Present: Isaias Samson Jr. and Edwil Zabala
Host: Pia Hontiveros
News Outlet: CNN Philippines
I was not impressed with either Bro.Samson’s or Bro. Zabala’s attempt to address the issue of the current church crisis and even more specifically their attempt to defend their stance concerning the “illegal detention” case against eight members of the Church Council.
BRO. EDWIL ZABALA
First off, you should show up in person. Let me put this plain and simple “You’re not the spokesperson for the U.S. or the United Nations. You’re a spokesperson for a church minority in the Philippines!” This means you’re not as important (as you think you are) to not be present during a television interview by a world renowned media organization (CNN) that is being broadcasted both nationally and internationally. Is this a joke to you and to the rest of the public relations team of Central? Show up in person next time. Cant make it you say? Send someone else as opposed to hiding behind a phone. You’re no better than a keyboard commando.
Secondly, do not dodge the questions. There is nothing “vague” about the allegations concerning corruption. Let me illustrate it for you this way since you and your team cannot seem to comprehend the gravity of your refusal to provide solid evidence that the Church Administration has not stolen from the brethren: “The most powerful man in the free world, U.S. President Obama, was pestered by his political adversaries with allegations that he was not a U.S. born citizen, ergo not qualified to be the president of the country. He authorized the White House to release his original birth certificate to put a stop to all the nonsense and in order for the whole nation to move on.” TA DA! That’s how it’s done. Sure you can go back to “the Defenders don’t have solid evidence”… okay? Maybe no evidence to hold up in court and put your leadership team in jail, but there is certainly enough evidence for the Church to be split and for the offerings to go down. Also can you not see how confused and hurt the brethren are by the possibility of this betrayal from the Church Administration? To me it really only comes down to two things:
- The Church Administration is too stubborn and uninspired to heal the Church. They have evidence that no corruption was present, but they could care less about the brethren who are confused.
- The Church Administration has no evidence to disprove corruption. Therefore, they stall as long as they can, try to distract the brethren with irrelevant issues, and pressure the Philippine government to drop any case against them.
Well which one is it Bro. Zabala? Can you or can you not disprove that there is corruption among your colleagues?
Last but not least, I never heard you say “there was no illegal detention“. What I really heard was that “the Church has it’s own ways of dealing with disobedience to the leadership that may or may not include putting armed guards outside of someone’s house and in result indirectly threatening them to not leave“. That might be acceptable within the Church but that is not in accordance with the laws of man. The Church has no right to withhold the legal documentation of a citizen of the Philippines. The Church has no legal right to have prevented Bro.Samson from leaving his home or for his wife to see the doctor. IF you in anyway shape or form made Bro. Samson feel threatened to make him stay within the confines of his house, he has legal grounds for “illegal detention”. If you have confiscated his legal documentation and personal electronic devices without his approval OR if you refused to return said items after he has asked from them to be returned… well that is called “theft” and yes, that is against the law.
BRO. ISAIAS SAMSON JR.
My biggest gripe about your interview responses is your insistence in using esoteric concepts and terminologies. People outside of the Church will think they understand it but they really do not.. not like the way that we, the members of the Church, do. An example of this is when you called people outside of the Church “sanlitbutan (7:33)” or when you quite so effectively isolated the Church and your case by proclaiming that the Iglesia ni Cristo are the only ones that are going to be saved (video 2:00). You are not doing the movement or your case any favors. You are not gaining any more support by doing this. You are in fact giving ammo to the adversaries of the Church to make more fun of us and to further embarrass us as an organization. Were the words that you said true? Sure, I personally believe so. But what you lacked in your interviews is the mental presence to answer the questions using neutral language or correct political terms.
Also, you did not answer this question from Pia: “Have you ever spoken to Eduardo Manalo himself about this [corruption and abductions]?”. Here are the only two real answers to this question:
- Yes you spoke to him and he did not listen to you. However, if the Executive Minister was made aware of the corruptions and yet refused to launch an official investigation concerning mismanagement of Church funds and the rumors turned out to be true… then he would most likely be deposed from his position after this crisis is over.
- No you didn’t speak to him, therefore you did not go through the proper channels of notifying the leaders of the Church concerning supposed corruption within its leadership team
So which one is it? Pia seems convinced that you did speak with him.
Here is an even better question: “Did the Church Council put you under house arrest with the approval of the Executive Minister?” I am inclined to believe that the Executive Minister authorized your house arrest especially during this time that the Church Council is under the microscope of the public. The Council would have ensured that their actions were sanctioned by the Executive Minister. If so, the next logical question is “Is the Executive Minister also not guilty of your illegal detainment when he approved it and if so, why is he not part of the case against the Church Council?” I hope that God is with you in this decision to withhold the truth. You might be trying to save the Executive Minister from his previous actions at the expense of the well-being of the Church and her future state but please do realize that withholding the whole truth is as evil as telling a lie for there is no good form of lying. Whether it is a lie, a white lie, or only telling part of the truth… it is a lie and it is punishable by God (Proverbs 6:16-19).
Both men don’t get it. The only real result of this interview was that the Church name was hurt. They don’t realize that the only true way to heal the Church is to provide the truth but it seems that both sides are working in the shadows to accomplish their own ulterior objectives. They do not understand that in order to quell the unrest within everyone’s hearts and to mitigate the spiritual pain that the Church is experiencing, they must speak the truth, only the truth, and all of the truth and in result “win the hearts and mind of the brethren“.