Inquirer is now party to harassment of Ang Dating Daan preacher
Negative and erroneous news were reportedly coming out the past weeks in the Philippines against a religious leader who is a staunch critic of the influential Philippine-based Iglesia ni Cristo. Citizen journalists and bloggers claimed these as part of a propaganda and clear sign of religious persecution.
The tabloid media are widely used in the religious feud between the Erano Manalo's Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) and Bro. Eli Soriano of the Ang Dating Daan. Recently, the broadsheets are seen the latest participants in this propaganda by Soriano's detractors and critics.
The two groups' riff stemmed from Soriano's sharp critique of the doctrines of the INC such as Christ as mere man and holding Holy Supper in the morning.
Tabloid newspapers are generally sensationalistic and biased in the Philippines. Usually, facts and information are muddled with gossips and controversies. The Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Philippine Star, two of the Philippine's leading broadsheets, recently came out with news reports that citizen journalists claimed erroneously included aspects of a dismissed case of the religious leader.
The article goes on to say that Soriano was "indicted for the rape of his male follower at the regional trial court of Macabebe, Pampanga," but the writer conveniently forgot to mention that the case has been 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.
Accordingly, the document mentioned in an article titled Portrait of the "raped" man for whom the Interpol would mobilize by Jane Abao showed that the case filed by Daniel Veridiano against Soriano was already junked by courts -
"The foregoing facts, together with the rift going on between the INC and the ADD, which we cannot deny, only show that the complainant was indisputably ill-motivated from the inception, and these necessarily, without any scintilla of doubt, substantially affect, if not lessen, his credibility as an unperjured affiant. Wherefore, premises having been considered, the undersigned recommends the DISMISSAL, as he hereby DISMISSES, the complaint for rape filed by Daniel Veridiano against Eliseo Soriano docketed herein as I.S. N0. 05-I-2459 and 2460."
Among other latest erroneous media coverages include People's Journal's Alfred Dalizon report of Soriano being on Interpol's watchlist of most wanted. Dalizon erroneously reported that a Red Notice from the Interpol is an international warrant.
Alfred P. Dalizon, writing in World News Network on Journal online dated August 19, 2008, said that International Evangelist, Bro. Eliseo Soriano, is wanted for rape and that an international warrant of arrest is out for him. The story did not include much details but came with generic terms and did not explain how come the Interpol is suddenly in the picture. The offices he mentioned like the Philippine National Police did not even carry a single name.
"No conclusion could be made then except that new information on religion in the country has to be made, Abao said writing in Newsvine. There is religious persecution in the country ... More importantly, it has affirmed the role of media that cover these secrets from the eyes of the peering public."
To date, Abao's article which was published August 26 were only able to gather 126 votes and 329 comments. Participants are unanimous in lambasting the justice and media systems in the country.