TopTen Judge: Making a Destructive List For Ratings

By Jane Abao

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

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

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

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

This is opening paragraph –

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Questions

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

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

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

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

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

Making a List of People

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

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

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

Juvenile Thinking

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

Standards in Practice

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

Expectations

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

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

The Danger

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

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

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

What could be the Motive

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

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

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

Assurance

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

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

Zero Rating

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

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

You rank zero on Google!

So enough is enough!

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

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

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

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

Filipininana.net describes the background:

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE EXCERPTS

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

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

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

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

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

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