Bro. Daniel Razon Joins Tribute Concert for Massacre Victims

“I protest.”

This is the two-word cry and theme of the recent benefit concert held in the Philippines, aimed to help the bereaved relatives of the 57 innocent civilians, 32 of which are journalists, mercilessly ambushed in Ampatuan, Maguindanao. MCGI Vice Presiding Minister Bro. Daniel Razon was one of the special performers.

A broadcast journalist by profession, Bro. Daniel Razon is an active advocate of press freedom and is against the curtailment of socio-political and religious rights. His joining in the concert was to raise funds to support the immediate families of the Maguindanao carnage victims, and to also remember four of his fellow journalists who died in the line of duty and by happenstance worked with him in the same station, UNTV 37.

Bro. Razon rendered novelty Filipino songs reflecting nationalism and national integrity. For his introductory part, he sang his own composition entitled “Pag-asa ng Puso” (Hope of the Heart), an inspiring spiritual song lifted from his personal experiences of life’s pains and hopes, to which attending MCGI members fondly sang with.

During the concert’s recognition break Bro. Daniel Razon acknowledged Bro. Eli Soriano as a major inspiration for continuing doing good to others. He reminisced how Bro. Soriano taught him in his childhood a rule which was to become a guiding principle in his endeavors – “Child, remember this, that no good deed shall bear evil fruit.”

He further asserted that “whatever circumstance brings us, be it good or evil, we must pursue doing good unto all men, regardless of their race, creed, or religion, ” a quote that earned the admiration and applause of both audience and performers.

The concert was inspired from Bro. Daniel Razon’s Isang Araw Lang (Just One Day) movement, a campaign he set out to encourage people to do an act of kindness and goodness even for just a day. The campaign in turn was taken from the biblical mandate in Galatians 6:10.

The Vice-Presiding Minister also holds an outstanding number of public service programs benefitting mostly the elderly and the poor.  Notable among these projects are the free medical services and legal consultation that is opened daily for the public at the UNTV compound, where telecast of Bro Daniel’s programs are being conducted.

Bible Readers (Bread) Society International and UNTV are event organizers. Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International was event management arm of the successful concert, which was attended by more than 20,000 people.

(Written by: Cecile Vizcaya)

Bro. Eli Soriano Graces Benefit Concert for Maguindanao Dead

Members Church of God International Presiding Minister Bro. Eli Soriano expressed sympathy to journalists who are abused, threatened, and sometimes killed while fulfilling their duty as he related some experiences that mirror the impartiality of the Philippine justice system.

Speaking before the crowd who attended the Protest Broadcast 3 concert at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Philippines on May 17 via Internet, Bro. Eli complained how he himself had fallen prey to a most undesirable collaboration between corrupt government officials and malicious religious “enemies of the Gospel he preaches”.

The award-winning host of the phenomenonal television program Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) mentioned his chief predicament: “Why is there no justice done unto me, when this government swore to do justice to every Filipino?”

The injustices he spoke of include the series of suspensions done to his widely-viewed program and to his person, lawsuits filed against him which were dismissed for lack of merit but were again brought for litigation by religious and government conspirators, stoppage of his public service efforts in the country, and human rights violations committed against the organization he leads, the Members Church of God International (MCGI). MCGI is locally known for its television program, Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path).

He expressed his frustration with the current government from which he received “the worst treatment for being truthful.” Bro. Soriano quotes, “I would like to believe with a senator’s statement that in the Philippines, there is a culture of corruption. I have lost hope with the incumbent administration. That is why I am appealing to the next president and the legislators who were elected. Never side with only one person. Side with the Filipinos [who put you to power]. I likewise appeal to you my countrymen. Get the essence of what I am talking about. I talk as an educated man.”

Still, Bro. Eli wished for the incumbent president’s health, well-being, and better performance now that she is elected to Congress.

Furthermore, Bro. Soriano denounced endorsements by purportedly religious king-and-queen-makers and bloc voters which are “incredible, bogus, and misleading people to believing that they are powerful, when they aren’t.” He pointed to the current poll counts which contradict the decree of these religious leaders who have promised politicians a substantial number of votes enough to catapult them to the highest seat in the government.

Bro. Eli presented a video of a Davao-based religious leader who decreed in February 2005 the former’s ruin in six months. He quips, “Thank God, it’s been five years since that decree, and look, I’m still alive.” The same religious leader decreed that the administration’s bet will be the next president. Unfortunately, the administration’s candidate conceded days even before the poll counts were finished. Bro. Soriano says, “Thank God that even in the defeat of these politicians, we prove which prophets are fraud.” He strenghtened this by citing Deuteronomy 18:22 which tells not to fear prophets whose words do not happen as such are said.

He also rebuked another church which practices bloc voting, that talks the doctrine of excommunication for its members who “break the unity of the church even in political matters,” calling it “unfair.”

Meanwhile, Bro. Soriano considered the importance of media in informing the people of events as they are, even how unpleasant these events may seem. He speaks of the slain media men, “The journalists who were killed in Maguindanao only wanted to get the news. Whoever is responsible for this crime must pay.”

On a lighter note, Bro. Eli, now on his third decade of Gospel broadcast, thanked UNTV 37 President Hilarion “Larry” Henares for the “gracious support provided by the station which was instrumental in bringing truthful and public-service oriented broadcast to the people, for advocating projects that promote integrity and justice, and for allowing him to tell the world that amidst all sprouting religious controversies and conflicts, there is a religion that cares.” He also thanked the patrons of the concert for their support to the worthwhile cause.

Bro. Eli amusedly admitted that he cannot anymore escape the title as a religious figure. He says his very name spells religion everywhere he went. The fact goes with his citing of Bible verses even at the concert during his 30-minute talk.

He ended his speech with a serenade telling great desire to see his brethren and countrymen if given a chance to return to the Philippines, under a more humane government.

The concert, which aims to raise funds for the families of the 57 innocent civilians and journalists killed in Maguindanao last year, was attended by an estimated 20,000 audience that had media practitioners, businessmen, foreign observers, and some newly-elected government officials.

(Written by: Cecile Vizcaya)

Bro. Eli Soriano Appeals Prayers for Philippines’ New Leads

The MCGI Presiding Minister in silence while preparing for a scheduled broadcast of The Old Path program.

A leader hopes for the best.

This is the impression that MCGI Presiding Minister Bro. Eli Soriano made in his afternoon sermon during Thanksgiving ceremonies last Saturday (May 15).

Bro. Soriano called out to his countrymen to pray for the new elected officials. Citing I Timothy 2: 1-3, he relates, “Whoever wins, let us pray for them, so that we may live peacefully.”

With the news of Noynoy Aquino’s stint to become the 15th Philippine president, Bro. Soriano hopes that “he [referring to Noynoy] understands that his win was not prompted by religious endorsement, but it is a clear decision of the people. Noynoy leads by a clean and legal vote.”

This after speculations that Aquino won by popular religious bloc voting, which he [Bro. Soriano] thinks as misleading. News reports supporting this indicate that certain religious bloc votes failed to deliver their endorsed candidates to national office, including the blessing made for the incumbent administration’s standard-bearer.

Religious bloc vote has been sought for by politicians aiming to hold an elective post in the government. This political strategy had been used for decades, especially during national elections where competition is at its strongest.

Meanwhile, Bro. Soriano reiterated his bid over Twitter for the new officials to “rule the country with justice and integrity.”

(Written by: Cecile Vizcaya)

Bro. Eli Soriano Tweets Tips for Philippine Polls

"To my countrymen and politicians: When elected, be a president to be followed! Not a president to follow the caprices of religious leaders! -- Bro. Eli Soriano"

From Twitter, Bro. Eli Soriano tweets tips and advice to his online followers in time for the very controversial and much-anticipated automated polls in the Philippines, a first in the country’s election history.

His hints to voters are biblically-inspired guides in choosing the country’s next political leaders.

One of his tweets read – To my countrymen and politicians: When elected, be a president to be followed! Not a president to follow the caprices of religious leaders! He supported this by citing Romans 13:1-5.

Bro. Soriano, a leader himself in the religious arena, advised would-be leaders to “use [your] power in leading the people with justice and equity, as power is established by God.”

He has faith that “the Lord will guide the Filipinos in choosing another leader for the good of the entire country, and that men and women of integrity and principles will be put to power.”

His concern for people drooling over the election mania is reflected in his tweet cautioning his fellow voters “not to place their life to politics, as voting is only a part of social life, and not as significant as the purpose of one’s existence.” This following reports of election-related violence and harassments which have dotted Philippine polls.

Although abroad for miles in more than five years, Bro. Soriano tweets his optimistic wish for his home country “May the LORD bless the Philippines!”

(Written by: Cecile Vizcaya)