Shameless Journalists Breaking the Code of Ethics


It is easy to put up slogans like “Legal, honest, and truthful,” “In the service of the Filipino worldwide,” “Not siding with anyone, not protecting anyone; no untruths, just purely service!”

But that is not how people experience the output of news media giants these days. Is it?

In fact the Presidente-elect Rody Duterte said “pera-pera lang yan!” (It’s all about money!)


Here are excerpts from Duterte’s talk to media -

Let’s be frank. I am saying these without excuses. No apologies, no nothing. You like to hear it? Fine. If not, so be it. That’s the truth. Let’s not fool each other. You already know it: they abound - the vultures pretending to be journalists!

The problem is every son of a bitch who claims to be journalist makes money out of it, milking money, extorting money from the people… and he is killed and he is glorified because he is a journalist. There is always a paid hack. It is not only in other professions. Do not ever think that you are in a field of purity. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXRTdljXljA)

I am quite certain that the President-elect Duterte has had experiences similar to mine when he said about media in the Philippines (referring to giant networks) as "pera-pera lang yan!"(It’s all about money!).

Examples
Why will a network intentionally put in its news and international at that, a particular restaurant as serving good food when there are many that serve better? Doesn’t it follow that the journalist will profit from this news-riding advertisement?

Merriam Webster terms this as advertorial - an advertisement in the form of editorial content. Accordingly, the term "advertorial" is a blend of the words "advertisement" and "editorial." It is really an advertisement but with the face of news! How deceptive!

And why do we underscore this? Because news is supposed to be objective (no money involved) and advertisement is hard-sell (money is involved). So it is important that one must not dress up as another.

Why not let the restaurant owner buy space or time to advertise his restaurant? That way, it will appear as true-blue advertisement and not as news. And why does the Editor-in-Chief approve of such injustice to other restaurants?

By accepted universal standards, businesses must advertise their products or service and not ride on as news! What obtains is fooling the public! The audience can tell because it starts as news and eventually there goes the hype!

But what about those who cannot discern? Are they your target audience? What about those trusting in you that you deliver your service according to your slogan of honesty? Of truthfulness? Of being of service to the people? The reason behind may be... "pera-pera lang yan!"

Not newsworthy
There are items posted, printed, and broadcast by news media that are not newsworthy! Gossips about screen personalities like impending split of celebrities, the fight of two jealous contenders for a man in the fourth street of Bangkusay, a street vendor having a boxing spree with another vendor - these will not benefit viewers and readers. This is gossipmongering that is prohibited in the Bible!

PROVERBS 16:28 (GNB) 
Gossip is spread by wicked people; they stir up trouble and break up friendships.

Fairness is a must especially in investigative journalism. While it is public interest and a right to know things about a popular person in the government, in the private sector, and in the religious world, both good and bad accounts about a person must be published by media practicing fair journalism! There is then balance in reporting.

II CORINTHIANS 6:8 
By honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;

Focusing on the negative
Choosing to always cover one-sided reports about a person is unfair!

Brother Eli has been the subject of evil reports by media networks in the Philippines, sometimes the subject of headlines in some newspapers! Of the multiple cases filed by religious adversaries of Brother Eli in Philippine courts, most are reported as news and intended to malign him. However, when the case is dismissed or where Brother Eli is exonerated, there is no news about it, leaving an imbalance – like presenting to the public that I am an evil person - a menace to society! Is that the truth of it?

Here are some of those that media chose to ignore:

1. Criminal Case No. QO4-126059 (For Libel). This case was filed on March 31, 2004 by the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) represented by Bienvenido C. Santiago against Ang Dating Daan program discussants Joselito Mallari and Wilfredo Santiago, and was finally judged on February 15, 2015. In a 13-page decision penned by Presiding Judge Manuel B. Sta. Cruz, Jr. of the Regional Trial Court, NCJR, Branch 226, Joselito “Josel” Mallari and Wilfredo “Willy” Santiago are acquitted of the crime of Libel for failure of the prosecution to prove all the elements of the crime charged, thus failing to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. DISMISSED

2. Criminal Case 5957 (For Libel). At the Regional Trial Court, Fourth Judicial Region, Branch 76 of San Mateo Rizal, Philippines, this case sought a motion to declare accused Eliseo Soriano a fugitive from justice and to issue a hold departure against him. Judge Josephine Zarate Fernandez on August 31, 2007 denied the motion. Soriano’s counsel had underscored that his client is under intense persecution by the INC, explaining his failure to return to the country. DENIED 

3. Criminal Case 06-248365 (For Libel). At the Regional Trial Court, National Capital Region, Branch 8, Manila, this case sought a motion to declare accused Eliseo Soriano a fugitive from justice. In a decision penned by Presiding Judge Felixberto T. Olalia, Jr. on December 15, 2009, in the absence of evidences to support accusations, the court said the accused cannot be declared a “fugitive from justice.” DENIED

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

5. Criminal Case 06-248365 (For Libel) that failed to get its motion to declare the preacher as fugitive from justice, was archived. ARCHIVED 

6. Criminal Cases Nos. 2002-4236-MK (For attempted murder). Bernardo Santiago of the Iglesia ni Cristo had filed a case of attempted murder against Bro. Eli Soriano and his companions. According to the order dismissing the case, the prosecution presented Witnesses Glen Fernandez and Rommel Elbambuena who both heard one of the accused say, “Patayin yan! Patayin yan! Utos ni Ingkong!” (Kill him! Kill him! Order of Ingkong!). Ingkong is a monicker for Bro. Eli Soriano. Judge Geraldine Fiel-Macaraig of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 192 of Marikina City, however, dismissed the case for insufficiency of evidence on February 11, 2010. Conspiracy was not proven. DISMISSED 

7. Criminal Case No. Q-05-136679 (For Libel). Ramil T. Parba as representative of the Iglesia ni Cristo along with Marianito Cayao and Bernardo Santiago, accused Eliseo Soriano and his companions, Danilo Navales, Jocel Mallari, Wilfredo Santiago and Luzviminda Cruz, of libel in a program aired on January 21, 2005. 

In a 15-page decision signed on February 11, 2014 by Judge Jose G. Paneda of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 220 of the National Capital Judicial Region of Quezon City, Bro. Eliseo Soriano and his co-hosts at UNTV37 are acquitted of the crime of libel. 

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

Always Alert when Negative
But what is suspicious is that when a case filed by an enemy progressed or when Brother Eli is denied of his appeals, these media giants are the first to report them!

Isn’t it logical to think that these media are being paid for or influenced by Brother Eli's detractors? "Pera-pera lang ba yan?" Ewan ko. Alam nila yan! The involved know about it, for sure.

What’s Newsworthy?
It is not only the legal battle of Brother Eli with influential religions that is news worthy. There are a number of charitable works and community services being led by Brother Eli that did not merit the attention of these media giants. Maybe nobody paid them to put in their news line-up these newsworthy items!

a. MCGI as Number 1 Blood Donor: On average, around 10,000 blood units are amassed yearly by Members Church of God International (MCGI), which it donates to government and non-government organizations. (https://www.elisoriano.com/ang-dating-daan-supports-blood-donor-day/)



b. Distribution Partner of PBS: Bro. Eli is a lifetime member, regular donor and major distribution partner of the Philippine Bible Society. The congregation that he leads gives out free Bibles.

c. Free college project: La Verdad. La Verdad was first established in Apalit, Pampanga in 2009, envisioning an “institution that ensures quality learning and biblical moral standards.” 

Abroad, La Verdad campuses in Ghana and Liberia were inaugurated in 2012 to extend free education to African natives. In 2014, Bro. Eli offered scholarship grants to Yolanda victims in the country, apart from the regular scholarships being offered.

Other MCGI projects with focus on education, with constant media partner, UNTV, include the Dunong-Gulong, a school-on- wheels project in support to DepEd’s Alternative Learning System, and the Manibela Academy, a roaming learning hub that provides driving and livelihood programs to the indigent. (https://www.elisoriano.com/bro-eli- offers-scholarship- grants-to-yolanda-victims/).



d. First in the country: The transient home project by the Kamanggagawa Foundation, a non-profit arm by the Members Church of God International (MCGI) caters to those unable to go home for the night. It has several of these in the country.




e. Infant Care Center of the MCGI. Established in 2012, this is a sanctuary for abandoned, neglected and abused infants.


f. Free Rides with vehicles plying the streets.


g. Daily free medical and dental clinic (http://www.mcgi.org/the-true-church-of-god/church-charities/)


While I cannot mention everything that we do, these are just examples of what could be reported on – and not the usual fare of tattler tales.

Address to Media
Because they cannot see clearly, this is the verse that these news media giants merit.

MATTHEW 23:24 (MKJV) 
Blind guides who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

Clearly, this is about contrast in size. The hypocrisy in all your slogans of honesty, truthfulness and service is that you so pay attention to petty matters and report them but ignore the weightier ones. 

You believe certain things that are really not important yet state that they are because it is to your selfish benefit.

What is important again about impending split of celebrities, the fight of two jealous contenders for a man in the fourth street of Bangkusay, a street vendor having a boxing spree with another vendor?

As media, aren’t you supposed to be guides to the common tao?

The Golden Rule: Principle that Jesus Taught in the Bible


We have always been hearing about the Golden Rule that says, “Do unto others what you would want them to do unto you.” This is taken from Matthew 7:12.

MATTHEW 7:12 
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

By all standards, this pronouncement of our Lord Jesus Christ is just, fair and equitable: "Do unto others what you would like others to do unto you." In simple Logic, Matthew 7:12 is also about -

"Do not do unto others what you would not like others to do unto you."

This is a plain and simple goodness that a free and thinking mind can easily understand. If you do not want to be hurt, you must not hurt others. If you want others to respect your rights, you have to respect the rights of others.

As we walk, reality has it that we have to sway our hands (arms). Scientifically, it is our body's way of maintaining proper equilibrium as we walk.

But we do not have to sway our hands (arms) to maintain balance to the extent of hitting another person's face, thus, depriving him of the same right that we are enjoying for ourselves. Respect for others is a necessary ingredient of peace in a civilized society.

I PETER 2:17 (NIV) 
Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

By these simple standards of justice, we can easily judge that hurting other people especially the innocent is simply violating his inborn and natural right as a person. My heart grieves every time I hear news of this sort, that people who do not hurt others, who don't have any intention to hurt anybody, are being hurt.

 Hurting or causing any harm to innocent people is also causing harm and grief to them that love these people. What is worse is that the Creator of these people, who is the Creator of us all, is angered by this unjust act.

PROVERBS 14:31 
He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoreth him hath mercy on the poor.

PROVERBS 19:17 
He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

I am thinking that if you are going to hurt my mother, you are going to hurt me because I love her. And if I am going to hurt your mother, I am going to hurt you also because you love your mother. This is a very simple logic not understood by some religious fanatics who do not have respect for the right of others.

Let us look at this case – one reported out of fear but wanting exposure for truth. This was sent recently in Facebook to Sher Lock, one of the leading Iglesia ni Cristo Defenders who cry corruption within the INC. Ka Tenny mentioned here is the wife of the erstwhile Eraño Manalo, second generation Executive Minister of the INC, and the very mother of Eduardo Manalo, current Executive Minister.





In photo: Ka Tenny (Left) and her sister, Tita Ayds

There’s no way of verifying the truth of this story but news in the past affirms consistency of Eduardo Manalo’s neglect of his very own mother and rejection of his very own siblings. Since he had excommunicated his own mother and siblings, he uses the Bible to affirm his actions. He had refused to talk to them -

Matthew 12:46-50 (KJV) 
46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 
47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 
48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 
49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 
50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

In a report written by Jaymee T. Gamil (“Iglesia row flares up anew at QC property,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, 6/12/2016), guards were posted by the Iglesia ni Cristo barring the delivery of food and water at 36 Tandang Sora Avenue at Quezon City. This is the home of Eraño Manalo’s family where the expelled siblings of INC executive minister Eduardo Manalo remain holed up almost a year.

You would think this is family where children are involved, and would the Executive Minister deprive them of water and food? This is the home where you used to belong, the family of your father and your own blood mother and siblings. And would you deny them the right to water and food? 

Fortunately, there is still the Bayanihan Spirit among their members who fought it out to attend to those beleaguered inside. One day in June, they resolved to balance this deprivation.

I have known since my childhood that Filipinos are compassionate, hospitable, and kind. Our tradition of "bayanihan" proves this!

Bayanihan as defined, refers to the spirit of communal unity, work and cooperation to achieve a particular goal. Here’s a painting originally by Carlos “Botong” V. Francisco depicting the bayanihan spirit.


When 36 Tandang Sora Avenue of Quezon City was constantly crying for help, some braved it out to bring in food and water supplies on a set date – despite the guards around.

But how about this? The source is international. Originally written by CBC News of Canadian Broadcasting Corp, “Filipino man claims death threats from members of powerful Christian church” is about an un-ordained minister of the INC fleeing his former religion for his exposes about corruption (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/filipino-man-claims-death-threats-090006032.html).

Receiving death threats from a message placed on his parked car one day in March of this year, Lowell Menorca II and his family flew to Vietnam and then to Thailand.


The death threat was sent using Menorca’s family photo with a March 7 date, the face of his daughter marked with an “X” (Tetch Torres-Tupas, “Ex-INC minister who accused sect leaders goes missing — lawyer,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, 4/7/2016).

His pregnant wife and child were left behind while he sought refuge in Canada. Meanwhile, the INC lawyer was instructed to deny the charges in Canada and to disprove threat. Menorca claims he is still being stalked in Canada.

The same source says –

Iglesia Ni Cristo is the third largest faith in the Philippines after Catholicism and Islam, and it has hundreds of churches around the world, including many in Canada.

The INC preaches these are "the last days," and only its members will be saved. According to the church's doctrines, to be expelled means losing your salvation.

This may explain why despite what is being revealed about this organization, the members still stay and fight “to revert the INC to its old glory,” desperately taunting Eduardo Manalo and his leadership.

I am a Filipino and I know real Filipinos. I am old enough, being 70 years old, to know the kind of people Filipinos are. It is not common for Filipinos to kill fellow Filipinos, but religious influence make some Filipinos lose that value.

This is especially so to some denominations who consider themselves Christians, killing or causing harm to others, denominated also as Christians.

In my own case, it is public knowledge that ministers of the INC had been expressing their death wish over me in Net25. Is it because I tell the truth? It is my duty to expose untruths. It is part and parcel of my calling. Now, would you kill me for that? 

Caught on tape making death threats

What was not common among Filipinos of the past, is now a common scenario because of different false religious beliefs introduced to Filipinos, and that is "Do unto others what you would not like others to do unto you!"

Eastern religions give their rule as follows -

Confucianism: "Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you." (Analects 15:23)

Hindusim: “This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.” (Mahabharata 5:1517)

Buddhism: “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful." (Udanavarga 5:18)

I hope only for a Divine intervention to rid the Philippines of this demonic brutality of killing people especially the innocent because of religious perversions!

JOHN 16:2-3 
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, thetime cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. 
3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

MATTHEW 23:15 
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

These verses clearly illustrate the influence of false religions to humanity!

Media Bias or News for Sale?


The statement of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte about media and some journalists as "pera-pera lang yan" is an observation of an experienced public servant serving Filipinos in Southern Philippines for over 30 years.

It has always been my belief that, aside from tradition and common perception, if an aged and experienced person speaks, he must be speaking from experience, and consequently of the truth. Even the Bible recognizes the wisdom of the aged.

PROVERBS 20:29 
The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.

PROVERBS 16:31 
The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

JOB 12:12 (RSV) 
Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.

A person maybe speaking of lies and hypocrisy if such a person is beholden to someone else's dominion and power.

PROVERBS 29:12 
If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked.

But if he is not, then he can be truthful because he can see things from all sides with no one dictating to him.

For somebody like President-elect Duterte who is not being dictated or dominated even by his own religion when he said "I'm not anymore a Catholic," he deserves credibility.

We must go back to family planning. As for myself, I am no longer a Catholic but a Christian. And I have this deep, abiding faith in God to guide all of us, and for me, to have a clear mind. (http://www.pahomepage.com/news/philippines-new-leader-to-be-dictator-against-corruption)

Even friendship does not factor in Pres. Duterte’s decisions. When he said about Apollo Quibuloy that he does not have to consult anybody in manning the government of persons he personally knows, it proves outright that the man is not beholden even to his best of friends.

Duterte issued this statement after his close friend, Pastor Quiboloy, complained of being shut out from the selection of new cabinet secretaries:

My loyalty to my friends ends where my loyalty to my country begins. Wala 'yung usapan na we will have to... kunsultahin kita. I decide alone. Tanungin mo isa't isa iyan. Walang nagturo sa akin. Ako ang nag-isip. (Dharel Placido, “Duterte to friends: I decide alone,” ABS-CBN News, 22 May 2016)


President Duterte is very much like a preacher beholden not to any man but to God.

II CORINTHIANS 6:11 
O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.

II CORINTHIANS 7:4, 2 
4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you... 
2 Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.

The manner of speaking used by the Apostle Paul is not meant to please men but the person he is beholden to, and that is God.

GALATIANS 1:10 
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

I believe that not even the Iglesia ni Manalo, nor us, can influence the rightful judgment of President Duterte. That would be good news – for the sake of the country that it has long tried to corrupt for its recommendations to sensitive positions in the government. In the past, “The INC makes it easy for their political allies to know what they want in the form of lists of appointive positions they want secured for their own members.” (http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/64529-inc-lobbies-key-government-positions)

Duterte’s declaration about some members of the media and journalists is not a fairytale and a no non-sense observation. I also am thinking based on my experience among so-called "journalists" of giant networks in the Philippines.

Questions to media

Why is it that "news" that tend to destroy my reputation about invented cases my religious enemies filed against me in Philippine courts, is being sensationalized by "respected journalists" of giant networks?

Social responsibility suggests that media has an obligation to act for the benefit of society at large. It should not play favorites; it should not act based mainly on gain.

When media is scored as biased, facts are not checked; the story is not complete yet you impress that it is. So what you have then is garbage since you only have one side.

And why is it that the works of charity that the members of Church of God are doing like free medical missions daily for more than 10 years, free legal services, Libreng Sakay, Dunong Gulong, Transient Home, Free Education, Rescue in calamity stricken areas, are never being heard from these giant networks?

Meanwhile, a one-day medical mission of my enemies is very well publicized in almost all of these networks. Is it because they do something negative as in blocking the traffic in exchange for shouting to the world what they do once in a blue moon? Do they pay to be covered in the news?

For now, we can say there is bias in news coverage – in the selection, to begin with. That is the least charge we can give to media.


What is the real score? What is with media these days? Chances are that President Duterte knows about it. He said there are three kinds of journalists and two of them are: 1) Publicists or those who are paid to be mouthpieces of politicians; and 2) Extortionists, the vultures of journalism. (http://politics.com.ph/dutertes-3-kinds-journalists-crusaders-mouthpieces-vultures-extortionists-deserve-die/)

An event like the Kahit Isang Araw Lang - Takbo Para sa Libreng Kolehiyo (Just for One Day - Run for Free College) that benefited many poor countrymen, even attended by the PNP Chief and the DepEd Secretary, is not a part of their news. Is it because that it is not about those of the rich and famous religions? Here’s the excerpted rendition of Wikipedia -

Kahit Isang Araw Lang Unity Run was a run organized by UNTV.It was held in the Mall of Asia Pasay City Metro Manila Philippines on January 22, 2012. The advocacy of Kuya, Daniel Razon (CEO of UNTV) also known as "Mr. Public Service", was to create another historic fun run for education with at least 300,000 participants.

Razon said, "The Project is actually a fitting follow up of a similar event last held last 2010 that not only left a mark in history in terms of the number of participants, but for the realization of its advocacy of providing free college education to beneficiaries."

In partnership with the Department of Education, Razon and the Department of Education Secretary, Armin Luistro, made a deal in response to the shortage of some aspects of education.

It could be seen that nothing was written or heard of about the 2010 event – a clear snub of the TV giant networks because coverage of it was probably sacrilege. The organizers of the event are known as UNTV associates.

But was this news only for UNTV? This is an effort that is trying to help the poor get education, right? Where is now that social responsibility that media is supposed to be committed to?

At least, even if late [not a news cast], the Unity Run of 2012 was recognized by ABS-CBN's noontime show, "SHOWTIME" last February 17, 2012, almost a month after it was held.


In contrast, here are some of the not news worthy items of these giant networks: Two women engage in hair-pulling over a man and a quarrel of women just because of ice.

Are these the important things people need to know?

In contrast, an event that will give some 10M pesos to charitable institutions being held at Smart Araneta to help our poor countrymen was not the subject - never a subject - of their news.

What is the UNTV Cup?

UNTV Cup is a charity basketball league on Philippine TV, the first charity game dedicated for public servants and celebrities in the Philippines. It is an original concept by Daniel Razon tagged as Mr. Public Service and materialized by UNTV. The players are given a chance to play and at the same time donate their earnings to a charity of their own choice. The game was started on July 29, 2013.

Season 4 that concluded in March 2016 shows that the recipients were given a total of 10 million pesos.

AFP Cavaliers has received 4 million pesos prize (3.5 million pesos for beneficiaries and 500 thousand pesos for the champion team), while the 2nd placer, PNP Responders has received 2 million pesos prize (1.7 million pesos for the beneficiary and 300,000 for the team). 10 other teams will also receive cash grants for their donors and the team at the end of the season. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNTV_Cup_Season_4)

If the goal of the media is to inform, to educate and to entertain, why is there apparent media bias? Maybe President Duterte is right when he said "pera pera lang yan!”

Hypocrisy in Church, Journalism, Politicians, All


Let’s not beat about the bush. Let’s call a spade a spade.

This man is saying there is a problem of corruption on all levels and sectors. What to do? “Admit the problem, call out the elephant.” And what’s blocking it? Hypocrisy! Now, here’s the man calling a spade a spade.

"Mag prangkahan na tayo. It's better to tell the truth and agree on the truth. Rather than play bullshit with journalism. Church, politicians, police, all. There's a veil of hypocrisy. Let us unveil it so we can understand each other and live in a democracy that is run by truth, and not by vested interest of people who pretend. I will not stop. I can spend the whole six years of my presidency exposing you and attacking you... Boycott? Good if you disappear... I don't care if no one covers me... Make this trip your last in Davao." - Rodrigo Duterte, 6/2/2016 at start of a press conference, Malacanan of the South, Panacan, Davao City (http://www.sunstar.com.ph/davao/opinion/2016/06/03/editorial-elephant-room-477511)

Forthright honest people use straightforward words. And it better be.

I have come to appreciate from deep within a value, which I believe is with President- elect Rodrigo Duterte - by this declaration. This value is, however, devalued as the President said, by all institutions of men, whether it be religious, politics, media, and government. His observation that everywhere there is a veil of hypocrisy is biblically true!

TITUS 1:16 
They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Hypocrisy, as defined in the dictionary, is the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform; it is pretense.

Hypocrisy is overwhelmingly practiced in religions established by men. While they profess that they know God, they do monkey business, taking advantage of every opportunity for self-interests.

MICAH 3:11 
The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.

Lately, the President-elect took to task the Catholic Church for being the “most corrupt institution.” Next, he targeted media as some of them being corrupt. How about the justice system?

There is always a "season" or "time" for everything under the sun. And I believe the time has come for us to see real change.

ECCLESIASTES 3:1-8 
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

I, myself, thirst and hunger for justice because of the hypocrisy of people in religion and in government! I'm thankful that someone has thought of writing about the very doubts haunting my mind. Our unfortunate experience with the justice system in my beloved country is at most adverse! I was consoled when I read a book of a fearless journalist that exposed something I'm hesitant to lay open for fear of harassment!


This book, “Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court” by Marites Danguilan Vitug (Philippine Trust Media Group, Inc. 2010, 268 pp) wrote on Pages 93-94 -

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

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

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

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

The Velasco being mentioned in the book is Presbitero J. Velasco Jr., an incumbent Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. In fact, Velasco sued the author for libel and sought P1-M in damages - the first sitting SC justice to ever file a libel case against a journalist. He filed another case when the article appeared in Vitug's book "Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court." He later withdrew one of the libel cases. (Purple Romero, “Justice Presbitero Velasco: Faced with 'ethical' issues,” RapplerDotCom, July 27, 2012,)

What about the links of “church and court?” If a group forcefully lobbies, as is the habit of the Iglesia ni Cristo, for the endorsement of a justice, one can be sure there’s a desiderata to be reckoned with. Where then is justice to be found in their ponente? In “INC lobbies for key gov’t positions,” Aries Rufo (RapplerDotCom, July 23, 2015) wrote -

Among the justices who were beneficiaries of INC endorsements are incumbent SC Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco and retired SC justice Ruben T. Reyes. The INC also backed them when they were appointed to the Court of Appeals initially. Arroyo also appointed Reynaldo Wycoco, a retired general and INC member, as NBI chief. Wycoco died in 2005. (http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/64529-inc-lobbies-key-government-positions).

I see light in these transformational change initiatives that the President-elect is launching where discipline is to be built.

Go, President Duterte! We are praying for you. And if the giant media entities will leave you, so be it. We are here to help you. You can use the facilities of UNTV for free to better serve the Filipino people! May God bless you!

Sincerely yours,

Brother Eli

The Roman Catholic Church: Mega-rich Yet Begging


There is not an iota of doubt that the Roman Catholic Church is very rich. But is it pro-poor?

First, the Philippine Security Exchange (PSE) records show that the RCC is a major player in the stock market.

With billions of pesos in funds locked in shares, the RCC has investments in banking, oil, information technology, energy, food and beverages, construction, and mining.

Specifically, RCC’s archdioceses are top stockholders in companies such as the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Philex Mining Corporation (PX), San Miguel Corporation (SMC), Ayala Corporation (AC), and Phinma Corporation (PHN), among others.

For Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI) alone, the Archdiocese of Manila has stock investments of almost 328 million shares valued at 30 Billion Pesos; Archdiocese of Zamboanga has 269,982 shares valued at 25.378 million pesos, and Archdiocese of Jaro has 491, 385 shares valued at 46.19 million pesos. (Aries Rufo, “Billions of pesos in Church funds locked in stocks,” Rappler, 1/11/2015).

From the same report, below are the latest available files on RCC funds locked in stocks. Table 1 declares the stocks of the Archdiocese of Manila in five companies.


The same report shows a Table 2 indicating stocks of other Archdioceses outside of Manila and their values in Philippine pesos.


Second, the RCC acts like it is cash-strapped.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM) is one of the richest Catholic dioceses in the entire world. So says a report that also tackled the reconstruction and renovation of the Manila Cathedral, the ‘Mother church’ in the Philippines by a supposed cash-strapped diocese. Some few years back, then Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle appealed for help to realize one of the most expensive ventures of the Archdiocese of Manila. Repair and construction cost was initially pegged at P40 million - P50 million, ballooning to P136 million after some two years.

Donors were quick to respond to Tagle’s appeal for help, with San Miguel Corp president Ramon Ang and Metrobank chairman George Ty easily shelling out P50 million and P20 million, respectively. There were also other private donors who gave huge sums of money, as well as the “simple people” who gave loose coins for the reconstruction of the cathedral.

Given its appeal for help, many would assume the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM) is cash-strapped. But in reality, it is overflowing with money, tucked in bonds, foreign currency deposits and stocks investments, maintaining its position as one of the richest Catholic dioceses in the entire world. (Aries Rufo, “Can we know how rich the Catholic Church is?” RapplerDotCom, 1/19/2015)

Third, the RCC asks for gifts from government.

Flashback to 2011, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) named a priest and several Catholic bishops who were given sports utility vehicles (SUVs) during the time of then President Gloria Arroyo. The agency charged these to its charity fund (Perseus Echeminada, “Bishops in PCSO scam identified,” Philippine Star, 6/20/2011).

The seven bishops obtained the controversial vehicles using funds released by the PCSO supposedly in exchange for their loyalty. [Note: Gloria Arroyo figured in corruption charges of rigging the elections of 2004 in her favor. In the “Hello Garci” scandal, bishops were expected by the public to condemn it, but there was none of it.] The grant sparked a Senate investigation and the bishops agreed to surrender the vehicles. According to the Commission on Audit (COA), the grant of the five vehicles amounting to P6.940 million violates the constitutional provision that “no public money or property shall be appropriated, applied or employed directly or indirectly, for the use of, benefit or support to any sect, church, denomination… except when such priest, preacher or dignitary is assigned to the Armed Forces or to any penal institution, or government orphanage or leprosarium.” 


Days later, news have it that a fund-raising campaign was organized by lay leaders belonging to the Coalition for Family and Life to help the now “car-less” prelates get new vehicles.

Romulo Macalintal together with Lito Atienza, Macalintal led a campaign to replace the vehicles returned by Catholic bishops in the wake of the recent PCSO scandal. In less than two weeks of fundraising, donations exceeded a million pesos.

But are they the poor?

There are reactions from the public about the RCC -

But it’s not the amount of donations that I consider miraculous. Nor is it the fact that they were collected in less than half a month. The fact that Macalintal managed to convince so many that the bishops needed money — now that’s a miracle….

All I’m saying is that if you’re really pro-poor, you should be the ones giving to the poor, not the other way around. The question is, have the bishops accumulated wealth so that they could be pro-poor? Or have they pretended to be pro-poor so that they could accumulate wealth? (Red Tani, “Blessed are the Poor, said the Billionaire Bishops,”7/27/2011/FilipinoFreethinkersDotOrg).

Meanwhile, Lawyer Aleta Tolentino, a Philippine Charity Sweepstake Office (PCSO) director, impressed that a bishop that asked Gloria Arroyo for a car as birthday gift used the name of the poor. 

Tolentino reportedly said –

We are not against the Church. We are just denouncing what happened in the past—corruption of government funds, which is prohibited by the Constitution itself. Would the bishops rather that we keep mum or we lie about it? Would they want us to just keep quiet about this?” (Tina G. Santos, “Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos asked Gloria Arroyo for a car as b’day gift,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, 7/6/2011).

Manila Standard Columnist Elizabeth Angsioco in her article, “The Church of the Poor,” wrote –

This is something that only few of us know: the Philippine Roman Catholic Church is a multi-billionaire religious and business organization. Yes, the Church is mega-rich.

We have always known that the Church, to which at least 80 per cent of Filipinos belong, is rich. Its properties like cathedrals and other big churches, expensive private Catholic colleges and universities all over the country, private hospitals, big buildings and huge tracts of land for their seminaries, etc. are there for people to see. We have always thought this as a given, normal. After all, the Church has been here longer than any of us.

No one really cared to approximate how rich the bishops really are and what the church can do if it really wanted to help poor Catholics. (http://propinoy.net/2011/05/29/the-church-of-the-poor/)

Angsioco, head of Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP), goes on to enumerate the billions of stocks that the RCC has and their value in pesos. She makes a calculation what these billions can do. In the end she says the RCC is in a very good position to remove millions of families from poverty.

The Church positions itself as the vanguard of morality. Yet, while it sits on at least P17.5 billion, it continues to solicit donations from the poor instead of helping them have a better life. The Church proclaims itself as the protector of life. Yet it doesn’t use its billions to save the Catholic poor from hunger, sickness, and death.

Why don’t we see anything wrong with the bishop in all his finery standing beside the Catholic beggar? Is it really acceptable that cathedrals are in the same community of Catholic slum dwellers?

When will the Roman Catholic Church realize that as the multi-billionaire church of the millions of poor Filipino Catholics, it is its moral responsibility to substantially help its flock? (http://propinoy.net/2011/05/29/the-church-of-the-poor/)

Note that the latest report on value of BPI shares of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila is P30 billion. In 2011, it was P17.5 billion. Now, contrast their lying billions to the fact that the Philippine Government is badly in debt. Yet, they managed to ask vehicles “for the poor.”

What are the stocks for with the poor around?

One archbishop reasoned out that they have only inherited their wealth from the Spanish friars so they have to protect and nourish it! The wealth of the Spanish friars were accumulated in deceiving our Filipino forefathers, even to the extent of selling indulgences, pardoning thieves and criminals in exchange for their money!

Cannot the bishops now use their wealth taken from Filipinos of yesteryears to the poor Filipinos of the present generation? Cannot they exempt a poor Filipino from paying baptismal fees, marriage fees, and many others? It is the teaching of the Gospel to tend to the poor.

In truth, the coffers of the Roman Catholic Church are full compared to that of the government of the Philippines. It is that plain and simple. To date, the government has an outstanding foreign debt of US$77.659 billion (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/External_debt_of_the_Philippines), an obligation of the people of the Philippines to pay. Meanwhile, the Roman Catholic Church with its billions of investments earns interests without any obligation to pay any tax - unlike the ordinary hardworking Filipino.

Just a quick glance at the facts and figures shows clear indication of injustice and inequity.

I am reminded of a verse in Ezequiel that says -

EZEKIEL 34:2-4
2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.
4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.

There are many Catholics sleeping in the streets and slums of Metro Manila some of whom are sleeping in the cold just beside and in front of the Catholic Quiapo Church - a breathe away from where the bishop sleeps in comfort inside! Only the walls of the church separate them.


But then they continuously ask for fees in baptism, confirmation, wedding ceremonies, masses, and other services, and donations practically selling all kinds of services and rituals, with their members as captive market, 80 percent of whom are living below the poverty line.

I PETER 4:10
As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

A good steward of God uses the gifts he received to minister or to help others. But Catholic priests are not willing to obey this scriptural injunction.

MICAH 3:11
The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.

The way it is behaving, the Roman Catholic Church is a money making institution! It is not pro-poor; more yet, it acts as a beggar.

Bible: The Most Misused Book of All Time


Statistics show that, to date, some six billion copies of the Bible were sold!


Why do I say that the Bible is the most misused of all books? Religious leaders, who established their own religion using the Bible (allegedly) as their basis, teach contradicting beliefs and faith. Misused, the written word of God in the Bible will not bring out sound results.

I TIMOTHY 1:8 
But we know that the law is good, if a man uses it lawfully;

Polluted by ideas of men, the goodness in God’s word is tainted. The truth must be nothing but the truth;

JOHN 17:17 
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

PROVERBS 30:6 
Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

Alloyed with lies of men, the truth is lost!

The teachings of the Iglesia ni Cristo ni Manalo (INCM), that the unity among Christians taught by the Lord Jesus includes unity in voting in an election, is not a Biblical truth! It is an idea from Manalo’s mind that he injected to the minds of his blind followers. Let us examine this in the light of the Scriptures.

PSALMS 133:1 
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is good and pleasant for the people of God to dwell together in unity. But what factor brings forth goodness in unity?

ROMANS 7:12 
Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

Unity must be governed by God’s law, by the Gospel. The first-century Christians were admonished by Paul the Apostle to unite in faith of the Gospel.

I CORINTHIANS 1:10 
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

PHILIPPIANS 1:27 (RSV) 
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,

Note that the unity in mind and spirit taught by the Apostle Paul to the true Christian church is unity in the Gospel, not in elections or in any other worldly affairs!

Not all unity brings good and pleasant results! Deacons and members of the Iglesia ni Cristo ni Manalo, with a minister present, were in unity when they brutally murdered five Catholic students of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) just because of misunderstanding in a basketball game.

In the book Supreme Court Reports Annotated, Volume 339, August 28, 2000, People vs. Abella, we can read:


Unity among members of the Iglesia ni Cristo ni Manalo is severely influenced by the misinterpretation of biblical texts by their blind leaders! This did not bring pleasant and good results! They seemed to be glued up together in doing criminal acts.



Philippine Daily Inquirer 
By Ramon Tulfo 
First Posted 02:40:00 07/07/2009

Merrymaking in the village of San Juan, Apalit, Pampanga turned violent when a Catholic fiesta celebrator doused water on an Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) minister.

The incident took place during the feast of St. John the Baptist when local folks doused water on passersby in the streets. Joel Banag, 31, a tricycle driver, splashed water on a purported Iglesia minister whom he didn’t recognize. The INC preacher allegedly punched Banag, who punched him back. They were pacified and Banag went home.

But the incident didn’t end there. A group of alleged INC members, who were armed, went to Banag’s house and asked him to come out. Banag didn’t come out, fearing retaliation. At this point, Senior Police Officer 1 Avelino Balingit Jr. of the Apalit police force, an alleged INC member, barged into Banag’s house and arrested him without a warrant. While Banag was being marched to the police precinct, the INC mob allegedly beat him to a pulp. He arrived at the station bloodied and half naked as his shirt was allegedly torn by the mob.

If INC Bishop Erano “Ka Erdie” Manalo reads this, I’m sure he’ll be fuming mad over the abusive members.

(Source:http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/metro/view/20090707-214205/Trillanes-should-look-at-himself-in-the-mirror)

Note that in all these criminal acts, unity among Iglesia ni Cristo ni Manalo members is very much apparent. If they have the courage to display unity in their unlawful acts, they will surely be more proud in supporting a candidate dictated to them by their leaders, which later can be influenced, by the belief that they won the elections because of their votes, followed by immeasurable favors and protection from these corrupt politicians.

But what fashioned the thinking of the Manalo’s to stand firm on their teachings on bloc voting?

We have to learn from history!

God Bless,

Bro. Eli Soriano

Meaning of Words and Meaning Them


The true meaning of a word or the thought in it depends on how it is used by the speaker or the writer; there are words colloquial, legal, idiomatic, and many more. But words used in a colloquial manner may imply a very different meaning when it is used in a biblical way.

One good example is the English word, "know." In a court of law, the presiding judge may ask someone in the witness stand, "Do you know the accused?" A judge sometimes is satisfied when a witness points with his index finger to somebody inside the courtroom.

Colloquially, someone may say, "I know the President because he, with his family,were our neighbors ten years ago."

These are the common uses of the word "know".

Biblically, the word "know," yâda‛ in Hebrew and ginōskō in Greek, may mean a deeper thing especially when used between a man and a woman.

GENESIS 4:1, 25 
1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bore Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 
25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bore a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.

It is clear in theses verses that the word "know" or "knew" implies sexual intercourse.

Joseph had known Mary, contrary to the belief of the Catholic Church that Mary was forever a virgin. In fact, he bore at least six children with Mary.

MATTHEW 1:24-25 
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

The phrase, "knew her not till" implies that after the birth of the Firstborn Jesus, Mary was known to Joseph, having at least six children with him.

Jesus was described as the firstborn, strengthening the idea that there were other children born to Mary.

MARK 6:3 
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
 
The phrase, "are not his sisters here with us?" implies that Jesus Christ has at least two sisters making his brethren at the very least six!

What about election?

The word "election," as we know colloquially, is a democratic process whereby people of a nation, like the Philippines, elect or vote for a candidate for a particular government office.

In the Bible, God elects. Election in the Bible means to choose somebody to be given or to be gifted of a particular office.

I THESSALONIANS 1:4 
Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

It is for a particular function that a Christian is elected by God.

II PETER 1:10 
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

Why is it that in the Bible, God is the person that elects or that chooses someone for a particular office? The logic is wise and sensible. God knows a man and everything in him.

JOHN 2:24-25 
24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 
25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

God knows the deepest secret of the most intricate part of our being.

JEREMIAH 17:9-10 
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 
10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

God's choices are sure and he does it without repentance.

THE ROMANS 11:29 
For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

However, it is different with mankind: our choices are not always sure.

We humans choose or elect, but sometimes and most of the time we end up in repentance because we made the wrong choice. At times, the repentance is made when the one we elected proves the contrary to our hopes.

The Filipino people after voting for a particular candidate to the highest office in the land end up grieving and complaining because of frustrations and broken promises made by politicians. Our choices are not always sure, and many things factor into the fulfillment of those promises. We can only hope they mean what they promised.

The overwhelming mandate and trust given to President elect Rodrigo Duterte, according to some analysts, is because of his promise to the electorate that he will curve criminality, drug addiction, and corruption within a period of six months. Such is the expectation of a people longing for justice and genuine reform in government. Honestly speaking, I am one of them.

Mabuhay ka Presidente! We are praying for you and for the entire nation!

Sincerely yours,

Brother Eli