O Brother Where Art Thou? Part 3
The 69 million peso question
Let me tell you a tale of greed and corruption. This is a story of a televangelist who managed to take control of church properties worth 69 million pesos from previous church. These properties when registered then to his previous church but when he started a new church he managed to get these properties registered to his name. In between registrations 63 millions pesos worth of properties cannot be accounted for. The year was 1993. By 2000, this self-proclaimed "the only sensible preacher today", the properties of the church as down to a measly 55 thousand pesos. When his chief security found out about this, he confronted the leader. The "sensible preacher" had no sensible explanation which prompted the chief security to call a press conference and divulge this obvious corruption.
Many members were disappointed, disgruntled and dismayed by the preachers embezzlement of church monies which prompted them to leave the church. The "sensible preacher", afraid that he would lose all the members of his church, was forced to explain himself and the loss of church properties. He read a letter, supposedly written by him, promising to transfer the ownership of church properties to the church.
Admitted violating church rules
With this obvious blunder, he effectively admitted having taken ownership of church properties, thus admitted to violating Article IV, Section 1 of the Articles of Incorporation of his church which states that all church properties must be in the name of the church. Unknown to members of his church, hectares of land that was supposed to be in the name of the church are now in the name of the "sensible preacher".
Swimming in money
In 2001, this preacher attempted to mortgage the only convention center the church had and used for its thanksgiving. The building was appraised at almost 335 million pesos. The center had an annual sales income of more than 1 billion pesos. Why a church building would have sales income could only be because it is also used for business. It is widely known that food vendors abound inside the only church property that is dedicated for "worship".
If one would add the sum of money donated by its poor members from 1980 to 2005, this would add another 1 billion pesos to the coffer of the church, not counting the yearly, mid-year and quarterly special contributions of poor members. This building is registered under his name, not the church.
In addition to this income which would make the Ayala's green with envy, the "sensible preacher" owns a myriad of businesses, including:
- an animal farm, apartments
- drinking water
- poultry and piggery feed supply
- Photo and Video processing
- fastfood restaurant and lumpia factory (remember the lumpia made from discarded vegetables)
- auto supply store
- a beach resort
- gas stations
- fish farming ponds
- and many others.
With all this wealth, one would think this church, headed by "the only sensible preacher of our time" would have at least one descent place to perform their kind of worship. Not one has been built since its inception. Where does all the monies go?
adapted from a book by Daniel S. Veridiano.
truthcaster repost from resbak.com
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Oakland, California, United States