when they were calling the chapel of the Iglesia ni Cristo, “killing fields” and “katayan.”

Comments are considered privileged communication when the subject in question is a public figure whose calling gives the public a legitimate interest in its doings, the decision said.

Cayao and Santiago incidentally are excommunicated members of Ang Dating Daan. In all of these three cases, Bernardo Santiago figured as either as private complainant or involved.