Iglesia ni Cristo: Snapping Dissent with Familiar Patterns

By Jane Abao

Manila, Philippines (August 15, 2015) – What did experts think about the dissent within the Iglesia ni Cristo?

The INC is facing a crisis. That’s very clear from recent news. Critics claim that the leaders of the group are wasting money citing the millions of pesos being spent for their airplane. Rappler reports-

The Airbus that [Eduardo] Manalo and his ministers are using is aside from a Boeing Business Jet 737 that had been described as “the best-selling jet airliner in the history of aviation.” Depending on the model, a passenger business jet can seat from 85 to 215 passengers, while a customized executive jet can have a bedroom and seats good for 20-30 passengers, sources familiar with aircraft told Rappler.

The Boeing Business Jet 737 is said to have been purchased 4 years ago at an estimated price of about P3.6 billion ($80 million), the sources told us. Yearly maintenance costs of these types of aircraft, according to those in the know, easily amount to from P3 million to P4 million. This excludes fuel expenses. (http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/investigative/100445-iglesia-leaders-billions-pesos-aircraft).

Added to this is abduction of ministers who were critical of the administration. Lowell Menorca’s case, for one, is intriguing. (http://www.rappler.com/nation/100501-inc-minister-lowell-menorca-released). There are allegedly no abductions happening. This is denied by the church. (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/707413/what-split-what-corruption-iglesia-ni-cristo-spokesman)

But they immediately excommunicated some critics including the mother and brother of the Executive Minister, Eduardo Manalo. (http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2015/07/23/1480126/iglesia-ni-cristo-expels-leaders-mother-brother)

They even filed libel cases against the critics. (http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/metro-manila/07/28/15/iglesia-ni-cristo-sues-expelled-minister-libel)

The crisis is not yet over as the critics try to create a movement “to return the church to its old splendor when it first began with Felix Manalo.” (See Nehemiah Ecclesiastes, Official videos, Facebook, 8/10/2015).

What is happening with the Iglesia ni Cristo? Where is the Iglesia headed for?

Four sources have invariably discussed what is happening with the Iglesia ni Cristo through their own platform: a professor of Philippine Studies, a Sociologist of Religion, a Bible Scholar, and a minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo who left his organization with many questions on his head.

The professor of Philippine Studies was asked about what he thought about the INC controversy. The sect is usually secretive, he said. There is a need for transparency.

Written by Joe Torres (ucanews, 8/10/2015), the interviewee noted that secrecy is one of hallmarks of this religious sect. In “Public rift puts 101-year-old Philippines sect under spotlight,” he highlighted the need for transparency. Here’s part of the report –

David Michael San Juan, professor of Philippine Studies at De La Salle University in Manila, said the public rift represents a crossroads for the usually secretive sect.

“The rift may weaken it if it fails to address concerns on transparency and other issues,” he said. “The rift may strengthen it if it leads to more transparency in their highly respected institution.”

In other words, secrecy in the sect has contributed to their undoing. San Juan said some issues that church members raised are valid and that includes the allegation about certain ministers trying to extort money from politicians, and the allegation that church funds for being used for some leaders’ luxury. These are public issues, he said.(http://www.ucanews.com/news/public-rift-puts-101-year-old-philippines-sect-under-spotlight/74040)

Earlier, Rappler.com posted a Podcast titled “Saan patungo ang Iglesia ni Cristo?” (Where is the Iglesia ni Cristo bound for? (8/8/2015). Jayeel Cornelio a Sociologist of Religion is said to point to some INC growth at another level: “religious worldling.”

Worldling is inherently negative, but as the column of Cornelio proposes the concept of “religious worldling” to explain what is happening with the INC, he lauds the group in terms of sophistication in the positive sense.

The Director of Development Studies Program of Ateneo in “INC, Philippine Arena, and religious worldling” was theorizing that with the mammoth Philippine Arena, the INC has achieved some sophistication.

Worldling

WorldlingDotOrg says the term “worlding” cannot be found in any dictionary, even though the term has been in use for nearly a century. Martin Heidegger is said to have popularized the neologism in his 1927 Being and Time to mean “being-in-the-world.”

A worldling is a person who is primarily concerned with worldly matters or material things. As applied with the Iglesia ni Cristo, the focus was on expansion – material at that, with the Philippine Arena giving the high point of assessment.

Now, we come to a preacher. What did he think about this INC crisis? It is a judgment from God says Bro. Eli Soriano, Presiding Minister to the Members Church of God International (MCGI). Do not mistake that for “pagsubok” or trial. Only fanatics insist it is trial, and that corruption is being revealed only now. No, that church has been corrupt from the beginning, he says.

Soriano’s blog says it best. In “Gravity Floating Up All Secrets of Secrets,” he writes –

What is obtaining now with the Iglesia ni Cristo ni Manalo is that in spite of their indoctrinated secrecy of what they do, a force from above is making those secrets surface. Undoubtedly, it is the power of God! That group has long been practicing the act of covering up ugly matters inside their church, of bringing them down, and layering them into secrecy.

But what they did to five PUP students in secret, for example, came out. The case said their members involved mangled the victims’ bodies at the basement of their chapel. The dead bodies floated and were fished out from the muddy Pasig River!!!! (See Supreme Courts Annotated, Vol. 339, August 28, 2000 on the case People vs. Abella).

In an attempt to flush the killing off, the river was the supposed solution. But the bodies floated up to witness against the killers.

What did Soriano think about what’s happening?

Can we say this is like the Cambrian Period where it is said there is a massive explosion of revelation? (Note: I do not believe in the Cambrian Period being an explosion).

We cannot say that corruption in the Iglesia ni Cristo ni Manalo evolved! What is true in the Cambrian Period is collaterally true with the INC of Manalo. Since its inception, there are the corrupt practices of its ministers! It is proven by the very words of Eraño Manalo, second generation Executive Minister, that the corruption among the present generation of his ministers was inherited from ministers pioneering their works of corruption! It was earlier proven by a circular signed by Felix Manalo, first generation Executive or Presiding Minister, himself revealing the corrupt practices of his pioneering ministers. (http://www.controversyextraordinary.com/2015/08/gravity-floating-up-all-secrets-of.html)

Finally, we look into a minister who left the INC.

On a circular read in the whole district of Leyte, July 25, 2015, Joven O. Sepillo Sr is excommunicated for allegedly fighting the Administration and circulating false information with the objective of troubling the church. Sepillo Sr. said he had decided to come out in public to clear out his name against this charge.

Sepillo, Sr. an INC minister for 29 years but excommunicated by the Sanggunian together with his family, was bidding goodbye to his calling as minister for what he considered to be irreconcilable to his principles. He was expelled instead. The following are excerpts from his post [translated from Tagalog] centered on many questions similar to those being voiced out by other excommunicated INC ministers –

If only I left in an orderly way, it would not reach this far, they said. Is what is orderly, bidding goodbye without mentioning any shenanigans and not calling the Administration to counter these? Have they found out that there is no corruption going on now? Has the Administration done an honest-to-goodness investigation to protect the Sanggunian from false accusations? If they have but the ones told to investigate are themselves the accused, will justice be seen by the brethren who are looking for truth?

I am sad that what is often heard from the Spokesman of the Iglesia regarding critics is that they are only defaming without showing any evidence. Those opposing corruption are shown as evil and creating trouble in the church. They are the ones being persecuted, threatened, and done with, just to silence them.

Is there no one from the Sanggunian who will stand for truth? Shall we only wait for the hand of God to render judgment on the guilty? They may have forgotten that it is a Nation of God that they are managing.

The root cause of these troubles now is the change of perceptions among ministers about their supposed life in the ministry. Some are not aware that this is where corruption entered in – the supposed lifestyle of ministers. (See post by Jorge. http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/711261/doj-secures-3-expelled-iglesia-ni-cristo-members).

Interpretations

San Juan, the professor, said secrecy has not done good to the INC. He considers that some of the issues raised by the members of the INC are public and therefore valid.

Cornelio, the sociologist says the INC has come to religious worldling, a sophistication that he tends to congratulate, although it is not about being godly but worldly. Cornelio has barely scratched the surface and his basic fault is the color of his tone. He provides no proper guidance for the reader since his moral compass is also faulty. Notice his use of the term, “Moral Economies.”

At the bottom of his column is written this part:

Some parts of this column are derived from the paper Cornelio presented at the international workshop “Emerging Moral Economies in Southeast Asia” at L’ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris in June 2014.

This italics part in a way explains the deficiency in Cornelio’s analysis. The original material was written one year before this public clash between the Manalo brothers with the Sanggunian on the side of Eduardo Manalo, the incumbent executive minister. Where was Cornelio all the time?

The column of this Sociologist of Religion is pathetically dead and deaf to events that have recently unfolded and still are. There was no attempt at updating. He had disregarded the fact that the INC members question the purpose of the mammoth building and even as basic as its maintenance. This is moral economy for Cornelio?

The second review of this Jayeel Serrano Cornelio talks of “restorationist ethos” of the INC but still suggests a patronizing attitude. With all the news coming out from many quarters, one would wonder if Cornelio is a PR man for the INC. His article of August 13, 2015 says –

The church espouses a restorationist ethos as it claims to be the one true church called to take Christianity back to its original character and form of worship. It has several distinctive elements, among which is the absolute oneness doctrine that pits it against the Trinitarian mainstream in the Philippines.

Its founder, Felix Y. Manalo, is believed to be the fulfillment of a biblical prophecy that in the last days, an Angel from the East will arise. The church has therefore effectively sacralized the Philippines as a nation that plays an instrumental role in the last days.

The church’s unity is also one enduring source of pride for its members.

Unity manifests itself in different ways, such as doctrinal uniformity and submission to the leadership. Members are expected to heed their ministers, for example, on matters of faith and interpretation of Scriptures.

Members also fall in line during national elections, voting as a bloc for whatever candidates church leaders tell them to support. Members cannot take each other to court nor can they marry nonmembers. Even the predictable neo-gothic architecture of its churches is evocative of Iglesia ni Cristo’s institutional unity.  (http://www.ucanews.com/news/after-101-years-growing-pains-for-philippines-iglesia-ni-cristo/74075)

One wonders now how Cornelio was educated. Was he taught to think critically?

Here’s a quote from Albert Einstein’s Ideas and Opinions (1954). It emphasizes the importance of bracing all education with critical thinking principles and the development of character – no matter what specialization.

It is not enough to teach a man a specialty. Through it he may become a kind of useful machine but not a harmoniously developed personality. It is essential that the student acquire an understanding of and a lively feeling for values. He must acquire a vivid sense of the beautiful and of the morally good. Otherwise he – with his specialized knowledge – more closely resembles a well-trained dog than a harmoniously developed person. He must learn to understand the motives of human beings, their illusions, and their sufferings in order to acquire a proper relationship to the individual fellow-men and to the community.

It’s a waste of time when a sociologist of religion writes without first manifesting on the environment. It is even dangerous that he professes to teach the Catholic world about the INC. If he is writing for United Catholic Asia News, he is only misleading the people there. Has he come across what the critic ministers are saying? There’s a Farley de Castro that is often reported by Ces Drilon of ABS-CBN. De Castro is one of the INC ministers excommunicated. Here are excerpts (translated from Tagalog) from his talk (Part III) –

They are just running away. They just do not want to answer the many questions about the anomalies and corruption issues happening now in the church.

Why don’t they answer? They said they will answer the questions last Tuesday [August 4, 2015] during the Prayer Meeting but they dealt with another topic. Aren’t they liars? And until now they haven’t answered the questions regarding anomalies in the church.

 

In Part II, here are some of Farley de Castro’s words [translated from Tagalog] addressing his brothers –

We saw how the words of God were used as basis in persecuting and abusing others by those who have no right. The abuse and wrong use of the words of God to deceive and make the brethren believe to accept their deeds and their reasons. Our poor brethren, our brethren who cannot do anything but follow.

But my question is, why is this done in the management of ministers? They said, isn’t it true that this church won’t apostate anymore? Yes, but many individuals will apostate if they do not move – if we don’t help them, if we don’t love them. Most of them are poor but with full faith, giving their all with readiness.

But our offerings are being wasted in a lifestyle meant only for personal interest.

He addresses Eduardo Manalo, the Executive Minster, and asks many questions, even an intriguing one about the spirit that dwells at their Central. [Note: Central refers to the main headquarters of the INC).

Bro. Eduardo, I have been hearing you for a very long time and I know that you love the church. But why now, why did you allow the church to go this way?

Didn’t you know that from the beginning the church would become like this if your wife will always intervene? Because this was the order of Bro. Eraño G. Manalo before he died. Why is it that we who are standing for righteousness are the very ones being expelled? Is it really true that the spirit of the devil thrives at Central? We love you, Bro. Eduardo.

Didn’t you know from the beginning what your mother and your brother wanted, especially Bro. Angel? Didn’t you know that never did he want to grab your rights? Didn’t you know that they only wanted to let the church restored from the beginning when the messenger of the last days started it? May God have mercy and remember his nation.(https://www.facebook.com/NehemiahEcclesiastesOfficial/videos/vb.414257252092254/440362976148348/?type=2&theater)

If Cornelio had scanned the environment well before writing, he would know that there’s no honest attempt at “restoration ethos” in the way he presented it. There is logically no restoration ethos where communication lines are not open. As a consequence, there’s no restoration ethos where the leader is found decidedly weak and indecisive, cutting off links even with his very own mother and siblings.

What sorely obtains is more of a group confronting the administration and calling for a movement (kilusan) to force a return to the old set-up (physical) – because things are not normal. The resolution they basically wanted was for Eduardo Manalo not to listen to his wife, some peace, and a simple life style for the ministers. For a restoration ethos to materialize, it should start from the head having the drive, the discipline, and the desire. It should not come from the few critics at the side. But clearly, when a fish rots, it begins from the head.

As expected, there’s no response from his side. From all accounts, he and his men were not even answering questions of their brethren who wanted at least the children of Eraño Manalo to be back to their posts and their power restored. But Sociologist Cornelio appeared more of writing public relations pieces, taking extreme care lest he mention any fault. One is inclined to think he is an INC trolling in United Catholic Asia News, ready to neutralize whatever is written against the INC. That is barely a way to be helpful to society as a sociologist of religion.

Back to interpretations, when it comes to religion, the most that should be consulted are those that handle the words of God for this is the commodity in question. What is happening now? Preacher Soriano declares it is a judgment from God that the INC is being revealed as corrupt even from the beginning.

Admitting that he is the fiercest critic of the INC, Soriano would examine their beliefs and practices now and then – would answer to questions about the INC in his regular Bible Expositions. For that, he has attracted many court cases filed against him by the INC – including threats on his life. These have all become the drama that the broadsheets, the TV and the Internet would banner for several years.

The preacher talks about disturbing familiar patterns in the way the INC reacts to dissent – coming from his experience with the INC and paralleling those reported in the news. These practices and their attendant difficulties have been inflicted on him and those of others he knew, but never in his mind did he imagine they will happen to the very members of the INC.

What about the INC minister who had decided to leave his ministry? Sevillo Sr, the expelled INC minister, tends to agree with all of these three experts: (1) There is lack of transparency in the INC as pointed out by Prof. San Juan; (2) The INC has become worldly-wise as discussed by Sociologist Cornelio, but in the sense that it has become materialistic; (3) Corruption is with them according to Preacher Soriano, yes; but judgment may not have come yet. Sevillo Sr. seems hesitant to admit God’s judgment happening at this time, but he uses it as a warning stick against Eduardo Manalo’s administration. He adds a fourth one, his own interpretation of events: (4) The lifestyles of the ministers have led to this organizational upheaval

Like other INC’s who have began to doubt why these things are happening within them if they are a true church, Sevillo Sr. is still staying with the INC despite what he had observed. His belief is intact – presumably including the belief that Christ is mere human being.

Bro. Eli and the INC

As dissent within the INC develops amidst efforts to counter them – mostly suppress them – the following chips have in many forms bobbed up like familiar patterns of a template observed in the past: (a) Pressure on the Department of Justice, (b) Use of the National Bureau of Investigation as a personal bodyguard, (c) Framing up for a charge of rape, (d) Case closed case unclosed, (e) One-sided media, (f) Assignment to kill, (g) No mercy, (h) Humiliating the victim, (i) Hounding the leaving or those who criticize, (j) Gunshots fired at the home, (k) Brainwashing the members.

These were so in the case of Bro. Eli Soriano, the foremost critic of the INC. The INC has applied all of these to him and the people with him.

Aren’t these parts of the culture of the Iglesia ni Cristo? Why do they repeat themselves and this time on their very own people? It is not enough to just mention them as how they are worsening, only the victims can tell. But definitely politicians are wittingly or unwittingly part of the whole scheme. We will look into five of these practices later.

As defined in the dictionary, dissent is the expression or holding of opinions at variance with those previously, commonly, or officially held. Synonyms are disapproval, disagreement, difference of opinion.

But not all dissent is bad. Some are good when truth is king as in the case of critiquing their beliefs by Preacher Soriano and disapproving of maltreatment of the family of Eraño Manalo by Sevillo Sr.

In brief, here are how the familiar patterns have come into Bro. Eli’s life: He, as a bible man, believes he should correct whatever practices he finds are not biblical. That is part of his commission. But the INC is one that takes criticisms to the point of wanting him killed, if not imprisoned (with false charges), and humiliated before the world.

That explains how Luisito Amansec, a former INC hitman, found out the truth about the preacher and confessed that he was around to bump Bro. Eli dead. He became a member of the MCGI instead. Lying has long been with the INC ministers that Bro. Eli is not what they picture him to be. Amansec realized that his heart learned mercy for the first time when he saw Bro. Eli, long pictured as evil in the Iglesia ni Cristo.

In a case for libel where Bro. Eli won, video tapes and DVD’s had been provided to the court where INC ministers were calling him names like “dayukdok,  “mandarambong, “mongongotong,’ “matakaw sa pera,” “Seaman-loloko,” among many other names through their program, Ang Tamang Daan. In English, they mean starved, plunderer, extortioner, money-hungry, and deceiver. They were doing this but MTRCB never sanctioned them.

Bro. Eli also had provided proofs that the INC had distorted his speeches and commentaries to prove consistent patterns of mangling of tapes by the Iglesia ni Cristo on statements made by him. An example was when Soriano was asking for 3.6 million on January 10, 2004; the mangled tape was shown in Ang Tamang Daan aired over Net 25 on March 29, 2004 that Soriano was asking for 6 trillion.

A discussion of these can be found in the court records of Criminal Case No. Q-05-136679 filed for libel for an Ang Dating Daan TV program aired on January 21, 2005 with Ramil T. Parba as representative complainant of the Iglesia ni Cristo along with Marianito Cayao and Bernardo Santiago.

Accused were Eliseo Soriano, Danilo Navales, Jocel Mallari, and Luzviminda Cruz, all anchors of Ang Dating Daan program on TV. This libel case was dismissed for lack of evidence. Cayao and Santiago are former members of MCGI having been excommunicated by Bro. Eli and then later joined the INC. What the MCGI throws away for spiritual filth, the INC accepts.

INC hates dissent. It also explains why Lydia Manuyag, former INC auditor from Central Diliman was straffed at her home for speaking in SBN21 where she had corrected Bro. Eli. The preacher was quoting the magazine, SAY, that Manalo is a billionaire. Trillionaire, said Manuyag, not billionaire. Afterwards their home was straffed. Lydia’s husband, also a former INC member, was hit with four bullets.

It also explains why Daniel Veridiano, Bernardo Santiago, Marianito Cayao and their kind who have been excommunicated by Bro. Eli for several offenses, have, in turn, been used against the preacher as either complainant or witness.

If media can be used against people especially the TV, it has not been forgotten that Soriano is a victim of this trick, which is why until now the Members Church of God International (MCGI) are boycotting GMA7-11. It is to send a strong message that it is not taking things sitting down. The dramatization in the interview with Daniel Veridiano in “Paninirang Puri, Case Unclosed” presented the Church leader as a shameless old man devoid of the knowledge of the Bible and hungry for sex – and for the same gender yet. The members were pictured as fools – laggards with the brain of a shrimp. This had been so after the Interpol caper has failed. Interpol whom the INC had access to, had found out that the Bro. Eli whom enemies wanted to humiliate before the world is not in hiding – and is even a man of God – not a sex-starved fugitive as the dramatization painted him to be.

The interviewee was Daniel Veridiano, excommunicated from MCGI where Soriano is Presiding Minister to. Veridiano became a member of the INC. By twist of faith, it is GMA being boycotted by MCGI for 5 years now for what they did to Bro. Eli and the organization. Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 22.18.36

What about GMA 7-11? Earlier, it had made Daniel Razon to decide whether to remain as anchor and restrict his language when referring to the Iglesia ni Cristo, or resign. If he does not like restrictions, the INC may boycott the station. Where? On stage when he preaches to the congregation of the MCGI or Ang Dating Daan (as the church is more popularly known). Razon is Soriano’s nephew and the appointed next-in-rank to Bro. Eli. At the same time, he was working for GMA. But he chose to leave GMA rather than restrict his language – not even in anchoring but in preaching in church.

Imagine GMA representing the INC and asking one to restrict his language – and in another venue yet? Why does INC use GMA to restrict one’s language outside of the studio that is the very workplace of Razon? Can’t he preach before the congregation without an outsider’s intervention? Why did religion have to involve a TV station?

The Australian Journalists’ Code of Ethics says in #8 rule:

Do not allow advertising or other commercial considerations to undermine accuracy, fairness or independence.

There is an equivalent in the Code of Ethics of the Philippine Press Institute and the National Press Club of the Philippines in #5:

I shall not let personal motives or interests influence me in the performance of my duties nor shall I accept or offer any present, gift, or other consideration of a nature that may cast doubt on my personal integrity.

INC hates being critiqued. That explains why the NBI had been used to raid the ADD Convention Center in 2001 on a simple charge of libel filed by the INC. The director at that time was Reynaldo Wycoco, an INC member. They came in full-battle gear looking for Bro. Eli whom they could not recognize though they talked to him. Wycoco was reported preparing another raid in 2005 when he succumbed to heart attack.

The MTRCB had suspended the Ang Dating Daan TV Program including all the anchors at least three times in the past at the behest of the Iglesia ni Cristo. One time, it was because Bro. Eli was calling them Iglesia ni Manalo that they took as insult.

BELOW: Thousands upon thousands of people gathered in front of the Human Rights Commission in the Philippines to show their support to Brother Eli when the latter was indefinitely suspended by the MTRCB from appearing in any television program. The Human Rights Commission later ruled in favor of Brother Eli stating that the MTRCB committed a grave abuse of authority against the preacher.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 21.57.49

The Department of Justice also through Secretary Raul Gonzalez had been utilized to persecute Bro. Eli.

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

But the dismissed case was ordered re-filed by the Office of the President Gloria Arroyo, one widely known as supported by the INC through bloc voting.

Media People Talking

Why do we allow these things to happen? Columnist Conrad de Quiros, in exasperation, asked this question. He mentions about the INC’s habits of “trying to keep certain prominent citizens out of jail or, in the case of public officials, keeping them in power.” He also questions why we allow the Iglesia ni Cristo meddling in the justice department, and interfering in elections, among many others.

Here are excerpts from de Quiros’ column –

The INC has grown over the years to become the second biggest church in this country. You’ve got to wonder, though, what it is asking its fold to do. Over the same years it has grown, it has been trying to keep certain prominent citizens out of jail or, in the case of public officials, keeping them in power.

Not too long ago, the INC made headlines by railing against the government for axing Magtanggol Gatdula, the director of the National Bureau of Investigation and an INC stalwart. P-Noy himself did the axing after finding out that Gatdula had a hand in the illegal detention of a Japanese fugitive. Despite De Lima’s strenuous attestations that the justice department did its homework before recommending Gatdula’s dismissal, the INC complained that he was not given a chance to explain.

All of these must make us ask: Why do we allow this?

Why do we allow the INC to begin with to interfere in elections? We know that INC members vote as a bloc for the candidates of their leaders’ choosing. We know this because that church doesn’t bother to hide it; it parades it as one of the reasons for joining it or currying its favor….This is out-and-out flouting of the separation of Church and State, a thing expressly forbidden in a democracy. And yet we see no law stopping it, and yet we see only politicians seeking to profit from it.  (http://opinion.inquirer.net/29267/why-do-we-allow-this#ixzz3ilLClbI2)

It’s not only de Quiroz questioning the behavior of the INC as an organization. Here’s an excerpt from what Blogger Jake Astudillo wrote about INC power in government offices –

The morbid interest of the INC for critical posts in the national government is quite disturbing too and even the high courts of the land are not spared. The Supreme Court has some justices and other people therein known to have been highly recommended by the INC and cannot be said to be free from public perception of being stooges for the INC.

The same is true for the National Bureau of Investigation, and for other offices under the Office of the President. One of these is the Movies, Television, Radio Censors Board (MTRCB) where the INC cries to as its favored valid court every time their beliefs are being scrutinized. At least, that was the experience of Bro. Eli Soriano. Maria Consoliza Laguardia used to hold fort as head censor of the MTRCB and decides matters upon the behest of the INC.

Jake Astudillo mentioned Lawyer Panopio’s analysis, Reporter Romero’s observation, and Author Vitug’s book. Panopio had underscored INC’s influencing court litigation results; Romero and Vitug were aware of INC recommending justices where these justices decide in favor of the Iglesia ni Cristo once put into place. More from Astudillo –

Not everyone is cowered by the INC influence, however. An enterprising young lawyer found that unconstitutional powers are being interpreted as vested in the MTRCB. James Benedict Panopio, in his analysis of the MTRCB rulings on suspension of the Ang Dating Daan (ADD) programs on TV said the INC should seek redress in the courts instead of the MTRCB. It is not a secret that litigations are highly the interest of the INC where they try to influence results, one of which is the Barrameda case, he said. 

Purple S. Romero of Newsbreak took note that Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. of the Supreme Court is publicly known to have been highly recommended by the INC. Marites Vitug, in her book, Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court, gave the same observation. For three days after the publication of her book, Vitug was receiving death threats on her mobile phone.

And Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr? He was the ponente or decision writer or justice in charge of the case in the Supreme Court sustaining suspension of Ang Dating Daan upon the complaint of the Iglesia ni Cristo. “Political considerations may have come into play in the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the suspension of the religious group Ang Dating Daan’s TV program according to court insiders we talked to,” said Newsbreak reporters. In earlier reports, Newsbreak through Romero surmised that the ruling of the Supreme Court was to please the Iglesia ni Cristo. It was not exactly a legal reason, the report said. The report is interesting in that the dissenting justices pointed to suppression of the freedom of speech in their decision.

And Justice Velasco? Of all people, why did he not inhibit himself from the case, considering his links with the Iglesia ni Cristo? With just their endorsement, the message is clear: they expected someone to exchange favor with. And as venial as one can be, if your ambition is lying in wait for an invitation, you can be used and finally play the willing tool. But it takes two to tango.(https://kotawinters.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/are-we-now-going-to-give-the-country-to-bloc-voting-people/)

Familiar Patterns

These familiar patterns keep repeating themselves. Are we that weak to resist? Recent events with the INC and INC influence show the following:

1) Intervening with the Justice System

A recent news report stated that Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has directed National Bureau of Investigation Director Virgilio Mendez to discipline an official who declared earlier that the bureau’s probe on the alleged abduction of 10 ministers of the influential Iglesia Ni Cristo was deemed closed. (http://manilastandardtoday.com/2015/08/04/doj-iglesia-case-still-open/#

Written by Rey E. Requejo titled “DOJ: Iglesia case still open”(Manila Standard, 8/04/2015), De Lima was said to have made the statement reiterating that the authorities are still investigating the supposed abduction of INC ministers. This was in contrast to the claim of NBI Anti-Organized Transnational Crime Division chief Manuel Eduarte that the case is now considered closed.

De Lima was reportedly surprised said Eduarte had declared the case was closed when he is not even involved in the investigation nor part of the team.

A check into records show that Eduarte is a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo.

Not long after, The Daily Tribune came out with “Binay asks De Lima to stop ‘reckless’ statements vs INC” (Tribune Wires, 8/07/2015) (http://www.tribune.net.ph/nation/binay-asks-de-lima-to-stop-reckless-statements-vs-inc)

The report said Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay had advised Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to refrain from giving “unwarranted statements” on the alleged abduction of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) ministers.

In a letter to De Lima, the Vice President said he felt compelled to “call your attention to the unwarranted statements you have been expressing in the mass media in your capacity as Secretary of the Department of Justice asserting that the alleged abduction of ministers of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) is not yet a ‘closed’ case.”

Binay reportedly noted that De Lima’s statements contradicted the findings of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) authorities that conducted the investigation.

“It taxes credulity that you had to publicly contravene the findings of the NBI Anti-Organized Transnational Crimes Division, which itself conducted the investigation on the alleged abduction,” the Vice President said.

“According to your own people in the NBI, no such abduction took place, which finding is bolstered by the fact that there is no complainant who has come forward to attest to its commission. In short, there is apparently no crime committed or being committed,” he added.

If there was no abduction that happened, why are there many complaining from diverse places? Would it hurt to check if there are? What is the hurry in Manuel Eduarte in trying to close the lid and in Binay pressuring the DOJ Secretary if there are lives involved?

2) Riding on one-sided media for personal agenda

The Daily Tribune is also the one that reported earlier on Jose Norelito Fruto, 50, of Amparo Road, Nova Ville Subdivision, Novaliches in “Bogus gay doctor apprehended for molesting Caloocan student” by Arlie O. Calalo (The Daily Tribune, 07/14/2015).

Fruto was one of the INC ministers picked up earlier for questioning regarding the Antonio Ebanghelista blogs that blared corruption issues within the Iglesia ni Cristo.

The report said a 22 year old man (Robert Anthony, not real name) was allegedly sodomized by Fruto and that a CCTV tape showed at least the first of two incidents, the first one (July 4) inside the victim’s house, and the second one inside Fruto’s home.

This Daily Tribune report was used by the INC against Fruto as the “proof” to truth, just as they used it against Justice De Lima. It is clear that The Daily Tribune is not as popular as other broadsheets. The comments are scanty and are lorded over by INC members who spam the same comments over and over.

In the case where Binay berated Justice Secretary De Lima whose group is trying to look into reports of abduction, media was also used in impressing to the public which case is closed or unclosed.

3) Promoting lying and falsehood

Letters posted on Social Media by those expelled show that they were being forced to do things against their conscience. Here’s one written by Joven O. Sepillo Sr –

On July 18, 2015, my name was written in social media as one among those ministers who were abducted and could not be seen. We told our contacts that we are safe and not abducted. My family were wondering why my name was included there when we are just silently doing our responsibilities in the Locale of San Roque in Tolosa Extension, Leyte East District. Who could have done that and what was his aim?

On July 21, I was made to produce a video and say, “I am INC.” I cooperated and did the video according to the order of Bro. Rommel Sanvictores of INCTV and then sent it through email. My family felt safe then that when the video will be shown, it will be clear that I was not abducted and that I won’t be missing but will be found doing my work. When July 24, 2015 came, I welcomed the order from Central to make another video together with the brethren from the Locale with all of us saying,” All of us with responsibilities and all the brethren of the Locale of San Roque, Ecclesiastical District of Leyte East are proclaiming that we are fervently following doctrines and are submitting to obedience so that we will be saved.” Then we would greet Happy 101st Anniversary to the Iglesia ni Cristo. 

Upon arrival at the San Roque Locale, I found the brethren already gathered by the Head Deacon based on the order of the District and there was the Video man. It was not a day for Worship Service at San Roque, but the video would show that the service was just over. At that moment, I decided not to make the [second] video because, first I had already made one last July 21, 2015 as proof that I was not abducted. Second, the brethren already knew on July 23, 2015 about the call from Ka Tenny and Ka Angel, and because of that, they will be asking questions like what is happening with the church.

The following day, July 24, 2015, came the reading of the Circular pertaining to the family of Ka Erdy. I have read that Circular concerning the expulsion in the Worship Service at Tolosa Extension, but I felt so hurt that it has come to this. I could not anymore take it that after reading about the expulsion of the family, they would order me to proclaim fervent obedience and submission to the Administration – and with that I had to involve even the brethren!” (See post by Jorge. (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/711261/doj-secures-3-expelled-iglesia-ni-cristo-members).

4) Threatening the lives of those who leave their religion or dis-agree with them.

These are lines from a report titled, “Iglesia ni Cristo expels members who joined protest in US (Coconuts Manila, 8/06/2015) –

According to another expelled INC member who was at the rally, fears of retaliation from the church against protesters were heightened a week later after gunshots were fired at his home. (http://manila.coconuts.co/2015/08/07/iglesia-ni-cristo-expels-members-who-joined-protest-us).

The members clearly know about killing being a part of the culture of the Iglesia ni Cristo.

Recently, Joy Yuson, one of the expelled ministers said in the vernacular, “We have to be careful. If they find us on the way, they will kill us. They may run over us, hold us up, kill or trace our steps to home.” (http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/focus/08/06/15/witnesses-vs-inc-placed-under-witness-protection-program).

According to ABS-CBN News, expelled INC Minister Joy Yuson had allegedly received information that the INC has a private army of 100 people that can strike any time. His companions also had other information –

“[Roel] Rosal, who used to work for the New Bilibid Prisons, told De Lima that INC can release inmates from prison, while [Lito] Fruto said an assistant state prosecutor from the justice department was involved in the arrest of one of the ‘missing’ INC ministers, Lowell Menorca, as well as in framing him up for a charge of rape.”

Yuson, Fruto, and Rosal are former members of INC who were expelled from the church after expressing support to the family of the late executive minister Eraño Manalo. (http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/focus/08/06/15/witnesses-vs-inc-placed-under-witness-protection-program).

These reports need verification, and if true, should be addressed by proper government authorities.

  1. No Mercy

A church is supposed to be the very first example in showing how character is supposed to be developed in a vibrant community. It may be none of people’s business questioning how a son can tolerate not talking to a mother for five years. But it has become public that the mother of Eduardo Manalo, Executive Minister of the INC, had wanted to talk to her son. Wasn’t she claiming her life was in danger together with the others? She was expelled from the organization in a show of force with the INC leadership claiming Ka Tenny and the rest of the family were creating division in the church. Farley de Castro, one of those expelled ministers claimed the widow of Eraño Manalo is more than 80 years old and is ill.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 22.08.03

The Public is Watching: One-Sided Media

The Daily Tribune was decidedly one-sided. It did not mention earlier reports that De Lima had wanted the erring NBI Anti-Organized Transnational Crime Division chief Manuel Eduarte who said that the case is now considered closed to be sanctioned.

The Daily Tribune is obviously one of creating news instead of being a news courier. A good story would present both sides.

There is a tendency now for journalists to create news. And that is completely wrong. Journalists have a responsibility to report the news and comment upon the news. But they don’t have the right to create news. (Oscar R. Landicho, “Ethics in Journalism,” Booklore Publishing Corporation, Mla: 2002).

Indeed, what our country needs are good and honest journalists who can tell us what our people need or what is wrong with some government officials including judges and justices.

A look into a description of this paper says –

The Daily Tribune is a daily English-language broadsheet publication in the Philippines. Its office is in the 1st Floor of the Bel-Air Apartments along Roxas Boulevard, Manila. Its editor-in-chief is Ninez Cacho-Olivares. The Tribune is known for being critical of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her successor, Benigno S. Aquino III; conversely, it is often cited as supporting former President Joseph Estrada (now Mayor of Manila) and Vice President Jejomar Binay. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Daily_Tribune).

As a politician who has declared running for President as early as 2010, Binay, in his act of throwing down the gauntlet for the Iglesia ni Cristo is suspect. First, the INC’s practice of coercive bloc voting is a magnet for many politicians to woe the INC’s favor, ignoring the negative effect on the voters.

Second, the INC has been embroiled in controversy and has occupied the news spots in the recent months. But The Daily Tribune shows no indication of knowing anything before hand, as their reports reflected nothing of the other side.

What’s with a news outfit that cannot be objective? A journalist can do his job if his hands are free of bribes. Lest we be seen as imputing anything, there are many things aside from money that can corrupt a journalist: gadgets, electrical appliances, cars, free gasoline, gift vouchers in some department stores, free trips, free meals and drinks. Take that from a seasoned journalist like Oscar Landicho.

Here’s an excerpt from Landicho’s (2002) chapter on Envelopmental Journalism –

Only in the Philippines is ‘envelopmental journalism’ practiced with notoriety and frequency. Envelopmental journalism is not only illegal but also unethical. People who promote envelopmental journalism are peddlers of corruption, dishonesty, and immorality. Some journalists are … in the payroll of some politicians and businessmen.

The report on extensive lecture of Vice President Binay on DOJ Secretary De Lima is not balanced sans just one-liner saying Manuel Eduarte was not involved in the project of ascertaining abduction of INC ministers, or that De Lima was surprised on Eduarte’s “Case Closed” pronouncement. Instead, Binay was marking that Eduarte is a lawyer – as if being lawyer is equivalent to being honest and correct.

What citizens can do for now are the following: 1) Watch for wayward media and expose them; and 2) Watch the moves of politicians and expose them.

The Public is Watching: Politician’s Pressure

An evaluation of Binay’s motherland statements manifests an over-representation of this politician in the absence of a report on De Lima’s stance. He was clearly standing for Manuel Eduarte – someone not involved with the case – or even for the INC. This group is widely known to be influential with a reputation of actively lobbying to be able to place their own people in sensitive positions of the government.

From The Daily Tribune

“By your actuations, you are promoting the image of disunity, discord and even corruption in the INC to its clear prejudice and detriment,” Binay said.

“As public officials, it is our duty to respect the internal affairs and concerns of the INC and allow them, without the unwarranted interference from government, to conduct their own business in accordance with their religious beliefs. No less than our Constitution guarantees this inviolable separation of church and state,” he added.

“For the sake of upholding our Constitution, as well as protecting the integrity and good name of the INC as a religious community, I urge you to refrain from uttering baseless, if not reckless and irresponsible, statements that would tend to harm the religious institution of the INC,” Binay said. (http://www.tribune.net.ph/nation/binay-asks-de-lima-to-stop-reckless-statements-vs-inc)

Binay might not know it but it is the very ministers of the INC running for their lives who had requested for government intervention. Isaias Samson Jr. at a press conference held in July 23, said that government intervention in the crisis would help resolve the issue. Samson is one of those expelled INC ministers. (Tetch Torres-Tupas, “INC crisis: Suspended minister urges gov’t intervention”Inquirer.net. 7/23/2015).

Samson claimed that the INC was after him because of he had opposed INC general auditor Glicerio Santos Jr. According to reports, he was also accused of being the man behind the blog of Antonio Ebangelista, who has released critical articles against the group. (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/707346/minister-detained-by-armed-guards-escapes-corrupt-inc-practices-bared).

The 1987 Constitution of The Republic of the Philippines in Article III Bill of Rights is enough cover for those running for their lives from the powerful.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 22.10.51Consider this: Binay, a candidate for President in 2016, pitches for a religion that is publicly known as influential, but he does not feel for those individuals in it being abducted and reporting fear for their very lives.

The fact is that the INC does not need protection because it is very powerful – unlike individuals in them being threatened after exposing anomalies in their organization.

The right to life, liberty and the protection of the laws is guaranteed by the constitution. It is the right of citizens to be protected and secure in their persons.

The least that Vice President Binay could have done is not to contribute to the INC cover-up – unless he is a willing tool and has become part of these familiar patterns. Politicians are well-entrenched in these practices of the INC having become stooges or willing to become one.

A bird of the same feather knows its kind. It is time for everyone to choose whom to side with: the good or the evil.

For Falsifying Documents Former Bible Reader of Bro. Eli Soriano Gets Arrested

By Jane Abao

Manila, Philippines (2/14/2015) – A former Bible Reader of Bro. Eli Soriano was arrested Friday (2/13/2015) on the charge of falsification of documents. A report from the Bulacan Police Provincial Office signed by Police Superintendent Helson Bragil Walin confirmed the arrest through a memorandum announcing the arrest of wanted persons.

Wilfredo “Willy” Santiago, 41, married, and a resident of Malolos, Bulacan, was ordered taken into custody by authority of law together with two others by Presiding Judge Mario Pocholo M. Telan of the Municipal Court of Baliwag, Bulacan. Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 23.25.52

Criminal Case No. 15-006 filed by his erstwhile wife, Mary Jane Angeles – Santiago accused Willy, Leslie G. Kurata, Edwin R. Benales and a certain John/Jane Do of disposing off two lots of the conjugal partnership without her consent, making it appear that she had signed when in fact she was out of the country. A bail of P12, 000 was set for each of the respondents by the court.

The falsified document shows that the two lots were sold for P450, 000.00 to Leslie G. Kurata of Baliuag, Bulacan with Wilfredo Santiago and Mary Jane A. Santiago as vendors, in the presence of Edwin R. Benales, and another witness.

The Warrant of Arrest for Santiago and the others was signed January 6, 2015 but their whereabouts could not be ascertained until lately.

Willy Santiago is more popularly known as Bro. Eli’s former Bible Reader. He had for 12 years been assisting the evangelist in his programs of Ang Dating Daan in radio and television. Bro. Eli is the Presiding Minister to the Members Church of God International (MCGI) where this Bible Reader used to be a member. Whenever Bro. Eli needed verses to support his preaching or discussion, Santiago would flip the pages to locate the verses fast and read them to the audience. That was his work.

Never having been promoted to minister, Santiago had through the years been aching for leadership too. This became obvious when in October 2009 he was excommunicated from the Church named Members Church of God International (MCGI), he subsequently put up his own church, giving doctrinal issues as his reason for establishing his own. It was a poor excuse to those who knew Santiago well. He, himself, is not disciplined by example. His wife, who left him eventually in 2009 at the exposure of Santiago’s shenanigans, complained of wife beating and abuse in handling financial resources.

Although Santiago had no substantial members to speak of, he called his church “worldwide” to imitate “International.” His Members Church of God in Jesus Christ Worldwide or MCGCJW barely has 30 members. In Spanish he called it Miembros dela Iglesia de Dios en Jesu Cristo en Todo El Mundo Inc. As much as possible, he was imitating the Church he was excommunicated from. However, lacking understanding, the doctrines he preaches are in shambles. Much as he would like to portray “another Bro. Eli,” he cannot come up to the expectations of the audience. The group holds office in Malolos Bulacan but beset with problems after some rift with Santiago’s supposed financial supporters.

Santiago brought along with him church workers who had been excommunicated from the MCGI like him as well as suspended members. After awhile though, some of his people went back to the MCGI fold and some still were sending feelers if they could be welcomed again.

Santiago made sure he was always linked with the name of Bro. Eli for search engine (SEO) purposes. His accounts in social networking sites constantly maligned Bro. Eli and SEO afforded him much traffic. Just before he was arrested, he had uploaded a hundred hate videos against the MCGI leadership and also videos extolling himself. He had lieutenants taking care of his hate posts.

Santiago would hurl challenges for debate again and again as though itching to pitch some new knowledge that the preacher does not know. This was all at the expense of the evangelist since Santiago’s life is not entirely clean. He has taken to wife another woman while he was yet married to Mary Jane. With his new lifestyle, he could be hardly called straight.

Santiago has for years been coveting the position of Daniel Razon, the next in rank to Bro. Eli. For his propensity to look for Bible verses, he had expected to be the second in command. For those in the know, however, Santiago did not have the understanding in explaining verses as well as he could find and read them loud and clear to the audience. That explains why he remained only a Bible reader – but he became ambitious.

Santiago was excommunicated from MCGI towards the end of 2009 by Bro. Eli who still found it viable to let the former hang on. But as early as 2008, Santiago had been secretly playing priest like administering matrimonial services for some. Facebook shows photos of people whose weddings he had performed that are time-stamped 2008. Behind Bro. Eli’s back therefore, he was already making inroads for another organization of his own.

In the case at bar, Santiago admitted that he sold two lots that belonged to the conjugal partnership because he could not find his wife. Secondly, he said he did not ask the authority of the court because the documents show he is the owner and could sell the properties, being that they read, “Wilfredo Santiago, married to…” The court, however, found, probable cause to have him arrested.

In part, the resolution of a motion for reconsideration signed by Rita M. Gammad, Senior Deputy Provincial Prosecutor and approved by Renato C. Samonte, Jr, Provincial Prosecutor, on May 5, 2014 against Wilfredo Santiago et al for Falsification of Documents said –

Considering that all the respondents appeared privy in the execution of the subject deed of sale, let them be charged and tried in the court for the act of falsifying a public document, under the principle of conspiracy.

For Irresponsible Reporting: Ang Dating Daan Boycotts GMANews Anew

By Jane Abao

Manila, Philippines (8/23/2011)
– To boycott is to punish. After two years GMANews has not learned its lesson. Its habit for biased and irresponsible reporting cannot anymore pass without giving them a wake up call. It has been slapped with a massive boycott throughout the country from Ang Dating Daan (ADD) until the network renders a public apology to its victim, Bro. Eli Soriano, or better still to settle things with a public debate. This is as far as the organization of Bro. Eli is concerned.

Bro. Eli is the Presiding Minister to the Members Church of God International (MCGI) or Ang Dating Daan (ADD) as more popularly known.

The sustained boycott of the international organization began on August 7 and is way on to its third week. For a network that doesn’t favor truth, members deleted Channels 7 and 11 in their TV programs.

BACKGROUND. Way back on June 18, 2009, GMA 7 aired a controversial interview with a self-confessed serial rapist named Daniel “Puto” Veridiano. https://kotawinters.wordpress.com/2009/07/20/ang-dating-daan-blasts-gma7-self-branding-as-house-of-truth/ Puto was excommunicated from the ADD by Bro. Eli upon the recommendation of a fact-finding committee. He was found guilty of various sex offenses as well as of misappropriation of church funds in August 2004.

In response, Puto filed a rape case of two counts against Bro. Eli but which cases were dismissed. He said that he had been raped in 2000 and 2001 but evidences presented by Bro. Eli laid the accusations as baseless and tainted with malice even from the beginning. Puto got affiliated with the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), the arch enemy of the ADD, after failing in his appeal to be restored.

In the court, the investigating prosecutor found no probable cause to prosecute the crusading preacher as he believed Puto’s accusations were fabricated. Bro. Eli was able to present his evidences. The case was filed sometime before October 5, 2005 and was dismissed on January 26, 2006. It was penned by Alejandro Lopez, Asst. Provincial Prosecutor and approved by Jesus Magarang, Provincial Prosecutor of the Province of Pampanga, San Fernando City. The court highly considered the rift going on between the INC and the ADD.

By a twist of fate, the dismissed case found itself again in the court of the Secretary of Justice Raul M. Gonzalez which was under the Office of the then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Public reports bare that Arroyo was openly backed up by the influential Iglesia ni Cristo during both 2004 and 2007 elections by virtue of its practice of bloc voting.

POLITICS AND POWER. Bloc voting affords the INC power when politicians they endorsed get elected, as invariably reported by media. It is not a secret that politicians from the time of Felix Manalo, founder of the INC, make a bee line to this organization to seek endorsement. This practice, according to Bro. Eli, breeds corruption in the country beginning with the justice system. No one gets a fair share of justice whenever the INC is involved. They follow up cases and intervene to their favor, instilling a chilling effect on justices in the country. From here, corruption seeps into other systems affecting almost every level that it is hard for one to be brave and talk. This is quite apparent when dissenting justices are hard to come by whenever the INC is interested in a case.

TALK AND TRUTH.
Talk may what got Bro. Eli into trouble in the first place. He is very brave in exposing anomalies, but being a preacher, what he cannot stop doing is telling what should be told. The Bible, according to him, requires him to tell all that is required of him to tell. Truth is his commodity, no matter what. The whole Bible must be preached, he said. And in this instance the INC is part and parcel of the side that Bro. Eli has to constantly be talking about. For that, they had filed case after case against him, and now he becomes “rapist” by virtue of a true rapist he had dismissed from his organization.

But talk is not what Bro. Eli would do as expected by GMA 7. They had wanted him to tell his side in the case that Puto had filed. In other words, in the guise of giving news, GMA has become intrusive in a case where it believes someone innocent had his reputation besmirched, never knowing anything about the real Puto. Paninirang Puri means character assassination.

Whatever was the game plan of GMA for insisting that the preacher talk, they went on air discussing fully the side of the accuser, thereby side-stepping the rights of the other. “Have they not heard of the principle of sub judice?” Bro. Eli would ask. The crusading preacher underscored that the case is back in court again, and an accused is not supposed to talk about it. Re-filed no matter by interested persons, Bro. Eli was respecting it. But the media outfit obviously did not know what sub judice meant. They wanted him to talk and get revenues from the crowd that GMA 7 would generate. This was June 18, 2009.

THE REPLAY. On August 3, 2011, after more than 2 years, GMANews through Channel 11 again replayed the same controversial interview at a noon time show. The ADD were taken unaware and piqued that the man who used to be their brother but excommunicated was there on TV recanting his imagined rape many years ago. Puto is known to most church workers and his behavior is not a secret to the members. While he had confessed to having abused 9 of his subordinates and had said sorry to them on air, he is there on TV and playing victim again. Known for love of money which he splurges on expensive gadgets and jewelries, and some holidays on beaches instead of attending church services, Puto talking on TV and playing innocent merely reminds the members that he needs again money to sustain his minted face and gay lifestyle. And someone is making him play that role for pay.

HELPING PROPAGATE LIES.
Puto would now be talking about faking signatures as a norm in ADD, a practice of his that he had abused to amass church money. He had underscored this in the interview to claim that his confession to having sexually abused 9 of his victims is fake – no matter that in his video testimony, he can be seen there talking fair and square, damning the INC which he said he would never join. And now Puto is with the INC. He had quickly forgotten that he had volunteered to make this confession which he made good with a written piece. Puto was bidding for a second chance to be restored his membership by Bro. Eli but he failed. https://kotawinters.wordpress.com/2009/05/25/warning-more-hateblogs-against-bro-eli-soriano/letter/.

In YouTube, his victims that could not win their cases fairly could only talk about Puto’s penis to register familiarity with his wayward organ. The liar in Puto was ignored by GMANews however, and preferred to see him as an innocent INC convert, never wondering about his sudden shift from believing in Christ as God to believing that He is mere man. In the INC, Christ is mere man from the beginning and would come back as mere man. Nothing was seen as irregular with Puto but everything was with Bro. Eli who now has become the “rapist” and Puto is the “victim.” The ADD who know very well the life style and character of both accuser and accused felt violated. http://jakeastudillo.wordpress.com/tag/daniel-veridiano/. Truth is on trial and liars are having a heyday. Another boycott became the call of the day.

FACEBOOK AND TWITTER USED AS CALLSITES.
In response to this heap of lies being propagated through the help of a giant TV network, ADD called for another round of boycott on August 7, 2011, this time a bolder, more sustained one. In 2009, Bro. Eli only mentioned about boycott one week after the members were egging him on this initiative. This time, he was aghast and he wanted a quick response from the members to this insult. It would tie down his work at a time new doors are being opened for his overseas ministry and new contracts are being signed for broadcast propagation in other parts of the globe. The year 2011 would be a different boycott and now Facebook and Twitter are colored with protest GMANews picbadges. Day by day, tweets and messages are about GMANews and sympathizers are contributing their stories about GMA and its falsified ratings. More posts about faking expose GMANews as opposite to what it claims.

Some quarters in ADD believe that GMA’s morbid interest in hitting the crusading preacher is all about the ratings game. It has aired this controversial interview twice already in two years time. In its struggle to become the Number 1 in terms of viewership, GMANews may be interested in getting the attention of ADD’s millions of members. In the past, other stations have attempted to do that also. Whenever Bro. Eli is the topic, traffic is really thick. Headquarters says 2011 will however be different for GMANews unless it apologizes for what it did, or answer to a debate challenge.

RECKLESSNESS OR WEAKNESS. It is not so much the ire on Puto whom ADD members know as rapist that got the goat. It is GMANews for its blatant display of abuse of power of the air. It is reckless for not having done enough research before reporting. Or it is weak for having been influenced by some group. According to Bro. Eli, it is very obvious that GMA is being used to attack him. It is harassment already while he is at work. The case had been dismissed for lack of evidence. It was re-filed only by interested persons and the documents were passed on to Raul Gonzalez of the Department of Justice under the Office of the then President Gloria Arroyo, who, herself, was endorsed by the INC, a stooge by all counts in the eyes of the ADD.

These and the other connections between accuser and accused were ignored by the interviewer, Arnold Clavio, host of Case Unclosed – Paninirang Puri (Character Assassination).

CONNECTIONS IGNORED. The connection between accuser Puto and accused Bro. Eli which is the ADD from where the accused was excommunicated. The connection between accuser and accused which is the Iglesia ni Cristo where the excommunicated went to. The connection between the ADD and the INC which is contention for what is true. What were the things Bro. Eli was saying that the INC would like to stop at all costs? Bookmark from here, yet there is much that the Case Unclosed – Character Assassination of GMANews had ignored to look into. And yet, it maliciously replayed the controversial 2009 interview after two years.

Daniel Razon, the Vice Presiding Minister, and nephew of Bro. Eli was a morning show anchor together with Arnold Clavio in GMA7. In June 2005, Razon said he was asked to choose between his God and his career by GMA7 and he chose the former. So, was Razon a result of collateral damage in the ADD-INC rift? http://findarticles.com/p/news-articles/manila-bulletin/mi_7968/is_2005_June_16/daniel-razon-resigns-gma-7/ai_n34040262/.

What about Arnold Clavio whom Razon has many times over eclipsed in their career as show anchors? Wasn’t he a willing tool in this controversial set-up? Clavio cannot dump Razon in the race for popularity now. The latter is many plaques and awards and projects ahead of Clavio that Clavio’s being a tool for others is water-clear.

A journalist truly looking for truth would wonder why the boys that Puto had sexually abused were not able to have their cases represented fairly and why dismissed. A responsible journalist truly interested in airing the truth and nothing but the truth may even discover why the case was dismissed, why it was re-filed, and who were behind the re-filing if he did his work. He may even discover why the justices never mentioned these connections in their ponente but only one or two from dissenting justices. A good-nosed journalist may even pursue the angle why the prosecutors that give Bro. Eli as accused a fair judgment and a dismissal were shortly relieved and changed for another in such short times. Why this rigodon of prosecutors? To manipulate court decisions?

FOR SHAME. Instead of doing its work and faithfully serving the public, GMANews is only sensitive to what people think of it as in playing and replaying brand names and attaching to itself constructs of truth, trust, objectivity. Over the years it had said its media staff are trustworthy, a finding they said from a lop-sided research that was more of selling their network as credible. Recently, in one of its videos posted in Facebook, GMA Network boasts about its sexiest women saying “8 out of the top 10 FHM Philippines 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2011 are from GMA,” clearly marketing their looks that do not match their work. FHM means For Him Magazine that caters exclusively to the male gender. https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=137745762971699.

Have shame, even a pinch of it, says Bro. Eli, whom they have victimized for reckless reporting. Instead of standing for the good, and encouraging those helping the society like Bro. Eli is doing in his many humanitarian projects, they choose to play in their work or be manipulated by the powers that be and strike at their fellow broadcaster in the field. Bro. Eli had been serving this network for a number of years and they may have forgotten even that.

Compared with Bro. Eli who works for the salvation of men in foreign lands without country and without home, but without neglecting to serve millions of homeless and disadvantaged Filipinos with his many projects, the media men of GMA worry more about their make-up, their attire, their props, their advertisements and self-branding and prefer to display gyrating women, senseless telenovelas, time-wasting games that promise false prosperity, and fight to the death to cover events where they can make more money. Or imitate innovations of other TV stations like UNTV but only on a shallow level. As ADD asserts, Bro. Eli, popularly known as Truthcaster, does not sell his deep understanding of the Bible and instead shares it with everyone in order for them to return to God. In effect, what could have been liabilities to the country are turned assets, one thing that GMA has failed to do and notice.

Does GMA Network like norms? No, it do not like rules. It has a world of its own, which explains why it is not even part of KBP and is foolishly proud of it.

THE CHALLENGE OF ADD. Before closing Case Unclosed, Arnold Clavio in the vernacular said, “Although Bro. Eli Soriano insists that these accusations against him are all lies, his appearance and facing the case is hoped to clear the questions left unanswered.” Clearly it is easy to prepare scripts, cut here and there, and then sew them up to make an episode. But GMA is forgetting that this is something legal and that Bro. Eli is already a victim of human rights from a case dismissed and then re-filed. Overlooking this, GMA made a script to inflict another round of violated human rights. And it did for the second time in two years.

Since GMA is intrusive and is even interested in fomenting intrigues and spreading gossip, the ADD challenges GMA to prepare a forum for a debate between Bro. Eli and GMA. If it fails to do this, then GMA should better prepare a forum for a debate between Bro. Eli and the Iglesia ni Cristo. This debate will once and for all settle who is telling the truth and who is not, and will expose the wicked man. The topic has to deal with truth. According to the Bible and as believed by ADD, the wicked cannot understand. It is to be remembered that the INC never responded to a call of the preacher in March 2005 for a debate. http://jakeastudillo.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/the-face-of-war-preacher-on-exile-dares-powerful-nemesis-to-finally-debate/

For the security of each one, the debate should be televised even internationally. This debate is even many times educational and worthy to be watched than what normally is GMA’s interest. If GMA can do this, then the sustained boycott may be lifted. If GMA remains adamant, the sustained boycott may resort to greater measures to send a message that it will not take things sitting down.

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Ang Dating Daan blasts GMA7 self-branding as House of Truth

August 4, 2011 UPDATE: THIS EPISODE WAS REPLAYED BY GMANews TV11 on August 3, 2011 in their noontime show.

The following is an analysis of that Case Unclosed episode of  June 18, 2009  aired by GMA7 and replayed by GMANEWS TV11 on August 3, 2011 that discussed the rape case filed by an excommunicated member of ADD against Bro. Eli Soriano. It is written from the perspective that the ADD feel their leader is trapped in a context of convoluted systems:  broadcast network fight for audience ratings, influence of a rival church group over the media and the courts, personalities’ climb to promotion and prominence, and probably secret envy nursed for a long time. Some background of the events that followed are sandwiched for balance – things that Case Unclosed could not provide. The instrument in all this syndrome is one cast away by the ADD for spiritual filth and fully accepted by the INC – Daniel Veridiano alias Puto. Puto gets to persecute the man whose influence he had been using, whose identity he had been stealing, whose blessings he readily enjoyed. He gets organizations to fight Soriano for his being “raped,” rapist that he himself is. He had the local courts of Pampanga behind him, the Department of Justice, the Interpol. Most recent in the queue is GMA7.  The question that perplexes ADD is why this rascal is getting everything for himself and yet is going scotfree. Meanwhile, the evangelist-in-a-hurry is leaving it all to his lawyers, and continues preaching worldwide while people think he should come home to face this mocked-up rape case against him. Case Unclosed that presented Soriano as making himself scarce, however, is not entitled to discuss the case. Nevertheless, Arnold Clavio, the host of the program, went ahead and aired his half-a-data. Soriano earlier said he is determined to face the International Court of Human Rights if given the chance.

By Jane Abao

Manila, Philippines (July 20, 2009) – That GMA7 is a “house of truth” is a lie, an untruth, a falsehood, a tall tale. This sums up the opinions of the church group belonging to Members Church of God International (MCGI) or Ang Dating Daan (ADD) as it is more popularly known, particularly on the presentation of GMA7 in one of its programs. The program was unfair and more yet, the station acted as a vehicle to spread more lies, the ADD said.

The news tagline of this TV channel says, “Not siding with anyone; not protecting anyone; just genuine service.”   In Tagalog, it is “Walang Kinikilingan, Walang Pinoprotektahan, Serbisyong Totoo lamang.”  However, GMA7 has done the opposite. To the Ang Dating Daan, it presented just one side and risked the rights of the other. Most of all, GMA7  has lined up itself with the forces made willing tools in the persecution of the ADD leader, Bro. Eliseo Soriano.

On the night of June 18, 2009, Case Unclosed, a program of GMA7 tackled the double rape case filed against Bro. Soriano by someone he had excommunicated sometime in August 2005. The program extended to an hour with just Daniel Veridiano alias Puto presenting his side of the case.

Soriano, the Presiding Minister of the MCGI or Ang Dating Daan booted out Veridiano from the congregation after some reports of serial rape and exorbitant unauthorized use of church funds for personal wants.

The accuser’s admission

Daniel Veridiano alias Puto with a new cosmetized face and a new name - his victim's.

Veridiano admitted sexually abusing 9 among the 14 that were complaining in a confession letter he signed November 21, 2004 to two ministers of the Church. Incidentally, in his bid to be lifted off his suspension of Church membership, Veridiano found himself being videoed during the investigation process, the results of which were to be presented to the Presiding Minister for his decision-making. In that investigation, Veridiano was asked why he was admitting to only 9; he said he cannot anymore recall (“Hindi ko na matandaan”). After some months of observation and upon the recommendation of an investigation panel, Veridiano was excommunicated.

In the Church, suspension is also observation time for repentance and for express changes in one’s life. Failing that, a member maybe excommunicated; and once excommunicated, one cannot appeal. This was the case of Veridiano who went to the fold of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) that readily took him in. Earlier however, when he was under suspension and appealing to be taken back, Puto said, “I will not join them; it would be a quick jump to hell.”

The members of Ang Dating Daan were surprised that GMA7 would be presenting as resource person the one they knew as Puto – a professional liar, a rapist, and one excommunicated from the Church for filthy living and failure to reform. Moreover, the program gave the opportunity for Puto to give out more lies and spew more made-up stories against Preacher Soriano who is out of the country since 2005. In such an instance the ADD felt twice aggrieved.

Closing the eyes

Despite the fact that Puto admitted raping some of his subordinates as posted in YouTube, Arnold Clavio chose to close his eyes and instead honored Puto, as a credible witness.  It was not even one, or two, or three victims for Puto whom Soriano said was given many chances to change. If Clavio failed to watch Puto’s admission and if he failed to watch the raped boys describe in YouTube Veridiano’s penis with a round “o” with such and such a short length, then Clavio clearly had not done his research before airing his program.

Clavio was the host of that Case Unclosed program of GMA7, obviously shown with careless abandon like it was safe to hit Preacher Soriano and get away with it unscathed. Never did Clavio try to establish the credibility of his resource person by challenging his statements. For that program, Clavio simply let the statements of Veridiano pass – a no-no for investigative journalism. For example, Clavio did not bother asking why Veridiano was excommunicated from the church and if that was true. Clavio should have done that for the audience if he wanted to show even a semblance of fairness.

Clavio began it all like he had no obligation to hear the other side of the story. There was no hedging from Clavio’s episode of patches, mostly made to magnify the picture of an oppressed “raped man.”

If Arnold Clavio did not know it yet, there is a full coverage of this “raped man for whom Interpol would mobilize.” The star of the moment some few years back enjoyed his brief exposure to prominence when earlier, the powers of the Iglesia ni Cristo got the Interpol to post Soriano’s bio as a Wanted Person. The attempts at Interpol-assistance obviously failed the Iglesia ni Cristo for by that time, Bro. Eliseo Soriano had come to be known as TruthCaster and that his international activities only involved the propagation of the words of God – contrary to “sex crimes” that the INC had wanted the Interpol to believe.

Using now the memory lanes of a supposed helpless victim, Clavio’s voice boomed – “Daniel said he could not forget that afternoon of May 17, 2000 when he was called by the leader of the religion that he was a member of….”

Veridiano’s voice came on and right away planted a “teaching of Ang Dating Daan” that is false and unheard of: “There is a teaching in Dating Daan that a messenger of God does not sin, whatever he does to you. At that time, I feared him greatly because whatever he asks from you, you must oblige. You need to oblige; if not, it is as if you get cursed; as if something grave will happen to you if you do not do what he requires you to do – this so-called messenger of God.”

Video clips of the preacher came on, followed by Arnold Clavio’s vioice: “The one being pointed to by Daniel that had abused him: the leader of Ang Dating Daan, Bro. Eliseo ‘Eli’ Soriano.”

The protests

Vehement protests from the ADD members rained on GMA7 after that episode. Shortly thereafter, the channel issued a denial that it was biased and that it was intrusive of the case. It also declared a welcome note that the channel is open to present the side of Bro. Soriano in the future. This was reported by Mark Angelo Ching in Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP, July 2, 2009) and NRJ Ramos of Manila Bulletin (MB, July 3, 2009). Retrieved from http://www.pep.ph/news/22318/GMA-7-denies-partiality-in-reporting-Bro.-Eli-Soriano-rape-case and http://www.mb.com.ph/node/209094/religiou

The problem with that denial is that it is not telling the truth. The ADD thinks the presentation is biased; it is intrusive. The case is still open. You cannot right that wrong with a second part on another date and say it is the continuation of the previous one. One does not chop matters of contention between two parties on separate dates. Principles of communication declare that such action is unfair, inequitable, and lacking of correct judgment of timing and impartial audience impact.

It is after all what an Arnold Clavio seemed to project in that program: that he had no qualms about it if he was to be viewed as partial. Twice Puto was allowed to say “If only he is here, he would be behind bars. It cannot be that he will not.”

To the ADD members still boycotting this network, Arnold Clavio does not know his Journalism. Had he done his research well, he would have known what Bro. Soriano was saying as “Sub judice.” Soriano cannot comment as the case (dismissed but re-filed) was pending. Therefore, it was not even a proper item for Case Unclosed because it is not of the vintage kind.

Knowing that he only had a half part of the whole thing, Clavio went ahead and aired it. Granted that the case may be discussed, if he had to deal with two sides, why did he present one ahead of the other? Doesn’t Clavio know that June 18, 2009 is not the same as another future date if he had to present the other half? How sure was he that the sample of the people who saw his first part will be the same sample seeing his second part?  Moreover, how much time-gap would there be between the first presentation and a subsequent one if ever there would be one?  Is that what he can call a presentation with a level-playing field?

Doesn’t Clavio know that if he had to get data from people, he is not to get them by force? Is he already treating Soriano as the guilty party and Veridiano as an innocent victim? To add insult to injury, Clavio ended the program with these words: “Although Bro. Eli Soriano insists that the accusations against him are simply lies, his appearance and his facing his case are hoped to clear out the questions left unanswered.”

A program with legal elements like Case Unclosed must have someone there with enough legal background.  But as it is, Clavio had risked the network’s reputation with ignorance. Most of the ADD comments ask GMA7 management that Arnold Clavio be axed from that channel. The structure of Clavio’s presentation also shows he does not know much about broadcasting. That he was only presenting what was written for him as a script is no excuse.

Right from the start, the episode impressed the audience of presenting only the side of the “raped man,” as if to make the ADD regret they had not issued any statement for Arnold Clavio.

Clavio was quick to say they tried to get the side of the ADD regarding the case of Veridiano but could not get any response. However, knowing full well that he only had data from one side, Clavio went ahead and aired the program. That he was not able to get a response was already license to air to this Clavio.

Infractions of good practice in journalism

There were many infractions of good practice in journalism noticed by the ADD members.

Clavio disregarded challenging his resource person that Soriano could not be around Apalit  at 1:30 in the afternoon of May 17, 2000 considering that he was under treatment in Manila in the morning and then traveled to Lipa for a bible exposition afterwards.  Aside from a patient’s registration copy, Soriano has a copy of the venue permit used during that day. If he really wanted to be objective, Clavio should have interviewed the two doctors of the Biological Center mentioned as having treated Bro. Soriano that day which was why Soriano could not be in Apalit raping Veridiano.

When Veridiano denied his signature appearing in the confession letter about raping 9 males, Clavio did not try to establish if Veridiano was lying or not. Again, if he had wanted to play fair,  and to establish Veridiano’s credibility, Clavio should have interviewed those boys raped by Veridiano. The names are there in that confession letter.  In Youtube, these boys gave out their testimonies against Veridiano and what he did to them. One was even just 17 that time and until now, he appears shocked, talking very little as much as possible.

The ADD members note that it is not easy for rape victims to come out to the public and admit they were raped – much more by one rascal like Puto. And yet they had to do it and make use of the Internet for failing to get justice in the kind of courts obtaining in the country.

And now, GMA7 is a House of Truth?

Baloney! says the Ang Dating Daan. The news tagline, “Not siding with anyone; not protecting anyone; just genuine service”   is a lie.

For the way it has behaved, GMA7 should be ashamed enough and change that tagline because it does not become them, the members said.

Moreover, the question of the ADD until now is, “What the blazes is GMA7 glorifying a liar for?”

Puto, the “raped man,” lies

There is no such teaching in Ang Dating Daan that anyone can make demands and oppress the other – much more by the leader who teaches righteousness. Puto was lying.

Puto was excommunicated in August 2005 for filthy living; he did not leave ADD all by his own. In fact, he made attempts to be taken in but didn’t pass it. His signature in that confession letter is genuine; it was not faked by anyone. The challenge from ADD is for Clavio and the public to view Puto online. A video-taped recording in YouTube may be used to triangulate data about his confession of serial rape. From there, the public can see if anyone fed those admission words into his mouth. From there, Arnold Clavio can see if he had an innocent “raped man” not lying to him.

Puto may deny everything to get the Iglesia ni Cristo to use him still as a lying witness against Soriano. In that same video, however, Veridiano damned the Iglesia ni Cristo as satanic and with false teachings so that going there is equivalent to going to hell. Not for long, however, Puto was heard attending INC services.

Other lies that Veridiano alias Puto said over GMA7 were that he had been “writer-editor of Ang Dating Daan Magazine.” There is no magazine with such name.  Records have it that Puto attempted to handle a magazine called TOP (The Old Path). During one of the national thanksgiving days, Ryan Borja, an assistant to Puto then, approached a professional journalist from Mindanao and showed her a copy. The journalist laughed and asked Borja how come the magazine looked that way. “Can you help us?” asked Borja. During breaktime, the journalist went from cover to cover, red-penciled the pages, and returned it to Borja.

Bro. Eli saw the red-markings, studied it, and called for a meeting, angry at what he saw. After that, the issue was shelved and the management of the magazine was transferred from Puto’s office to ADDCaption, another office that started its own maiden issue. Puto’s work did not pass. He never had been a writer-editor for ADD.

Puto also bragged in Clavio’s program that the Attendance Monitoring System was his idea. Jay Jimenez, former head of the ADD Communications, Information, and Technology (ADDCIT) denies that the Attendance Monitoring System (AMS) was Puto’s idea. This was the statement of Jimenez:

“The Computerized attendance monitoring system was the idea of Bro. Daniel Razon, including that of the Internet webcast. Actually we started the IT of the church since 1999, and we had designed the first website of angdatingdaan.org already before Puto came in.

“Because of Puto’s envy to us, he took over our group and he absorbed us. At that time, he was a worker typist of Bro. Eli.  He promised us support by providing the infrastructures needed for websites and webcast. He formed ADD Correspondents July 20, 2000. We were the pioneers.

“Daniel is just a typist – fast typist! In fairness, fastest typist ever! Dapat sa gilid siya ng SEC  magwork, yung nag tatype ng mga documents dun; o di kaya sa quiapo, yung taga type ng mga thesis ng mga estudyante  (Trans: He should work at the side of SEC among those typing documents there; if not in Quiapo, among those typing thesis for students.)”

Grabbing credit for Puto is something not to be ashamed of, just as lying is. Ever since, the idea man in ADD is Daniel Razon. He is responsible for most of the conception of ADD projects.

Puto also said he was an “Assistant Secretary General.” Bro. Soriano had already clarified in court even that there is no assistant general secretary position in the church. The structure of the church is such that it does not need a Secretary General – more so an assistant general secretary.

“In the ministry, in teaching, I was the one in charge before Soriano would teach,” Puto claimed. As everyone in the ministerial class knows, Puto’s work in this area was merely in assisting or in checking that sitting and equipment arrangements were in order. While he wanted to impress people that he can preach as well as or better than the ministers, his work was no different from a janitor.

To be minister had long been a dream of Puto which he never got in the ADD. Would-be ministers in ADD are being well screened. Spiritual growth for Puto was a question that even in leading prayers, the task had been taken off him.

“June 8, 2001, it was my spiritual birthday. He called for me and I thought he would give me a gift. For all I knew, it was another of those things he did to me last year,” Puto said.

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

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

Arnold Clavio and his lines

Some lines of Arnold Clavio need a second look because they encouraged the lies of Puto.

Arnold Clavio: “According to Daniel, still he was not able to fight him.”

Anyone who knows Bro. Eli Soriano would know something is wrong with this statement. It does not fit into the paradigm that is the man leading the Church and who has love immeasurable for the brethren but ready anger for a fake brother exposed for his wrongdoings. The members have seen Soriano react in diverse situations mostly in consultation sessions through satellite system that they can easily predict his behavior in most situations. From what they know of his character,  Soriano would be the first one to get angry with a brother found doing wrong. Moreover, it is impossible that Soriano could be raping anybody and still retain that unequaled understanding of the Bible that he is well-known for. For the man who keeps warning that the wicked cannot understand, it is impossible that he could explain the deepest mysteries in the Bible in an unending fashion like drawing from an eternal spring, if he is that wicked. Soriano’s energies are dedicated towards propagating the words of God and studying for it – if not cooking for big crowds of members and guests. Puto’s organ or that of anyone else would not even be the last of his interests. Soriano’s sights are trained on his commission for which he is ever in a hurry. “We have to be part of those who will fulfill prophecy,” he would say to the congregation.

No one is like a prisoner in Apalit like Puto wanted to convey. In fact, instead of attending church functions, Puto takes pleasure trips to famous beaches of the country, charged to a credit card meant for the church – a card which he abused to include beautifying his new face.  No member’s mouth is  ordered closed that he cannot talk of what is right and proper.  Puto, himself, knows that. The preacher would often warn the brethren that those who keep secret the wrong doings of others would suffer consequences too. Soriano even said that had the brothers exposed Puto much earlier, he would not have become that worse. Since Puto was one working closely with Bro. Eli, people feared to report his wrong doings. It was Puto who used his influence and used it wrongly. He would threaten those he aggrieved with suspensions and excommunication. His typing work involved preparing Church circulars.

Arnold Clavio:  “It was year 2004 when Daniel Veridiano decided to leave the ADD Convention Center.”

At this time, Puto was suspended as a member and was placed under observation. He knew that his case was heavy and came in multiple levels: illicit sex, wide-spread thievery, misuse of a credit card meant for the church, identity theft, possession of porno materials and a penis-enlarger that told much of his promiscuous gay activities. Puto lived hardly a Christian life to be able to hold on to an ADD membership.

Arnold Clavio: “He hid for a while. He broke his silence in September 2005. He gave his statements in the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Pampanga about the abuse made on him. It was Atty. Alex Avisado and some others in his office that handled the case of Daniel.”

Puto did not go into hiding. It is not the practice of ADD to hunt for people – more so when one is declared spiritually sick. The members would keep a distance – as far away as possible.

Instead of hiding, Puto walked around for help in the ADD. He tried to get two ministers to back him up in his bid to return to the ADD. When the findings from an investigating panel came out, Puto failed to meet the mark. In August 2005, he was finally expelled. At that same time he was reported to be attending church gatherings of the Iglesia ni Cristo.

The Gumaru paragraph sprouting

Arnold Clavio: “According to the Bureau of Immigration, December 14, 2005, flight PR501 of Philippine Airlines going to Singapore was the last list recording the name of Bro. Eli. That is why according to the lawyers of Daniel, it is impossible that the Manila Police District reported that Bro. Eli surrendered in 2008 to PO3 Jun Gumaru of Pandacan Police. Accordingly, it was Gumaru who processed the application of Soriano to pay bail. It was reported that he did not tell his supervisors so that Gumaru was placed under investigation that is being held until now. There was an order of release also that the Branch 26 of Manila Regional Trial Court issued for Eli Soriano. It was written there that he had paid a bail of P240, 000, and was signed by Jun Gumaru.”

No matter how untrue this surrender-to-Gumaru is, the Iglesia ni Cristo members blazed the media with it, pinning falsification of documents on “Ely” Soriano wherever they could get their hands on. The story was poorly written by a certain Allison Lopez of Philippine Daily Inquirer on August 29, 2008 and then posted in Scribd.com. Lopez appeared to have used INC sources with the tell-tale “Ely” name that INCs insist on calling the preacher. She also showed no background knowledge of the case as if it were just the beginning.

Just the same, the paragraph on Gumaru from the story of Lopez transformed into a video piece. Cut out from the whole story, it highlighted Gumaru’s denial that an Eliseo Soriano had surrendered to him. The intention of those who had re-produced this paragraph into video items, cut out from the whole story, was clearly to let the public believe that Soriano is found guilty of falsification of documents in the Philippines. They made a feast of it. All the while, Soriano was out of the country.

Though taken out of context, this paragraph cum video piece is embedded in many blogs of INC local members and foreigners in the Internet, whether they discussed astronomy or music, but not Philippine conditions. When queried about what they knew about the case, they kept mum about it. INC posters like Rizalino L. Arrabis and Conrad J. Obligacion took turns taunting Soriano of that “falsification charge” in news sites all over the Internet, most prominently in NowPublic.com and Topix.net.

Many other incognito INC sympathizers did the same just as they did when Interpol posted Soriano’s bio as one of those wanted. The first who made news out of this was Alfred P. Dalizon of World News Journal Online on August 8, 2008.  Dalizon’s links with the INC showed when he wrote that Soriano is a former INC member and Veridiano alias Puto, instead of being excommunicated from the ADD, was merely going back to his former church, the INC. Dalizon also wrote that Soriano is a fugitive, is on a Red Notice and an international warrant of arrest – contrary to definitions of the Interpol on “fugitive” and “Red Notice.” Furthermore, Dalizon in his half-baked news carried only blind items, never having a name for “police authorities” that he kept mentioning as his source. Nevertheless, Dalizon’s story was honored as a reference in Wikipedia on the much public-edited bio of Soriano that appeared like it is describing an entirely different person.

Incidentally, there are many hate blogsites against Bro. Soriano by as many as 50, initiated and supported by Ka Webspy (Real name: Sustines E. Laplana), a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo. The contents consist of twisting the preaching of the preacher and maligning him in every way possible.

From history, the Ang Dating Daaan began as a small group catering to Philippine membership only in its incipient years in the 1980s. Today, the ADD Convention Center, the biggest convention center in Asia, houses an average of 70,000 people every week for its thanksgiving functions, and that is for Apalit alone. With Bro. Soriano working feverishly outside the country, membership has truly become international and church locales have been established in six continents. Soriano preaches to them simulcast through satellite systems every Saturday and every International Thanksgiving days.

Every Friday, thousands get baptized from diverse religious groups to an annual average of 20,000 in the country alone and another set of thousands abroad – including those from the Iglesia ni Cristo who obviously blame Soriano for their dwindling membership. This is the group that refuses to take the criticisms of the preacher without striking back by way of filing court cases and using the excommunicated members as witnesses; by way of raids; and by way of  using the influence of their members in the courts to intervene in judicial processes.

ADD: Principle of no revenge

Nevertheless, the unity and strength of the ADD had been tested through the years – not by their growing numbers but by following the spiritual principles taught to them by their leader. This is noted in their remarkable policy of not taking any revenge. The principle is to let God take charge.

This was tested so many times when the Iglesia ni Cristo through the NBI under the leadership of Director Gen. ReynaldoWycoco, himself an INC member, in February 1-2, 2002 raided the ADD Convention Center just for a case of libel; when the INC hoodlums hit the ADD brothers near Jollibee Restaurant in Apalit, Pampanga on April 18, 2005; when the ADD Convention Center was raided by  the local police that belonged to the INC in search for their minster, Abner Martizano, who joined the ADD in 2005; and when clearly an INC deacon was implicated in the April 27, 2008 death of Marcos Mataro, a UNTV  host that hit hard on the INCs in his “dX-man”program.

The Jollibee encounter between ADD brothers and INCs was misreported inAbsoluteAstronomy.com as a free-for-all initiated by Marcos Mataro, an ADD member but a former INC.  It did not report that ADD brothers were badly browbeaten by the INCs and in the courts, they were accused as the perpetrators instead of the other way around. Ref: http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Iglesia_ni_Cristo

The raid on the ADD Convention Center on account of former INC minister Martizano was covered by Sun.Star Pampanga (December 16, 2005), the raid being carried out allegedly on grounds of “multiple rape.”  The report, however, made it appear that Martizano only left the INC because he is a criminal and sought refuge in the ADD. Ref: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/static/pam/2005/12/16/news/quezon.city.cops.charged.with.robbery.html

Public news have it that Nickson Icao and Felizardo “Ka Zaldy” Lumagham, both of Macabebe, Pampanga and who claim to be members of INC, (the latter, a deacon) were charged before the San Fernando prosecutors office for the death of Marcos Mataro.  Until now, however, both persons have yet to be accounted for.

The real House of Truth

The GMA network counts its age today as 59 glorious years, chalking March 1, 1950 as its day of birth.  Over the air lanes, this giant broadcast network proudly banners itself as  “House of Truth,” (Tahanan ng katotohanan). And GMA7 is part of them.

As far as the Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path)  is concerned, GMA is one broadcast network that cannot be trusted for its branding and its news taglines. It thrives in hollow branding to sell itself without truly working. Calling itself “house of truth,” it does not offer genuine service beyond mere reproduction of news events and even that is questionable.

To reckon, is GMA of the likes of UNTV – the public service channel? By all counts, GMA cannot equal the humanitarian services given by UNTV that is strongly supported by Bro. Soriano – one whose public image GMA7  recently compromised. Soriano’s works  include the several orphanages in the country, the feeding programs among depressed areas, the medical and dental missions, the transient houses, the free bus rides; and some of these, he does through UNTV. In effect, UNTV does not merely produce news unlike GMA – and that’s what is genuine service.

And to top it all, as far as information is concerned, Soriano works for the propagation of God’s words and the teaching of truth for the salvation of souls. This he does in the country strongly through UNTV. People need to know how to live properly according to Soriano, which is why he preaches 24/7 wherever he can, to include UNTV.  No gyrating lewd bodies; no nonsense programs – just plain public service.

Inside the country, Soriano has “adopted” the poor and the outcast of the society – things that politicians should be doing.   Outside the country, Soriano has “adopted” victims of war and racism and gave them hope through teaching God’s word. All in all, it is truth that Bro. Eli Soriano deals with – day in and day out. In the Church of God which is the House of God, truth is the service. The Church of God is appropriately the House of Truth – not GMA.

To call itself then as “House of Truth” is for GMA to go over bounds. Branding to this network is hollow, without truth,  and more of a habit. In effect, GMA comes out with bubble branding: one blast and it bursts to nothing.

The Razon experience

So, is this network not really siding with anyone as promised by its news tagline?

Sometime in 2005, Daniel Razon, the Vice Presiding Minister of the Members Church of God International or ADD had the same taste of fate as that of Bro. Soriano, Razon’s uncle and partner in Church ministry. Razon was then a co-anchor of Arnold Clavio in Unang Hirit, GMA7’s morning show. Razon is now UNTV executive and is blessed with many opportunities to grow while Clavio stayed where he stays until now. The ADD wonder if Clavio secretly looks at Soriano as he does Razon today, his former colleague and now his rival in the industry. Years back in 2005 when Razon was in GMA7, Management asked him for alternatives: to refrain from mentioning the Iglesia ni Cristo or to resign. He chose the latter in what he called a choice for his God and not for his job. Dindo M. Balares wrote about this in Manila Bulletin (June 16, 2005) and can be found here: http://www.articlearchives.com/entertainment-arts/broadcasting-industry-television/458213-1.html

The ADD members said if GMA7 broke their tagline promise of not siding with anyone by pushing out Razon, one of their very own anchors to please the Iglesia ni Cristo, how much more others like Bro. Soriano who is an outsider.

Some sectors of the ADD still believe that GMA7  has somehow compromised Bro. Soriano’s public image  in its audience ratings’ fight with ABS-CBN. However, GMA7 made a wrong decision if courting this audience is their target in their controversial topics. The ADD are still on boycott. The ADD is a growing force that can be counted on in any elections, much more in broadcast audience ratings.

Bro. Soriano left the country in a huff in late 2005 when reports from the enemy camp said his life was in danger and his quest for justice was nil. As observed by the preacher, the justice system in the country is such that in Pampanga where the rape case was filed and dismissed, and then re-filed by then Secretary of Justice Raul Gonzalez, the prosecutors keep on changing. One week after a pronouncement of judgment against Bro. Soriano, another prosecutor comes in.  And then another. In fact, this rape case is one for the Guinness Book of Records, and is a recommended case study for all students of Law. There are so many meddlers but Soriano sees the hand of the Iglesia ni Cristo in it – they who keep no secret about their hatred for Soriano through the pronouncements of the INC ministers in Net25. Soriano is the most vocal critic of the Iglesia ni Cristo.

GMA7: advancing the “raped man’s” cause

The same “raped man,” now a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo,  was also used to get the Interpol’s intervention to get Soriano behind bars, the failed mission of which the ADD interprets is the present task of GMA7. In his program, Clavio had underscored that nothing could be done while Soriano is out of the country according to Puto’s lawyers. To get Soriano behind bars, GMA7 would then use a professional liar because no one in his right sense would accuse Soriano of rape, let alone raping a rapist.

Finally, Arnold Clavio contradicted himself. While he explained that there is no extradition treaty between the Philippines and Brazil, and that a Red Notice of the Interpol is not an International Arrest Warrant, at the same time he said of Soriano, “he can be arrested for the meantime and an extradition can be worked out for him.” Quoting the lawyers or not, Clavio is not careful which information to propagate or not.

By this time, Bro.  Soriano is thinking the world must be crazy to believe he would rape a rapist – most of all a rapist of not only 9 but more! His enemies are that corrupt of imagination.

The insistence of the Iglesia ni Cristo to pin a rape case on Bro. Eli is interpreted by the ADD as a cosmeticizing effort meant to restructure the much tarnished image of Felix Manalo, their so-called “messenger of God.” In his bible expositions, whenever he is asked about Felix Manalo, Bro. Eli would speak of him as a rapist, not worth a man to be speaking the words of God which Manalo mixes with many lies to hold on to his members. But Soriano is not speaking from mere hearsay.

Rape and INC’s Manalo

In a 1954 newspaper called “The Bombshell,” Joe Cruz serialized the immoral escapades of Felix Manalo and included the court cases wherein he was tried, foremost of which was the Rosita Trillanes case. Manalo had been convicted in court in the 1950s for raping Rosita Trillanes, a deaconess. It was this Rosita, according to Cruz, who had revealed to the INC what this supposed messenger did to women of their church. The Court of Appeals sided with Rosita. The court had established the immoral activities of Felix Manalo. Rosita’s story of how Manalo raped her was published in the Philippine Official Gazette, Vol. 1, July, 1942. She also mentioned about the other women abused by Manalo.

Records have it that accusations of sexual immorality plagued Felix Manalo throughout his life. In a decision by the Court of Appeals, in the case of “The People vs. Rosita Trillanes” published in July 1942, the Justices gave an extremely unfavorable estimate of Manalo’s character stating:

“…Manalo, took advantage of his position as head of the Iglesia ni Cristo, and…employed religion as a cloak to cover his…immoral practices; that he pretended to be the Messias sent by God; and that to persuade his victims, he cited the example of Solomon and his many wives.” (Source: Official Gazette, Volume 1 No. 7, July 1942, pages 393-395.)

Is Ang Dating Daan boycott on GMA7 scoring now?

Recently Updated: Top Programs for July 1 (Wednesday) and the whole month of June 2009

National Daytime Program Rankings for July 1 2009 (Wednesday)

Program Channel Rtg(%)
1 JIM HERNANDEZ’S KAMBAL SA UMA ABS-CBN 25.5
2 WOWOWEE ABS-CBN 24.9
3 PRECIOUS HEARTS ROMANCES PRESENTS: BUD BROTHERS ABS-CBN 19.3
4 SINE NOVELA: KUNG AAGAWIN MO ANG LAHAT SA AKIN GMA 17
5 EAT.. BULAGA! GMA 16.7
6 MR. BEAN ABS-CBN 16
7 PILIPINAS GAME KA NA BA? ABS-CBN 15.7
8 NARUTO SHIPUUDEN (SEASON 2) ABS-CBN 15.5
9 LOVE OR BREAD ABS-CBN 15.2
10 SINE NOVELA: NGAYON AT KAILANMAN GMA 14.6

National Primetime Program Rankings for July 1 2009 (Wednesday)

Program Channel Rtg(%)
1 MAY BUKAS PA ABS-CBN 37
2 TV PATROL WORLD ABS-CBN 35.2
3 ONLY YOU ABS-CBN 34.9
4 TAYONG DALAWA ABS-CBN 34
5 BOYS OVER FLOWERS ABS-CBN 29.4
6 CARLO J. CAPARAS’ TOTOY BATO GMA 22.9
7 ZORRO GMA 22.8
8 24 ORAS GMA 21.3
9 THE WEDDING ABS-CBN 20.7
10 ADIK SA ‘YO GMA 18.9

National Daytime Program Rankings for June 30 2009 (Tuesday)

Program Channel Rtg(%)
1 JIM HERNANDEZ’S KAMBAL SA UMA ABS-CBN 24.4
2 WOWOWEE ABS-CBN 24.2
3 PRECIOUS HEARTS ROMANCES PRESENTS: BUD BROTHERS ABS-CBN 17.7
4 EAT… BULAGA! GMA 17.1
5 SINE NOVELA: KUNG AAGAWIN MO ANG LAHAT SA AKIN GMA 16.1
6 MR. BEAN ABS-CBN 16
7 PILIPINAS GAME KA NA BA? ABS-CBN 15.6
8 LOVE OR BREAD ABS-CBN 15.2
9 NARUTO SHIPUUDEN (SEASON 2) ABS-CBN 15.1
10 SINE NOVELA: NGAYON AT KAILANMAN GMA 14.8

National Primetime Program Rankings for June 30 2009 (Tuesday)

Program Channel Rtg(%)
1 MAY BUKAS PA ABS-CBN 39.4
2 ONLY YOU ABS-CBN 37.3
3 TV PATROL WORLD ABS-CBN 36.7
4 TAYONG DALAWA ABS-CBN 35.7
5 BOYS OVER FLOWERS ABS-CBN 30.1
6 ZORRO GMA 24.8
7 CARLO J. CAPARAS’ TOTOY BATO GMA 23.7
8 THE WEDDING ABS-CBN 21.8
9 24 ORAS GMA 21.6
10 ADIK SA ‘YO GMA 19.1

_____________________________________________________________

Top Ranking Programs for Week 25 (June 21 to June 26)

National Daytime Program Rankings, Week 25 Weekdays (June 22 to 26)

Program Channel Rtg(%)
1 WOWOWEE ABS-CBN 24.9
2 JIM HERNANDEZ’S KAMBAL SA UMA ABS-CBN 23.1
3 PRECIOUS HEARTS ROMANCES PRESENTS: BUD BROTHERS ABS-CBN 18.6
4 EAT… BULAGA! GMA 17.4
5 SINE NOVELA: KUNG AAGAWIN MO ANG LAHAT SA AKIN GMA 16.7
6 LOVE OR BREAD ABS-CBN 16
7 MR. BEAN ABS-CBN 15.5

8

PILIPINAS GAME KA NA BA? ABS-CBN

15.4

SINE NOVELA: NGAYON AT KAILANMAN GMA
9 NARUTO SHIPUUDEN (SEASON 2) ABS-CBN 14.6
10 DAISY SIETE GMA 13.8

National Primetime Program Rankings, Week 25 Weekdays (June 22 to 26)

Program Channel Rtg(%)
1 MAY BUKAS PA ABS-CBN 39.2
2 ONLY YOU ABS-CBN 36.5
3 TV PATROL WORLD ABS-CBN 36.1
4 TAYONG DALAWA ABS-CBN 34.9
5 BOYS OVER FLOWERS ABS-CBN 29.7
6 ZORRO GMA 25
7 CARLO J. CAPARAS’ TOTOY BATO GMA 23.2
8 24 ORAS GMA 23
9 PINOY BINGO NIGHT ABS-CBN 19.8
10 ADIK SA ‘YO GMA 19.6

National Program Rankings, Week 25 Weekend (June 21 AND June 27) WHOLE DAY

Program Channel Rtg(%)
1 MAALAALA MO KAYA ABS-CBN 29.7
2 RATED K HANDA NA BA KAYO? ABS-CBN 27.9
3 THE SINGING BEE ABS-CBN 27.8
4 KAPUSO MO, JESSICA SOHO GMA 24.9
5 MARS RAVELO’S NASAAN KA MARUJA? ABS-CBN 24.5
6 WOWOWEE (SATURDAY) ABS-CBN 23.7
7 CINEMA FPJ DA KING ABS-CBN 22.1
8 XXX (EXKLUSIBONG EXPLOSIBONG EXPOSE) ABS-CBN 22
9 IMBESTIGADOR GMA 21.5
10 GOIN’ BULILIT ABS-CBN 21.3

Source: http://www.tnsglobal.com/global/alm/philippines/philippines-tam.aspx

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

UPDATE: July 4, 2009

National Daytime Program Rankings for July 2 2009 (Thursday)

Program Channel Rtg(%)
1 JIM HERNANDEZ’S KAMBAL SA UMA ABS-CBN 26.2
2 WOWOWEE ABS-CBN 22.4
3 EAT… BULAGA! GMA 18.4
4 PRECIOUS HEARTS ROMANCES PRESENTS: BUD BROTHERS ABS-CBN 17.5
5 SINE NOVELA: KUNG AAGAWIN MO ANG LAHAT SA AKIN GMA 16.7
6 LOVE OR BREAD ABS-CBN 16.3
7 NARUTO SHIPUUDEN (SEASON 2) ABS-CBN 15.6
8 MR. BEAN ABS-CBN 15.1
9 SINE NOVELA: NGAYON AT KAILANMAN GMA 14.5
10 DAISY SIETE GMA 14.4

National Primetime Program Rankings for July 2 2009 (Thursday)

Program Channel Rtg(%)
1 MAY BUKAS PA ABS-CBN 40.9
2 ONLY YOU ABS-CBN 39.5
3 TAYONG DALAWA ABS-CBN 38.7
4 TV PATROL WORLD ABS-CBN 36.6
5 BOYS OVER FLOWERS ABS-CBN 30.8
6 ZORRO GMA 25.1
CARLO J. CAPARAS’ TOTOY BATO
7 24 ORAS GMA 22.8
8 ADIK SA ‘YO GMA 21.3
9 THE WEDDING ABS-CBN 21.2
10 CRUEL LOVE GMA 15.8

National Daytime Program Rankings for July 1 2009 (Wednesday)

Program Channel Rtg(%)
1 JIM HERNANDEZ’S KAMBAL SA UMA ABS-CBN 25.5
2 WOWOWEE ABS-CBN 24.9
3 PRECIOUS HEARTS ROMANCES PRESENTS: BUD BROTHERS ABS-CBN 19.3
4 SINE NOVELA: KUNG AAGAWIN MO ANG LAHAT SA AKIN GMA 17
5 EAT… BULAGA! GMA 16.7
6 MR. BEAN ABS-CBN 16
7 PILIPINAS GAME KA NA BA? ABS-CBN 15.7
8 NARUTO SHIPUUDEN (SEASON 2)- ABS-CBN 15.5
9 LOVE OR BREAD ABS-CBN 15.2
10 SINE NOVELA: NGAYON AT KAILANMAN GMA 14.6

National Primetime Program Rankings for July 1 2009 (Wednesday)

Program Channel Rtg(%)
1 MAY BUKAS PA ABS-CBN 37
2 TV PATROL WORLD ABS-CBN 35.2
3 ONLY YOU ABS-CBN 34.9
4 TAYONG DALAWA ABS-CBN 34
5 BOYS OVER FLOWERS ABS-CBN 29.4
6 CARLO J. CAPARAS’ TOTOY BATO GMA 22.9
7 ZORRO GMA 22.8
8 24 ORAS GMA 21.3
9 THE WEDDING ABS-CBN 20.7
10 ADIK SA ‘YO GMA 18.9

________________________________________________________

National Primetime Program Rankings, Week 25 Weekdays (June 22 to 26)

Program Channel Rtg(%)
1 MAY BUKAS PA ABS-CBN 39.2
2 ONLY YOU ABS-CBN 36.5
3 TV PATROL WORLD ABS-CBN 36.1
4 TAYONG DALAWA ABS-CBN 34.9
5 BOYS OVER FLOWERS ABS-CBN 29.7
6 ZORRO GMA 25
7 CARLO J. CAPARAS’ TOTOY BATO GMA 23.2
8 24 ORAS GMA 23
9 PINOY BINGO NIGHT ABS-CBN 19.8
10 ADIK SA ‘YO GMA 19.6

National Program Rankings, Week 25 Weekend (June 21 AND June 27) WHOLE DAY

Program Channel Rtg(%)
1 MAALAALA MO KAYA ABS-CBN 29.7
2 RATED K HANDA NA BA KAYO? ABS-CBN 27.9
3 THE SINGING BEE ABS-CBN 27.8
4 KAPUSO MO, JESSICA SOHO GMA 24.9
5 MARS RAVELO’S NASAAN KA MARUJA? ABS-CBN 24.5
6 WOWOWEE (SATURDAY) ABS-CBN 23.7
7 CINEMA FPJ DA KING ABS-CBN 22.1
8 XXX (EXKLUSIBONG EXPLOSIBONG EXPOSE) ABS-CBN 22
9 IMBESTIGADOR GMA 21.5
10 GOIN’ BULILIT ABS-CBN 21.3

____________________________________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for the sorrows – Preacher in exile

The following is an account of systematic attempts to destroy the credibility of the most fearless preacher hereabouts. With faith in his heart, however, he says he cannot stop, delete nor add to what he is supposed to say.

NEVERTHELESS, he thanks his enemies because their persecution has led him to foreign shores and from there, he found many thirsting for truth. With people wanting him dead, he still goes on with the work of salvation.

By Jane Abao

Salamat po, gracias, obrigado, arigato,
Merci, xie xie, do jeh, ta, danke, terima kasih,
Grazie, kamsa hamnida, spasibo,
Mahalo, merci beaucoups,
Thank you.

Thank you may go to a person who did a good job, for one who had a bright idea, for one who has rendered us something. Thank you may be said to a person who has helped us, saved us, had comforted us. Thank you may be given to one who had fixed problems for us.

There are many reasons we can be thankful for – our lives, the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, the sunshine in the morning, the birds that chirp, the blue skies above. Rarely does it come upon our mind that these things should be thanked for – and to whom it should be given. Sadly, too, there are people that do not know how to give thanks.

Taken to another level, people normally give thanks to other people, but not to God. There is a group that does not thank their peers. They thank God instead – one they recognize as the source of all good things – power, strength, talents, life. They realize that they are nothing without God. They do not thank each other; they thank God. While you can hear others say, alleluia, praise God, to them it is almost always, Thanks be to God. As almost everybody gives thanks to people, they also thank them only for what is pleasurable.

Again, we have this same group of people that thank God even for misfortunes, even for disasters in their life. They know that these misfortunes are but blessings in disguise. They may not understand what it is at the moment, but later on, at the end of the day, they can find something good. All of these strange and new behaviors are part of the paradigm taught in the Members Church of God International led by Bro. Eliseo Soriano.

Take the case of someone who got mad and wrote on the walls with his feces. When the Japanese forces came, they sent him out of the camp as he was crazy – a liability and not an asset. Sometime after that, the place was bombed. Result: he would have died in that place. He lived to tell the story – and thank God he had become crazy.

A matronly woman was troubled that the boys didn’t wake up early to drive her to the bus station. She was hurrying, hurrying, but the boys slept like dead logs and rose up only in their own sweet time. Result: she had to take the next trip then to the province, much to her consternation because her mission was urgent. While on their way home, they passed through the scene of an accident. The first bus that she wanted so much to catch in the early morning fell into a deep ravine where many died.

Some thank God for their deprivations in life – physical, material, financial, or otherwise, for it is these things that have allowed them to have a consciousness of a loving and comforting Creator. Poverty, for example, or similar deprivations, has honed some to be patient and be understanding and tolerant of others. Discrimination in the justice system is one thing difficult to understand; more so when judges who are supposed to dispense with justice are the very ones selling justice to the highest bidder. When this syndrome gets installed as the very system obtaining, where would one go for reprieve but to God?

There are yet so many reasons to thank God for, even in instances where everything seems ugly because there can be a way out. When Martial Law was declared in the Philippines, student leaders were being hounded for their past activities in denouncing the repressive government. One was placed under house arrest by the Southwest Command of the military for a number of months. What was she thankful for? That she was placed under arrest for her political opinions. And the rest is history.

Thank you is a word we merely forget to appreciate but it means a lot. The case of Cain killing his brother Able just because of jealousy over God’s appreciating his brother’s thankfulness is a case in point. The shock the story provides points to the sanctity of God and the importance of being grateful to Him as expressed in one’s behavior. To give thanks is some sacred duty man has to perform properly. You do not merely say, “thank you.” Your heart has to be pure and go in tandem with your thankfulness.

The people of God in the Church of God thank Him through regular activities. In the Philippines where the Central Administration is based, weekly thanksgivings are held every Saturday as are International Thanksgivings every quarter of the year. Hook-up monitoring is made possible in local chapters all over the country for those who could not go to the Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, north of Manila. It is the same with the many Church chapters abroad.

The Members Church of God International more popularly known as Ang Dating Daan (ADD) celebrates its thanksgiving days through songs of praise and the rendering of biblical topics by the church leaders. Individually and in groups, the celebrants express thanks. As normally done, Bro. Daniel Razon would speak on management matters first, updates the congregation of Church development and projects, and then gives an introduction to the topic for the day to be discussed by Bro. Eliseo Soriano. Razon is the Vice Presiding Minister to the congregation while the latter is the Presiding Minister.

According to Bro. Eli, thankfulness is part of the prophecy for God’s people mentioned in Jeremiah 30:19 –

And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. (KJV)

Interacting with the God Almighty, day in and day out, it is not surprising to be hearing the members thank God instead of persons. Hence, instead of saying thank you to the person giving them something, they say, Thanks be to God! As in the language of text messaging, it is Tnxb2G! To those outside of the church, however, these people simply say, thank you.

Big Mouth: embracing a Jeremiah 26:2 role

Today, in the Church of God, they thanked again The Almighty for Big Mouth’s 46th year of service. Big Mouth is Bro. Eli – the nemesis of false prophets. His enemies call him that for sheer envy. They even draw the figure of a big mouth to go with their tirades. However, as events prove it, the more they try to destroy him, the more he gets highlighted for his work of salvation. The congregation thanked God for all these miseries Big Mouth is reaping – the very ones that that have driven him away to far-away lands where God has opened the West entirely to his preaching.

People may not like what Bro. Soriano is saying, but he says he gets backing from the scriptures. And God said, I will give you a mouth that others cannot assail – this, much Bro. Soriano has faith in. Loathed by some, it is the very instrument in the propagation of His words in the West as it was done in the East. Consider Luke 21:15 –

for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to withstand or to contradict. (World English Bible).

With the resultant court troubles he reaps, it is clear that it takes guts to expose preachers who fool people, and the willingness to be a tool for truth. As no other preacher is following his track but his ministers, it is also clear that people would rather keep quiet to save their tails and stay free from trouble. However, for one given a commission, it definitely is not the same. That he has to say what there is to say in his crusade for truth is apparent from his embracing a Jeremiah 26:2 role. However, understanding this role and even what he is doing is not for everybody. As stated in the bible, only the wise shall understand. In Daniel 12:10 –

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 (KJV)

False prophets revealed
An understanding of the work of Bro. Soriano is necessary to understand these protracted conflicts with others that continue to grow and remain ever blooming. The framework from which he operates may be summed up in some distinct verses in the bible although repeated in so many forms. Two of these are the following: Proverbs 28: 4 and Jeremiah26:2. The former speaks of contention and the latter, of not deleting nor adding a word.

Already, he had exposed the false teachings of Felix Manalo of the Iglesia ni Cristo, Apollo C. Quiboloy of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name; Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda” of the Creciendo en Gracia,” the so-called Jehovah’s witnesses and many others.

Bro. Eli has called Felix Manalo of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) a false prophet for his many false teachings. These include denial of the divinity of Jesus Christ. With the INC, Christ is man, always a man and will be a man when he comes back. His false teachings also constitute the claim that the Christian Church “was apostatized after the first century” and “was restored to its pristine purity by God by means of His last messenger, brother Felix Y. Manalo…” (Pasugo, July/August 1988, page 7). This includes salvation coming only through this church according to Manalo (Pasugo, November 1973, page 19).

Bro. Soriano also noted that INC believe Felix Y. Manalo is the ravenous bird from the east mentioned in Isaiah 46:11 – “the man that executeth my counsel from a far country” hence they look up to him as God’s messenger.

Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. (Isaiah 46:11, King James Bible).

They also believe Manalo is the fulfillment of Isaiah 43:5-7 who will ‘bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.”

5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. 6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth- 7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. (Isaiah 43:5-7, New International Version).

This is closely tied to Rev 7:2, 3 about “another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God.” No wonder, they believe Manalo is a messenger of God.

2And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.” (New American Standard Bible (NASB) Rev 7:2, 3)

As far as Bro. Eli is concerned, Apollo C. Quiboloy is also fake. As written in his website –

The revelation of SONSHIP started in the year 2003 when Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy officially announced this revelation among the sons and daughters of God. He, being the residence of the Father on earth and heir of all things the Father entrusted to him not only His words, name, life, kingdom but also the lives of his enemies, the power to raise even the dead, riches, fame and power in the airwaves. (http://www.kingdomofjesuschrist.org/2/kd/sonship.html).

Quiboloy has declared Davao City, south of the country as “the Water Center of the World, from whence all nations will receive eternal life when they drink of the spiritual water that comes from Davao City as the New Jerusalem of God.” His website message from “the Son” says –

Now, everything is restored. Paradise is here. Man has been renewed and the Garden of Eden is back. There is a mountain up there, which was my trial ground before, a place where the spirits were present to try and test the Appointed Son of God. I had passed the test and many more are following. That is the same place that the Father has made His Garden of Eden today. It is a showcase of the new earth and the new heaven (http://www.kingdomofjesuschrist.org/2/index.php).

Bro. Eli has openly called this preacher a deceiver. On February 6, 2005, on Sonshine Radio Manila, 1026 kHz AM, Quiboloy cursed Pastor Soriano in his sermon for “blaspheming the Father.” Quiboloy said the preacher of the Ang Dating Daan is already being marked for hell, and that he will be stricken with an incurable disease in the months ahead. He gave the “members of Ang Dating Daan” six months from the time of his pronouncement to leave the congregation or else suffer the same fate as their leader. His Sonshine Radio Manila repeated this over and over for a number of weeks. Today, Bro. Soriano is still alive, still giving worldwide bible expositions, and the congregation is all the more thriving and growing worldwide.

According to Bro. Eli, this Quiboloy himself exposed his own falsity just for that pronouncement that did not come true. The statements of those sent by God are confirmed by God, Bro. Eli said.

There is also Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda, 61, a poor Puerto Rican who had enriched himself through deceit. Interviewed in NBC, he said in this international television that the devil or satan does not exist, that prayer is a waste of time, that in God’s eyes his followers cannot sin, and that he is God. (He is more called De Jesus in media than Miranda).

According to CNN.com, De Jesus leads his church, “Creciendo en Gracia,” (Growing in grace) that is said to claim thousands of members in more than 30 countries. (http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/02/16/miami.preacher/index.html)

De Jesus said he learned he was Jesus reincarnate when he was visited in a dream by angels in 1988. Prophets spoke to him, he said, and that he was who they were expecting in 2,000 years – much like the claim of Apollo Quiboloy who said he is the Appointed Son of God.

Crazier than Quiboloy, De Jesus has 666 tattooed on his arm which action some 30 of his members imitated, according to John Zarrella and Patrick Oppmann of CNN. And yet, this is not supposed to be associated with anti-Christ, he says. He also preaches a different truth: that he is the new Jesus Christ –

“Antichrist is the best person in the world…. Antichrist means don’t put your eyes on Jesus because Jesus of Nazareth wasn’t a Christian. Antichrist means do not put your eyes on Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Put it on Jesus after the cross.”

Hell does not exist according to De Jesus and that the devil has been destroyed. This kind of preaching may explain the growth of his flock: According to him, there are two classes of people: those who reject his message and are therefore predestined, and those who accept his word as true. The latter are saved and cannot lose their salvation. Hence they are allowed to indulge in sin. These beliefs were posted on his website.

Jesus the Man as he is called, misinterpreted Romans 10:4 and Romans 7:8 to mean, if Jesus removed sin, you cannot be called a sinner. On July 22, 2006, calling himself Jesus Christ Man, he wrote on his website, “Today, I publicly accuse that all religions have lied to the world.”

Many others

One of the beliefs of Joseph Smith of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints or Mormon as stated in their Doctrines and Covenants: 61-62 is that man cannot commit adultery if he espouses a second virgin. This is what Bro. Soriano wrote about Smith –

According to Joseph Smith, which I will call a false prophet, this is a revelation that he received from God. I know that Joseph Smith has his god and his god is not the God of the Bible. I do not even want to call this group The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints. With the standards of morality in the Bible the Mormons cannot be considered saints. Pardon me for saying these words.

So if you get two wives then you are not blameless. Just like what happened to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, the first two leaders of the Mormon Church that exists now in so many parts of the world. Brigham Young had 25 wives; 48 for Joseph Smith. They did not even abide by the revelation that they claim to have received from God. The revelation alleges that you can have only ten wives. But because of their greed for women and their lust, Joseph Smith had 48 and Brigham Young 25. (The Bible has the Highest Morality Code, http://www.esoriano.wordpress.com. Sept. 10, 2008,).

With Jehovah’s witnesses, this is the case. They are a worldwide religious organization teaching that ‘Jehovah’ is the real and personal name of God – a false religion according to Bro. Soriano –

Their claim and their teachings that they are witnesses for Jehovah do not only constitute misnomer, but a deceit, fallacy or hoax.

The name JEHOVAH is not the exact name of God but invented only by Jehovah’s pastors and in fact it was corrupted by adding vowel to its original which is YHWH. Therefore, the god they are worshipping and calling by name is not the God of the old Jews and Christians of the bible but a false god, and if they were obeying the will of their false god and false teacher then the inevitable conclusion is that they were the true witnesses but can be categorized as false witnesses also.

Contentious nature?

If Bro. Eli appears contentious outside the spheres of his church, the more he is with his own people. He practices what he preaches and expects that the whole of the teachings of the bible are applied. As rendered by the King James Bible, in Proverbs 28:4 – “They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.”

More so that there are expected certain behaviors in the House of God. The very events that happen in the congregation where Bro. Eli belongs show a manager quick to correct the flaws of his people given his notice. There are structures in place for complaints or grievances to be heard. Should there be a need for sanctions, they are applied at the right time and in the correct proportion. There are warnings given and according to the circumstances surrounding the offence, if the person shows no inclination to change, chances are the person gets the end of the stick: a long term suspension, if not excommunication. On this score, many of those involved in filing cases against Bro. Eli are the very same persons he had excommunicated for various reasons.

Preacher in Exile
Bro. Eli left the Philippines towards the end of 2005 upon receipt of news that he would get killed. It was not for his own skin that he had to leave. It was more because his brothers in the faith would not allow any physical assault on him and he did not want to involve them.

The “rape charge” was expected to tear him to pieces. Fabricated no matter, it was blown up into “sex crimes” as his bio posted with the International Criminal Police Commission or Interpol board showed. It was supposed to be upon the request of the Regional court of Macabebe, Pampanga in the country.

The ministers of the Iglesia ni Cristo in Net 25 had anticipated events and reported about an “exodus” from Ang Dating Daan and this was repeated by their members in the Internet. This included Blogger Rizalino Arrabis who in his fighting mood described this exodus as caused by Preacher Soriano who had left his flock and went into hiding from authorities. As Elias Ibarra, he wrote a response on December 28th, 2008 to Colonel Gates in NowPublic.com –

It is not us that is suffering from debacles!!! It is your “Ang Dating Daan” cult!!! From 13,000 a few weeks ago, you are now reduced to more or less 10,000 and soon there will be no one left except the chigoes!!! Wake up!!! Where is now the remaining bravado and bragadocio of the phenomenal fugitive criminal pseudo-preacher? …. Stop your propaganda that your Dear Leader is doing bible expositions worldwide!!! There is none!!! Your remaining congregations are closing shop!!! Your cult is in total agony!!! You are in pain but you are still in denial stage!!!!

While the enemies of Bro. Eli thought he would be placed in an uncompromising position as the world’s agenda and be put to shame, the effect was the opposite.

The agenda
As agenda, Bro. Eli is being talked about and much focus is on him. The Interpol matter has put him in a very bad light but obviously only to those who do not know him. While his enemies may be rejoicing that he has finally been humiliated as a Wanted Person, it is a reason to be thankful for. Bro. Eli had to leave the country for religious persecution but now it is an opportunity to fulfill part of the Commission – the salvation of souls in the West.

Being agenda in this world, however, can be positive as well as destructive. The accusations on Bro. Eli include wild imaginations from the enemy from having debilitating sickness, to running away from the law as a criminal, to heading a cult, to stashing Church money in Switzerland, to putting church properties under his name . These suspicions manifest in the comments and blogs of Iglesia ni Cristo members. [Truth: It’s the other way around.  These are his properties but Bro. Eli placed them under the name of the Church, and none of his relatives may claim them when he dies]. Worse, they use as witnesses against Bro. Eli people who left the INC like Marcos Mataro even as Mataro is dead. Were he alive, he would not condone that as he even died for his exposes as X-Man (Ex-Manalista or formermer member of the INC).

On March 3, 2009, Elias Ibarra [Real name: Rizalino L. Arrabis] posted in Topix.net:

Marcos Mataro was already speaking against the corrupt regime of Eliseo Fernando Soriano when the latter was discovered to have had stashed large amounts of money in Switzerland which belongs to the “Ang Dating Daan”cult!!! The properties and accounts of the cult are all under the name of Eliseo Fernando Soriano!!! He was confronted by some members and the result was his promise to place the properties and accounts under the cult’s name!!! But this never happened!!! Even from his cave, Eliang Soriano is not showing any remorse from what he did!!! The properties and bank accounts are still under his name!!! Daniel Razon and Navales never raised a howl!!! Jane Abao also!!! Why???? They are the immediate beneficiaries in case that debilitating sickness would start to outmaneuver the costly medications of the criminal fugitive!!!

It is to be recalled that Mataro, a UNTV host, and a very vocal critique of the Iglesia ni Cristo, was killed in broad daylight. Motorcycle-riding men shot dead Mataro on the service road of the North Luzon Expressway in San Simon, Pampanga, while waiting for a ride April 27, 2008. The motor vehicle abandoned at the crime of the scene was traced to a deacon of that church group.

On that same day, Arrabis, alias Ibarra, also posted: “The hiding of Eliseo Fernando Soriano is a good sign from above that even on this earth criminals could be already meted with punishment!!!….There is a great decrease in memberships while the complaints filed against Eliseo Fernando Soriano is mounting!!!”

Records show, however, that all court cases against Bro. Eli are coming from only one group: the Iglesia ni Cristo and those whom Soriano had ex-communicated who had become their members.

The Excommunicated
From the Members Church of God International or Ang Dating Daan, there is a short list of those lining up to discredit Bro. Soriano. They are the excommunicated and they include Daniel Veridiano, alias Puto.

Puto was excommunicated by Bro. Eliseo Soriano upon recommendation by an investigating panel in the Members Church of God International where the preacher is the presiding minister. Puto was reported to have raped some 14 of his subordinates and have appropriated church money for personal needs, two offenses of which he had admitted and confessed on. Upon being turned down in his bid to be re-admitted in the church, he retaliated by joining the Iglesia ni Cristo, a church group that Bro. Eli had exposed for its false teachings.

Puto knew that the INC had over the years been filing case after case against Bro. Eli from libel to frustrated murder to obstruction of justice and others. With Puto going to the INC, the rape case saw many allies lining up to defend him including the Secretary of Justice Raul Gonzalez who had re-filed the case after it was dismissed for lack of evidence. From somebody then cast out by the Church of God for filth – physical and spiritual – he becomes the man of the hour who crucifies his benefactor.

Puto, himself, had long been using an identification card bearing the name of Eliseo Soriano to get things facilitated for himself, including a credit card that got him almost everything he wanted and whisked him wherever he wanted to go. After he was discovered at a time he was also being accused of several rape charges, he found himself without source of income where money is his weakness.

Going to the INC appeared the best alternative for Puto – both to seek revenge and to earn money. The destruction of Eliseo Soriano had long been the dream of the INC ministers as openly manifested in their Ang Tamang Daan program (a poor counterfeit of Ang Dating Daan) in Net25. In that program, they influenced people to get the neck of the preacher by giving details of his daily whereabouts. They instigated the Abu Sayyaf (Moro bandits south of the country) to go after Soriano, claiming that the preacher is against Islam.

The Iglesia ni Cristo is a powerful force to reckon with in the Philippines. With its bloc-voting practice, their endorsement is being sought for by politicians especially the president of the land. It is not without unfortunate results though. Once the endorsed candidate wins, the backfire is expressed in meddling in government affairs including in  the justice system. Court cases are followed up to their favor. Their endorsements cannot just be found at election times. It also covers presidential appointments to sensitive positions of the land.

Discrimination by the courts
Soriano’s camp claims that the Secretary of Justice Raul Gonzalez was over-zealous in refiling the dismissed rape case filed by Daniel Veridiano against Eliseo Soriano. They ask if it would be the same if Puto were not a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo. (He was excommunicated by Soriano after which he joined the INC).

They also ask why Chairman Maria Consoliza Laguardia of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) is biased against Eliseo Soriano and his Ang Dating Daan Program versus the Iglesia ni Cristo. They are intrigued that saying “Iglesia ni Manalo” (church of Manalo) is offensive enough to suspend a TV program.

Soriano filed a complaint with the Philippine Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in June 2005, against MTRCB’s decision to ban the program and its hosts from appearing on TV due to complaints filed by the Iglesia ni Cristo. The CHR ruled that MTRCB overstepped its authority by banning Soriano’s TV programs in 2005.

Bro. Soriano would also ask his congregation: if he files for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) why do the Iglesia ni Cristo get theirs in a whisk while it takes him years?

The conclusion of the matter seems to be that the powers that be have it all. Malou Mangahas in her report to the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) claimed, “INC is a shrewd political and business operator. It parlays the votes of its members for political and financial concessions to the church.” (http://www.pcij.org/stories/2002/inc2.html)

While Puto got all the princely attention he needed from the grace of the Iglesia ni Cristo where he became a new member, whether he believed in their doctrines or not, Bro. Eli is fair game to him as Soriano is to those affiliated with the Iglesia ni Cristo and their supporters. Some quarters strongly believe that the good grace Puto is enjoying with the courts is on account of the INC using it to settle scores with Bro. Eli. They only wanted to stop his big mouth from further exposing them. The syndrome in media tells it all.

“Interpol wanted” news

An Alfred P. Dalizon of Journal Online (8/19/2008) wrote about Bro. Soriano as wanted by the Interpol. Clearly twisting facts, Dalizon exposed his links with the Iglesia ni Cristo in so many counts. Bro. Eliseo Soriano is an international fugitive, he said, running away from sex crimes.

The Interpol describes fugitives as “posing serious threat to public safety worldwide …. and financing their continued flight from the law through further criminal activities.” But as seen from video footages shown week after week in the church, Bro. Eli is here and there busy with bible expositions in six continents, propagating the words of God – not doing criminal activities. The new additions to the church membership come in thousands weekly to include those enlightened from the Iglesia ni Cristo, his arch critics.

Soriano’s camp asks, where is the crime victim to speak of, who is denied of justice so that an international order of arrest should be in order? From the records of the case, the investigating prosecutor found no probable cause to prosecute Soriano as he believed that Veridiano’s accusations were all lies and fabricated. The case that was filed sometime before October 5, 2005 was dismissed on January 26, 2006. It was penned by Alexandro Lopez, Asst. Provincial Prosecutor and approved by Jesus Magarang, Provincial prosecutor, Province of Pampanga, San Fernando City. It highly considered the rift going on between the INC and the ADD. It was only that the Secretary of Justice had the case refiled.

Dalizon again said that Bro. Eli is on a red notice. According to the Interpol, a red notice means the Interpo’s role is “To seek the arrest or provisional arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition.” There was not even a blue notice which role is “ to collect additional information about a person’s identity or activities in relation to a crime” nor a green notice “To provide warnings and criminal intelligence about persons who have committed criminal offences and are likely to repeat these crimes in other countries.”

Contrary to what Dalizon wanted the public to believe, the Interpol said an Interpol Red Notice is NOT an international arrest warrant. The Interpol also issues a warning that the person should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

Dalizon also added that the accused Bro. Soriano is a former INC member as well as the complainant Veridiano who is just going back to his former fold, the INC. That both Soriano and Veridiano are claimed to be former INCs is a poor attempt of Dalizon to cosmeticize public impressions about the Iglesia ni Cristo. This practice is not uncommon though for reporters affiliated with the INC.

Research done?

After many posts contesting write-ups intended to malign Bro. Eli by the members of Ang Dating Daan in the Internet, the Interpol is believed to have done their own research. From the camp of the preacher, the Interpol is at least expected to understand the following by this time –

1) That Bro. Eli is admittedly a big mouth who does not spare anyone when it comes to truth. He speaks what he is sent for to speak. He cannot add nor delete. It is part of his Commission (Jeremiah 26:2).

2) That Bro. Eli is not what the report sent to the Interpol purportedly is by the court of Macabebe, Pampanga, Philippines. He never was accused of “sex crimes” in any court on earth except as appearing on the online page of the Interpol website.

3) That the one who sent the report is a liar by all counts, a heel that sorely lacks credibility. It is not expected that the Interpol believe everything passed on to them.

4) That between the complainant and the accused, this is the man to listen to.

Media Overkill

The Philippines is where Bro. Eli is mostly maligned – the country of his birth. From all the discrimination that he got including from the justice system, it is media that does the overkill. The preacher has many cases filed against him and this is fodder for media again and again, not even mentioning that they were coming from the same source: those he had excommunicated from the Church of God and had transferred to the Iglesia ni Cristo, and the INC itself through their ministers.

If this fact is suppressed in media reports, not everybody can be fooled from the patterns that appear. Some quarters of the public are already aware of the long ADD-INC feud that includes doctrinal issues. This was noted by the court that dismissed the rape case filed sometime before October 5, 2005 and was dismissed on January 6, 2006. The decision was the one penned by Alexandro Lopez, Asst. Provincial Prosecutor and approved by Jesus Magarang, Provincial prosecutor, Province of Pampanga, San Fernando City.

With the media, however, there is much quoting and re-posting without effort to check sources.

ABS-CBN. Consider the ABS-CBN Interactive. For about two years, it bannered the rape story and only the date was changing. The name of Veridiano as complainant was also changed to Pedriano. This news outfit was used by Wikipedia as a reference but was dropped for another. ADD writers booed it as unfair for collecting comments online like it was posting an advertisement for the INC. Thereafter, it changed its name to ABS-CBN Online but remains the same careless outfit that does not check its facts before posting. More than that, it acted as paid hack to the INC. What can explain the years of malicious online posting about the “rape case” then where there in an open assault on Bro. Eli as unprotected accused, at the same time protecting Daniel Veridiano, the accused by twisting his family name from Veridiano to Pedriano?

The camp of Soriano scores Wikipedia for its wanton need for controversy and welcoming more the negative posts of the Iglesia ni Cristo without close scrutiny of their sources.

Wkipedia wrote –

A similar exposition was featured on ABS-CBN’s Special Assignment hosted by Luchi Cruz-Valdez. Cruz-Valdez interviewed former members regarding the information presented in a series of anonymously-published comics depicting the alleged anomalous activities of Soriano. The former members unequivocally-confirmed the factuality of the information in the comics…” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliseo_Soriano).

These were the very same comics that angered much Bro. Soriano for they depicted him of sodomy. Even as they were written anonymous, Soriano’s camp have witnesses that these were coming from the chapels of the Iglesia ni Cristo as testified by Abner Martizano, a former minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo who got affiliated with the Church of God. The “former members” referred to were those excommunicated by Soriano for various offenses. And yet the excommunication angle was suppressed in the presentation of reports by Wikipedia. There was no mention of it.

Wikipedia. Wikipedia appears habitually careless about the information it is quoting. It said, “ Eliseo ‘Eli’ Soriano is in hiding and is now an international fugitive. An International Arrest Warrant was issued against him.” It quoted Alfred P. Dalizon which published a newsreport on August 8, 2008 in World News (Journal Online). This was the very same news item being protested to by editors of the Ang Dating Daan. Alfred Dalizon titled this (August 8, 2008), “Int’l arrest warrant out for Eli Soriano”. World News (Journal Online). http://article.wn.com/view/2008/08/16/Intl_arrest_warrant_out_for_Eli_Soriano/.

By merely quoting Dalizon who has been exposed with INC links by ADD editors, Wikipedia is showing its ignorance in referencing. For example, Dalizon has already pigeonholed Soriano as a fugitive which description does not fit the Interpol’s. Soriano is openly doing worldwide bible expositions as attested to by video news. Second, an Interpol Red Notice is NOT an international arrest warrant as fed by Dalizon to the public. (http://www.interpol.int/Public/Wanted/Default.asp). And yet Wikipedia honored him as a source.

Rizalino Arrabis. There is also Rizalino L. Arrabis, an INC member, a retired US Navy man based in Guam. Arrabis rallied news organizations online and the national and international police forces to unite and impound Soriano. Commenting November 14, 2007 to an article in OhmyNews International, Arrabis called Soriano the phenomenal criminal fugitive preacher and wrote “WORKINGMEN OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!!! POLICE OFFICIALS OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!!! LEASH AND IMPOUND THIS RABID DOG, ELISEO SORIANO, BEFORE HE SPREADS HIS CORRUPTION.”

Arrabis had been banned from NowPublic.com for his hundred and one personal attacks against Bro. Eli and at the same time given a warning by Editor Rob Walker. Arrabis walked on all newsites where Bro. Soriano is a topic. He believes that what he is doing is “Christian.” He said in Newsvine.com (Thu Dec 27, 2007 7:25 PM EST)-

My idea here is to defend the Iglesia Ni Cristo, demolish, and neutralize the detractors for all these comes up as the battle for the hearts and minds. I know pretty well that I have done a good job worthy of a Christian soldier….”

Liecaster Obligacion. Then there is Conrad J. Obligacion as identified in topix.net who stole the name of Bro. Eli as truthcaster. Called Liecaster by some, Obligacion had been posting online as “truthcaster” in NowPublic.com to humiliate the owner of that name but gets a warning from Amyjudd for slanderous remarks if he could not substantiate his claims. Eventually, his story was closed, following the fate of Arrabis.

Obligacion shows the many marks of being a rabid INC member, beginning with his two-pronged approach: appropriating the monicker of Bro. Eli and at the same time publicly declaring that he is devoting his life to destroying his victim. In the many ‘opinion’ articles he wrote, he simply substituted Soriano as the one the world is waiting for to come out and defend his false teachings.

It is public knowledge that Eraño Manalo, the Executive Minister of the INC, has never dared to respond to the challenge of Preacher Soriano to come out for a debate. (On March 27, 2005, Soriano placed a one-page ad challenging Manalo to come out so that they could once and for all settle their differences. His ministers in Net25 answered him as follows in Tagalog: “Soriano, debate first with the pope in Latin, after which the Executive Minister can face you.”)

“Truthcaster” then appointed himself as one who would re-write the biography of Bro. Soriano to its “true” form. This was where his identity as Conrad J. Obligacion was traced from topix.net where he originally wrote the re-written bio. As no one bothered to react, he repeated this in Nowpublic.com with the name “truthcaster,” His piece, “A false prophet is born” runs as follows –

Eli was sickly, there was something wrong with his heart and this was complicated by bouts of asthma. But Eli has a more troubling disease that would hound him later in his life. The disease was his overwhelming need to borrow money. The late 60’s was the year where he found himself owing about P10, 000.00 from different people. He needed his brother’s help to bail him out of his trouble. To support his growing need for money, while still a minister of his church he turned to cooking food to sell. His first turo-turo was in Sampaloc, Manila. He would go to the market and gather rotting vegetables which market vendors threw away as garbage, and used this to make lumpia which he would then sell for human consumption. He boasted that this was a great idea because he had a his profit margins were high. Aside from his lumpia, he also started selling other things, including women’s bras and panties. On top of this, he also tended to raising chickens and pigs in their own back yard. http://resbak.com/ blog/?p=77 (Dec 27, 2008 | post #1) Topix.net.

While “Truthcaster” had long been associated with Bro. Eli for his many years of broadcasting the truth, Obligacion appropriated it. There would have been no question if he simply sported ‘truthcaster” as username, but then he was employing it to attack the very one using that monicker. This is a case then of ‘truthcaster” attacking TruthCaster. Shamelessly, Obligacion went through the bio of Bro. Eli and changed everything positive to negative. At the end he had to gall to say that it was Soriano who stole his name. In Zimbio.com (03/04/09), he wrote in his article, “Ask Bro. Eli! The ‘most sensible preacher’ does not make sense” –

He sports many monikers such as “the most sensible preacher of our times”, “phenomenal preacher”, “Walking bible”, “Modern [Day] Jeremiah”, “the appointed one”, “he who holds the key”, and others. He even stole my handle, truthcaster…. But is he really all that?

The fake truthcaster, or liecaster as he is called by Ang Dating Daan writers, comes in other aliases like ReadMeIglesiaNiCristo, Resbak,  cover  names like James Mon, John Phillip Rivera, and countless other names.

Ka Webspy. More vicious than Arrabis and Obligacion is Ka Webspy [Real name: Sustines E. Laplana, native  of Masinloc Leyte]  also of the Iglesia ni Cristo who had been for years hitting hard on Bro. Soriano. Laplana or Ka Webspy created about 50 websites purposely to destroy the man. What was quite vicious of him is his use of the name of Soriano and the Church’s name and identity in naming the websites. He uses Eli Soriano to attack Eli Soriano, the Church of God International to attack the Church and naming the church ministers as attacking the preacher, or the preachers as attacking each other.

In http://churchofgodint.blogspot.com/ he wrote –

Ang Dating Daan program aims to propagate the true and everlasting Gospel of Christ based on the Bible (if not scrutinized), convert sinners (convert or hold them to stay sinners?) to believe (to believe God or gods?) and glorify God (Is stealing the property of others glorify God?). Only the Church can teach the wisdom of God in the salvation of mankind (Only the true Church but not the church founded by Eli Soriano.)

All placed under Ka Webspy Network, these are some of his sites: The Ang Dating Daan of Brother Eli Soriano, 101 Kontradiksiyon, Absurd Teaching, Ang Dating Daan, Ang Dating Daan Komiks I, Ang Dating Daan Komiks II,Absurd Teaching, Eli Soriano, Ang Dating Daan Webring ni Eli Soriano.

Ka Webspy Network also supported the following sites against the Members Church of God International (MCGI), more popularly known as Ang Dating Daan: Ang Akweng Daan, Ang Dating Daan Video Clips ni Eli Soriano, Ang Dating Daan Video Clips II ni Eli Soriano, Ang Dating Daan Audio Clips ni Eli Soriano, Ang Dating Daan Audio Clips ni Eli Soriano II, Ang Dating Daan Audio Clips ni Eli Soriano III, Mga Tinig sa Ilang – Pagbubunyag sa Ang Dating Daan, Eli Soriano at Ang Dating Daan – Kontradiksyon, Ang Dating Daan at ang kanyang mga Kasinungalingan, Ang Dating Daan Komiks 1 (ni Eli Soriano), Ang Dating Daan Komiks 2 (ni Eli Soriano), (Ang Dating Daan ni Eli Soriano) 101 Kontradiksiyon, All About Eli Soriano & Ang Dating Daan, Church of God International, Ang Katotohanan Tungkol kay Ginoong Eli Soriano at sa Kaniyang”Ang Dating Daan,” Papalit-palit, Kontra-kontra Doktrina ni Ingkong (Eli Soriano ng Ang Dating Daan), Tuligsa ni Eli Soriano, Mga ang dating…Ang Dating Daan ni Eli Soriano, Linguistic Errors ni Eli Soriano ng Ang Dating Daan, Q & A ng Ang Dating Daan ni Eli Soriano.

All of these are twists posted by Ka Webspy and excommunicated members from the ADD or MCGI. They carried news, audio clips, video clips and comics calculated to mislead the public about Bro. Soriano. For example, Ang Dating Daan Video Clips ni Eli Soriano contained 100 video clips against the preacher, mostly twisting his preaching and calling it doctrines of Eli Soriano. Video Clips II ni Eli Soriano is a continuation that totaled 186 VIDEO clips with “testimonies” of two excommunicated from ADD.

Then there are the audio clips. Audio Clips ni Eli Soriano includes the same twisting of preaching and carries the testimonies of two excommunicated members from ADD with 95 clips. Audio Clips ni Eli Soriano II is a continuation that included testimony of one excommunicated ADD member. In all there were 169 AUDIO clips against Bro. Eli.

Mga Tinig sa Ilang – Pagbubunyag sa Ang Dating Daan (Voices from the Wilderness) contains more accusations that Bro. Eli.

If there is one common trait of Ka Webspy and the other enemies of Bro. Soriano, it is using Soriano’s name against himself. Consider this site: “Eli Soriano Vs Eliseo F. Soriano. All About Eli Soriano of Ang Dating Daan & Members Church of God International.” Worse, the domain name is also named after the preacher. Even the hymns of the Church of God were not spared from their vandalism. The photographs of both Bros. Soriano and Razon were also appropriated and morphed to make them appear sissy.

Ka Webspy had always been discreet with his identity, never mentioning his name while he hit hard on Bro. Soriano. In 2006, he quit blogging as Ka Webspy. By March, he was using Selaplana.com with his real name traced as Sustines E. Laplana. His reason as he was interviewed as a blogger was that he didn’t like the performance of those earlier blogs and what he written in them. Indeed on June 15, 2005, the SEO Files said that Ka Webspy Network was declining. He said he was called idiot blogger before, and he didn’t want that anymore. To date, however, the old sites he had made continue to deliver negative blows on Bro. Soriano.

As he changed topics to increase his earnings, he included results of examinations, songs, and even sex and scandals, and website money making.

Sowing in thousands

Duplication and multiplication seems to be the mode of destruction for Bro. Soriano. Nevertheless, enemies were making the preacher all the more the agenda in whatever form.

Allison Lopez. For example, Allison Lopez of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (08/29/2008) wrote about Ely (Sic) Soriano as having been charged with falsification of documents. “Ely” is the insistent spelling given by INCs to make it appear feminine and Lopez had picked it up. She also didn’t bother to do some background check on the supposed rape victim, Veridiano, even as she highlighted the rape case in the falsification charge. She also made no note of the fact that the preacher was out of the country some 3 years after she wrote her falsification report. To the camp of Soriano, it is Veridiano who had been raping his 14 officemates and there was no mention of this by media people. The case was also dismissed for lack of evidence but refiled by the Secretary of Justice, Raul Gonzalez, to a higher court and this fact was  clearly suppressed.

Nevertheless, this underwritten report was re-posted in Scribd.com (10/22/2008) as a document. It was also posted by The Rick A. Ross Institute both as an HTML document and as a reference with their organization emblazoned as the collector of data
(www.rickross.com/groups/church_of_god.html).

YouTube. Over at YouTube, the whole story of Allison Lopez was posted by EliXWanted. It is not without comments, however, about the obvious bias of the reporter against Soriano, the writer’s ignorance of any connection between Veridiano, the complainant and Soriano, the respondent except that Veridiano was some sort of secretary. YouTube now is replete with much garbage from those trying hard to out-do the debates of the preacher, his Bible expositions, the testimonies attesting to lives that Bro. Eli has changed. The preacher’s enemies have made fair game out of him trying hard to paint a different picture from what he is.

Asterpix. The same news of Allison Lopez, an INC, was posted in Asterpix Interactive Video by Asterbot88 on January 31, 2009 in an identical form as that of YouTube but the poster here displays an even more cunning. There is no place to comment on the page. The author gets all the privilege to post with no feedback allowed. Noticeable though is that it contains no (zero) views on all the 5-7 videos it posted against Soriano.

Foreigner Blogs. Eventually, a paragraph sliced from that Allison Lopez news report was transposed into a video of 2.3 minutes and embedded in many blogs of foreigners. This is the paragraph that bloomed into a picture for entertainment effects:

“Gumaru even received the release order of Soriano to make it appear that Soriano was indeed in his custody … Clearly, Soriano was not arrested nor placed in the custody of Gumaru and thus not entitled to post bail,” said Alva in his report, stressing that an accused cannot post bail without surrendering or being arrested by law enforcers.

In other words, both Police Officer Gumaru and Alva were being used here to influence the public with just a slice of the report and taken out of context.

Up until today since 2008, this sliced paragraph-cum-video item shows now and then in many blogs outside the country, believed by some quarters as a bid to undermine the preacher’s credibility as he does his bible expositions abroad. (In every exposition, it is inevitable that the preacher touch on false beliefs and false preachers which talk the INC disdain).

Jean-Francois Demers, for example, discussed market and economy in his blog, “Flying Squadron” but a post in blogspot, January 29, 2009 embedded this videod paragraph of Allison Lopez. What malice can do!

Wendy Dawson whose passion is Musical Theater also embedded this paragraph-video in her post on “Africa Again,” March 8, 2009, blogspot. There are yet many other others as supplied by Google alert from time to time. Asked why they post this item and if they knew anything about Bro. Soriano, there is no response.

“Foolish” and “stupid” as sorianospeak

If there is something false preachers dislike about Bro. Soriano, it is his calling them foolish (gago) and stupid (tanga). One is not cursing or cussing if that is the truth, the preacher would reason. Soriano is accused of being overly contentious and not “respecting” other religions, but the perspective of the preacher is not the same: Soriano has a task to perform.

Known to be the only preacher who is fearless enough to tell the truth, just before his preaching opens in the Church of God, Jeremiah 26:2 flashes on the screen in several language translations –

Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’s house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’s house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word.

Both ‘foolish’ and ‘stupid’ then come from the package of Soriano’s Jeremiah 26:2 role. To understand his discourses better, these terms should not be taken by themselves alone but from the context of what the preacher is trying to point out. The preacher is really that frank and doesn’t mince words. The following excerpts that come from his own website are examples of sorianospeak–

While many enemies of Christ and the Bible delight in the stupid and defamatory story of Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code”, a perusal of written and archeological information can easily belie such make-believe bunch of stupidity. (Beyond an Iota of a Doubt, March 5, 2009).

Here’s another one –

Why are there so many starving people on earth? The answer is: Because of those people who do not believe in God — like YOU! Greed in money, wealth, power, and everything earthly is the cause of all evil in this world. It is not God’s fault. (Feeding the Spiritually Starving People with God’s Word from the Bible, May 20, 2007)

In retaliation, his enemies could only dig on his weaknesses and infirmities to which he answers: “The God of all good characters and morals understands my infirmities and weaknesses. They testify that He is greater than I am.”

Tell the world

Russian wiki. What is surprising is the extent to tell the world about Soriano. His bio in Wikipedia that is mostly negative was translated into Russian by Dic.academic.ru. [A translator was used to know what language the page was in].

Astronomy site. It is also intriguing how his bio from Wikipedia would be posted by sites called Absolute Astonomy.com, Exploring the Universe of Knowledge

Bereans. The Bereans never lack interest in Bro. Soriano. Every case filed by his enemies are easily picked up and posted for comment. According to Bro. Eli, Bereans keep on researching but never come into the truth. It is because God sees the heart; anyone truly looking for God will find Him.

Polls. Polls are also made of Bro. Soriano with only one answer. The question in ISTORYA.net posted by botslot on October 2007 was, “Is Ely Soriano of ADD a false Prophet?” (Take note of the spelling and remember the group that spells it that way and why). The answers were: 1) Biggest yes with clapping of hands; 2) Big yes; 3) Resounding yes! 4) Just yes!!!!!. The results: 93.33% said yes, he is; but there were only 14 voters. The total votes cast were just 24. Then the pool was closed – a poll providing a space for only one answer.

There are the neutral sides though and the supposedly neutral sides like The Rick A. Ross Institute but not very many do that. After posting items from one side, it also posts from the other side and this time he placed the link leading to the website of Bro. Eli (http://www.elisoriano.com/).

The response

In answer to those who claim that Soriano is hitting everybody outside of his belief, this is what he says in his official blogsite (http://www.elisoriano.com/).

I want to make it clear to everybody that it is not my goal and never will it be to disgrace or humiliate or anybody personally. I am not against any human person, but on the spirit of wickedness that is in him. (Truth in focus, August 26, 2007)

Claiming he has done a lot of research, he said there is much misleading information that many are being deceived.

I have invited to take a ‘U-turn’ and dig deeper to find the roots of all the fraud and deceit that now dominates almost all sector of society — even the religious helm of it.

In my search, I have found that there are so many irrational views, erroneous teachings, evil ideologies, and misleading information, wherein deceit and fraud are always in essence, but hidden. (Truth in focus, August 26, 2007)

As he exposes false preachers and their false teachings, people react to them prominent of which are issues of idol worship in many forms, and tithing which is part of the Mosaic Law. In the end, he reaps court cases, if not curses; immigration woes and similar problems. Wasn’t he in the wanted list of the Interpol? While this issue was at first humiliating – a time-killer for those with important work to do like propagation of the gospel – he has become an agenda, and this time it is international.

To drain the church’s resources

Bro. Eli’s receiving court cases and accusations in a layer are not without intent. The pattern understood even from the beginning which the preacher explained to the congregation was to drain all his resources until he is financially bankrupt. Then he could not move to do his preaching which necessarily touches on false practices and beliefs.

To date, from church records, there are about 20 criminal cases, majority of which are libel suits and fabricated charges of rape, frustrated murder, obstruction of justice, and libel.

This notion of the church being drained of resources was all the more strengthned when Bro. Daniel Razon, the vice presiding minister of the Church was pushed off his post in GMA7, a big media network. Some believe that management was pressured by some “religious” people so that Razon had to choose between his religion and his job. There were words he was prevented from uttering. As some quarters believe, his only fault was in being a member of the Ang Dating Daan and was forced to choose between his job and serving God.

In June 2005 Dindo M. Balares of Manila Bulletin wrote about this “pressured” resignation. It reportedly came in the wake of a “boycott” of “Unang Hirit” and other GMA-7 shows by the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) members who were raising a protest against Razon.

As reported by Balares, GMA had decided to release Razon “to maintain its neutrality in the midst of the on-going bitter conflict between the Iglesia ni Cristo and Ang Dating Daan.”

More tentacles in government

Daniel Razon was also denied a post in the government after the elections commission laid off the party-list which he represented during the last national elections. The reason? Because the Commission believed that the partly-list he represented was a front of a religious organization.

On November 19, 2007, the Commission on Elections 2nd Division (under Article 6 of Republic Act 7941), disqualified the Bagong Alyansang Tagapagtaguyod ng Adhikaing Sambayanan (BATAS) party-list group. (Translated in English, this means New Alliance of Advocates for National Goals). The COMELEC ruled that Batas is an extension of the Ang Dating Daan of Bro. Eliseo Soriano where Daniel Razon, the party-list group’s first nominee is the second highest official of the religious organization. The petition for disqualification and cancellation of registration was filed by one Nathan Macute, said to be a resident of Sitio Roque, Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

On November 24, 2007, Congressman-elect Daniel S. Razon had to call on Philippine National Police Chief Avelino Razon before some 50,000 followers Saturday to protect his accuser. The former had received word that Macute would be killed and that it would be blamed on him. The conversation was carried over phone patch that morning. Razon made the request after finding out that this Nathan Macute is a seemingly harmless and quiet fellow and might be just a scapegoat.

There is a seeming lack of understanding though in how the public looks at the Church of God, known to the public as Ang Dating Daan. Unlike other church groups, these people are not forced to vote for certain candidates. They are not given orders even to congregate in one place. Judging from their great numbers in all church activities, one may safely conclude that it is their common faith that moves them. They normally support each other in times of need so that it is not surprising if they voted for candidates from the church, much more a church leader like their Bro. Daniel Razon.

Just like his superior, Bro. Eli, Razon’s bio in Wikipedia is much peppered with negative accounts, including a report wherein he was declared “Persona Non Grata” of Apalit, Pampanga. Accordingly, on Razon’s daily morning TV show, “Good Morning Kuya” aired over UNTV 37, he criticized the imposition of the Apalit Municipal Council Resolution No. 15 “enforcing pertinent national and local statutes” on the grounds of the Church. This prompted the Apalit Municipal Government to declare Razon, a bonafide resident of Apalit, Pampanga a “persona non grata” through Resolution 28 series of 2008.

From the reception of people, however, this resolution is rendered toothless. An average weekly attendance of some 60,000 members of the Church of God International meet every Saturday for thanksgiving in Apalit to listen to the preaching of their Bro. Eli Soriano as well as to Bro. Daniel Razon. (The former preaches in 6 continents simulcast through satellite).

A similar incident happened in Zamboanga City in October 2008. Daily Zamboanga Times reported that Commission on Human Rights Regional Director Jose Manuel S. Mamauag had criticized the City Council on its common practice of declaring persons, including Filipino citizens, persona non grata. Atty. Mamauag appealed to the City Council to “vigilantly observe the rule of law and to be mindful of the good name of persons.”

As reported in the news, Mamaug said, “To be persona non grata is to be a social pariah. Branding a person as unacceptable and publicly tagging him as unwelcome in a city wherein he is free to enter and leave by virtue of his being a Filipino is tantamount to imposing a punishment that is not provided by law.”

The Human Rights Commissioner Mamauag explained that the declaration of persona non grata is normally being practiced in diplomatic relations.

How do you “outcast” a bonafide resident in the first place? Jun A. Malig, in his commentary in Sun Star Pampanga some years back (10/25/2005) said literally, persona non grata refers to “an unwelcome person” but that would not include bona fide residents of the territory, it appears. The person may be prevented, depending on existing laws or ordinances, from setting foot in the territorial jurisdiction of those who “outcast” him, he said.

The myth of ADD as INC breakaway group

One item that is repeated over and over in reports and passed on to others is the myth that the Ang Dating Daan is a breakaway away group of the Iglesia ni Cristo. The ones that love to do such repetition, however, are those affiliated with the INC. From obtaining patterns of newsreports, this is the outstanding “background information” they are careful to give, calculated with self-serving motives. Other background information that are critical to the understanding of news are suppressed.

The members of the ADD find this quite ironic in that while the INC members create so much trouble for the former, the latter insist on planting this notion in the mind of the public – whatever gains they can get from that. As far as the ADD constituents are concerned, there is not an iota of similarity in the beliefs of the two that one can be called a breakaway group of the other.

For example, Aries Rufo wrote in his news report that “Soriano founded the religious sect ADD, a breakaway group of the Iglesia Ni Cristo sect.” (Newsbreak Online, SC sustains suspension of Ang Dating Daan, April 30, 2009). It is not only Rufo who does that, however. The wrong information passed also to the Embassy of the United States is the same: that the MCGI or ADD is a break-away group of the INC.

The International Religious Freedom Report 2003 released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor says on Religious Demography : “There are three churches established by local religious leaders: The Independent Church of the Philippines or “Aglipayan,” the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ), and the Ang Dating Daan (an offshoot of Iglesia ni Cristo).

The American Embassy had been informed as early as 2005 that this is not so since there had been intervening phases to be called offshoot. It cannot also be called breakaway in the sense that it cannot even be called an offshoot. To be breakaway, you have to be a part first. However, the INC benefits from reports like this as again and again they appear in news reports. Coming in other forms, the propagation of this kind may be found in inserting appendages to describe the INC. It is a poor attempt to package this church favorably to the public eye. Some of these pertain to seniority and size, while they flaunt their power – as if favor with God or truth is found in these aspects.

Writing about Bernardo Santiago, one excommunicated from the Church of God for adultery Demiel R. Robles, a Newsbreak Contributing writer wrote.

….But in 1998, Santiago was not only stripped of that privilege; he was expelled by the organization that he thought would bring him salvation. His offense, according to the ADD: adultery. Humiliated, Santiago fought back. The ADD says he subsequently cast his fate with the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), the powerful religious congregation founded by the late Felix Manalo and where most senior ADD preachers come from.

Robles compared the squabble between the ADD and the INC to that of a David-and-Goliath script in explaining why the INC is “so quiet to allegations.” To the camp of Soriano, however, the INCs have nothing to say in a call to debate to defend their false teachings, therefore are so quiet. As events show, however, they answer with court cases.

Demiel Robles ends his piece with a taunt:

Brother Eli realizes that as a religious leader, his mission is necessarily spiritual. But he should know that God has no business in litigation and the media…. Will he invoke the Bible to save himself from worldly court cases? His disciples and critics await the coming days with curiosity and anxiety.

Church history

Time and again, Bro. Soriano would say that the Church of God or ADD was never a part of the Iglesia ni Cristo.

The history of the MCGI or Ang Dating Dating records Nicholas Perez as the first minister. This is where the parents of Bro. Eli were affiliated. Documents show that it was in 1931 when Nicholas Perez with Avelino Santiago started their own group called Iglesia ng Diyos kay Kristo Hesus, Haligi at Suhay ng Katotohanan (Church of God in Christ Jesus, Pillar and Support of The Truth) after some doctrinal differences with the Iglesia ni Cristo.

On December 10, 1936, Nicholas Perez officially registered the Iglesia ng Diyos kay Cristo Hesus Haligi at Suhay ng Katotohanan with the Bureau of Commerce and Industry. After a lapse of 41 years, on March 30, 1977, two years after the death of Perez, Eliseo Soriano and followers registered his own group and called it the Iglesia ng Dios kay Kristo Hesus, Haligi at Saligan ng Katotohanan (Church of God in Christ Jesus, The Pillar and Ground of the Truth). Soriano has then become the Presiding Minister.

As events would have it, the church doctrines would get corrected as revealed to the faithful Soriano so much so that there had been gargantuan overhaul from the teachings of Perez. Soriano, publicly known as bible scholar, did much corrections over time. Moreover, he was revealing mystery after mystery in every church gathering.

Fast forward to January 14, 2004, after 27 years Soriano registered and used the name, Members Church of God International because locals were founded in the United States. By the end of 2005, Bro. Soriano would be thrust to the West on account of persecutions. As membership grew to include the yellow, white and black race, the contents of his preachings reached high levels to spiritual dimensions. Meanwhile, his enemies continued to give him a difficult time with court cases.

Claiming then that the ADD or MCGI is a breakaway group from the Iglesia ni Cristo is like claiming that one is a split from Adam.

Silence speaks

If some people hate Bro. Eli and loathe what he says, it is not a secret that there are those who want him dead and would hound him to the ends of this earth to stop him from talking. While he talks and others talk, the loudest and the most ubiquitous messages may take the upper-hand. Take the case of the Interpol notice of Wanted Persons that his enemies posted and re-posted all over the Internet.

While all of these obtain, on November 25, 2007, GMANews.TV would banner, “UNTV, Razon, Soriano sites top 10th Philippine Web Awards.” The following are excerpts –

Three websites associated with religious leader Eliseo Soriano dominated the 10th Philippine Web Awards (PWA) Friday night – http://www.angdatingdaan.com, the official site of Soriano’s The Church of God International; http://www.danielrazon.com, the official site of broadcaster Daniel Razon, Soriano’s nephew; and http://www.untvweb.com, the official site of UNTV 37, where Soriano’s Ang Dating Daan is among the top programs.

The Church of God official site won, through SMS voting, as the Most Popular Website, on top of being named the People’s Choice in the Organizations category.

Razon’s site won in the Celebrities and Personalities category, getting the People’s Choice award as well. The site edged out the Alaska Aces website and the Blaze of Glory site of GMANews.TV.

In the News and Media category, the UNTV site also edged out GMANews.TV, last year’s winner. It also grabbed the People’s Choice award for the category.

As posted by GMANews.TV, the People’s Choice award in each category is determined by Short Message Service (SMS) voting. The main award for each category is picked by judges, both foreign and local, composed of veteran web artists, content writers, and designers, have evaluated all the 69 Web site finalists.

This is not a just happenstance as in the 11th Philippine Web Awards held last February 2009, the same winners scored. This time, instead of the Church of God official site as over-all winner, the newly-constructed truth blog of Bro. Eliseo Soriano, (www.esoriano.wordpress.com) won as the most popular website, besting all others in all categories.

Bro. Eli’s blogsite also stood as the People’s choice in the blog category. At the same time that his blogsite won, all his organizational affiliates won: the Ang Dating Daan – Bible Exposition Online (organization category), Kaanib.net – Christian Web Newsmagazine (magazines and ezines category), UNTV – Your Public Service Channel (News and Media category).

What these wards may imply is that Bro. Eliseo Soriano after all is not entirely what his enemies portray him. Some like to listen to what he is saying – to truth. Some like to know about God and how to be saved. Bro. Soriano does not take people by surprise when he criticizes them. Criticism is part of the package of his jeremiad role.

Apalit

Flash back to Apalit, Pampanga in April 2009 where the Central Office is, it is again International Thanksgiving time and the screen as usual is there. It is primarily used to flash the biblical verses being studied.

On the screen, Bro. Eli is shown successfully holding worldwide bible expositions in the West. The converts are expressing gratitude for having heard truth that were never preached to them before by other pastors. And yet it took a simple man from a poor country to bring them good news. The scene is repeated in other continents but in different versions of propagation.

Meanwhile, his enemies keep bugging the public to produce Eliseo Soriano, his location, his address – either that of the telephone, fax, or email. They warn the writers of the Church congregation to “cooperate” with authorities and provide his whereabouts. But apparently with scales in their eyes, they could not trace the man.

While they do this, the preacher is hitting it big in the news. Early this year, his Truth blog gets the Most Popular Website award, and his organization and all affiliates all get web awards as in the last 5 to 6 years.

Since 2005 when he left the country to continue preaching in other lands, it slowly dawned on him that his commission was not just focused on Filipinos. The battle cry, “Wherever the Filipinos are” no longer applied. As he goes out farther and farther from his country, he is reaping converts from the six continents of Africa, Asia, North and South America, Europe and Australia.

The screen flushes and one sees those of the white race interested in what this Filipino preacher is saying; they hug the man as a long lost brother. Another screen flashes and you see those from the black race looking intently at him; they listen to his messages as though very thirsty of truth. Finally, they sing praises to God – in Tagalog, the preacher’s language. (As explained by Bro. Daniel Razon, one of those instrumental in these overseas missions, the Papuans were easily taught in Tagalog rather than in English. Accordingly, the same model would be applied to other races that are receptive more to Tagalog than English).

Reasons to thank for

There is nothing pleasant in people scrutinizing your private person and looking for faults while you are busy with work. There is nothing enjoyable in people misinterpreting your role in the work of salvation and with it the accusations that point to personal motives. These are the times that greatly trouble a person.

While people can drive you away to leave your place of abode, at the same time, they want you back – but in box. And while they cannot find you, they incessantly try to track you down in the most humiliating way. It is the very threats on Bro. Eli’s life, however, that necessarily made him move on to the West. Ironically, this has translated into so many coming to know the truth. The persecution of Bro. Eli clearly is something to thank God for.

It’s not like giving the other cheek when one is slapped; it’s just being thankful that instead of being the oppressor, one is the oppressed; instead of being the persecutor, one is persecuted.

The church congregation knows that the role of a prophet of God had already been planned out even before he was born. That includes the sufferings he has to undergo. If his enemies dislike what he is saying, so be it; nevertheless he backs up everything he says with biblical proofs, and that should be enough. However, as stated in the bible, there are those who cannot sleep unless they do evil.

His being in the wanted list of Interpol is still something to value. While the preacher obviously cannot get justice in his own country, there is yet a chance that that world body may be fair for all. Moreover, the attention of both friend and foe has been caught. The curiosity of the world on this man is all the more sharpened. They get to compare what two sides are saying and weigh them. Doing that, they may come to know about God in the process. Moreover, no matter how powerful an enemy is, nothing happens without God’s permission.

For the good of them that love God

Thorns that come people’s way may still be roses. These may only be opportunities for one to be more resourceful for a new recourse of action, be more patient with the situation, grow in faith, and understand what there is to understand. Bro. Soriano’s persecution led him into exile but the fruit turned out into something good for the Church.

The butterfly, for example, has to undergo some struggles before it comes out beautiful. If one tried to help it come out of its cocoon by tearing the silken sack that enveloped it, one will have forced his way upon its natural process of growth. Nature has ordained that it kick and kick itself out, in a very hard way. As it does, some oil comes out of its body that is needed for its development.

The same is true of Christians as they do their task. Problems may come along the way that appears as mere problems. As promised in the bible, however, everything that happens is all for the good of them that are called according to his purpose. In Romans 8:28 –

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (King James Bible)

No bitterness

Right from the very start, Bro. Soriano has taught his people not to attempt to make revenge to the enemies of the Church. When brothers were bludgeoned badly in a local restaurant in the town of Apalit by members of the Iglesia ni Cristo in 2005, he made this call. As April ended in 2008, when UNTV host Marcos Mataro was killed in broad daylight in which death implicated a deacon of the Iglesia ni Cristo, he again repeated the call. He warned his members not to be rendering thanksgiving to God with bitterness in the heart.

Whereof you can’t revenge, therefore what will you do? Just what is the logic of all these?

Leave it to God; let it be, Bro. Soriano says. In Romans 12:19 –

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. (KJV)