Is ABS-CBN bias in reporting? The Iglesia Ni Cristo members say yes and they launched a campaign to stop it.
The members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ), a global independent religious organization originated in the Philippines stand against irresponsible journalism by some local media entities—ABS-CBN, Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), and Rappler.
Iglesia Ni Cristo members are encouraging their brethren in the Church to boycott ABS-CBN, PDI, and Rappler citing he reason that these media entities are biased in reporting about the issues surrounding the Church.
Some disgruntled expelled ministers and members have been throwing different accusations against the administration of the Church through the media. Iglesia Ni Cristo Members noticed that among all newspaper companies, radio and television network in the Philippines, ABS-CBN, PDI, and Rappler are one-sided in presenting their stories.
Over the past several months, Iglesia Ni Cristo netizens have expressing their observations regarding the inaccuracy and unfair reporting of these media organizations. A vast majority of the members who don’t use the internet believed that some reporters are obviously persecuting the Church, and they want to do something to protect their faith.
Iglesia Ni Cristo members united to boycott ABS-CBN
A recent report from Inquirer.net quoted Iglesia Ni Cristo spokesperson Edwil Zabala’s statement that the Church administration did not issue a circular letter urging members to boycott ABS-CBN. However, he said, he personally understands their sentiments.
Zabala told the Inquirer, “Walang circular na binasa sa pagsamba ukol sa issue na ’yan (No circular was read during the worship regarding that issue).”
Iglesia Ni Cristo members say there was really no circular read during the worship concerning ABS-CBN, but the matter was discussed in their group/area meetings and agreed to unite in boycotting the TV network.
Alleged collusion to destroy the Church
A blog dedicated in answering all the allegations of against the Church emphasized that ABS-CBN and the disgruntled expelled ministers and members are colluding to fabricate malicious stories to destroy the good reputation of the Iglesia Ni Cristo.
In August, a source who requested anonymity told Eagle News that ABS-CBN TV reporter Ces Drilon was among those helping the expelled members to destroy the unity of the Church for the benefit of a presidential candidate.
In fact, Iglesia Ni Cristo members observed that she’s been very active in interviewing those expelled, but failed to exert the same effort to get the side of the Church. They also noted that her video reports were edited in a manner that put the Church in a bad light, which they perceived as unethical practice of journalism.
Aside from Ces Drilon, Iglesia Ni Cristo members also criticized ABS-CBN broadcaster Ted Failon for his line of questioning during an interview with one of the police officers who arrested expelled member Lowell Menorca II over a libel case filed against him in Marawi City. During the interview Mr. Failon asked if the police officer was a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo. The police officer answered yes and Mr. Failon made a follow-up statement, “I hope you don’t mind me saying, of course you know the situation inside your Church; there is a disagreement.
The police officer said, “I can’t discuss those matters with you. Mr. Failon further said, “therefore, but with all due respect Supt., may be you also understand that the one you are arresting was expelled by your Church, he has a dispute with your leader, you are an active member, you know what I am saying, right? The police officer said he was only there to serve the warrant of arrest.
Iglesia Ni Cristo members condemned Mr. Failon for insinuating that the Iglesia Ni Cristo has something to do with the arrest. According to them, his interview was reckless and prejudice.
The PDI opinion on Menorca II’s arrest
Meanwhile, the PDI also published an editorial suggesting that the Iglesia’s long-arm was at work” in connection with the warrant of arrest against Menorca.
Marlex C. Cantor, a Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, and an editorial associate of the Pasugo magazine, responded to the PDI’s op-ed. He pointed out the (dis)information and questionable assertions against the Church.
A blog posted by the Intstitute of Ethical Media Standards (IEMS) shared a similar view that the PDI’s editorial was “tendentiously presented to favor Menorca and to conjure up a negative image of the Iglesia Ni Cristo.”
Non-members support the campaign to boycott ABS-CBN
Some netizens, who are not members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, support the campaign to stop irresponsible journalism and to know the truth. Here some of their tweets:
Do you think ABS-CBN is bias and irresponsible in reporting? Please write your comments below.