Corruption in the Philippines

To the church, 11/23/98

I just spent two weeks preaching in the Philippines, and I met with Rosendo Gumpad Jr. who gave me your name and address as one of his supporters. The church here in Hudson, NY also has supported Rosendo Gumpad Jr. in the past, but during our next business meeting I will strongly encourage the church here to stop supporting him. I am not trying to make a decision for anyone else, but I thought you might like to know what I found out during our two hour talk with Rosendo.

I, Dan Peters, Roger Wanasen (a native Filipino & a preacher), and Matt Raymer (an American preacher who has lived in the Philippines for 3 years) visited Rosendo from 2:00pm to 4:pm on Nov. 10th at his house. About a month earlier I wrote to Rosendo and asked him a list of addressees of his supporters among other things, he failed to send me the addresses. I will furnish you a copy of his letter. When we arrived in San Carlos City, Pangasinan we went to the Post Office and tried to find
Rosendo's address. We were told that he almost always checks his mail between 1:30pm and 2:00pm, so we decided to wait. Sure enough just before 2:00pm he showed up at the P.O. From there we walked down to his house about 2-3 min. walk.

At this point we began to talk, the three of us who were visiting Rosendo and his wife. I asked for the addresses and he furnished me with this list (copy enclosed). During the conversation he said many things that to an American would be considered "incredible" or "unbelievable", nevertheless here is a partial list of some of the things that prove to me he is not worthy to be supported. Keep in mind, that when we left I told him that one day we will all give an account to God of what we have done in the body, whether good or evil. I knew Rosendo was nervous and caught unaware, but that doesn't excuse sin. I still doubt if Rosendo got the point, he showed no signs of remorse of the things he said.

TAXES: No, he doesn't pay income tax. When asked why he said "he gets no regular income". This was a surprise to me, for I knew that Hudson has supported him regularly for almost a year now. (I was told by Matt that this was typical of Filipino's, not to pay income tax if they can get a way with it, yet it's still illegal).

BLACK MARKET: He said that he cashes his checks in the black market. I was told by Matt and Roger that you get a better rate (From US dollars to Pesos) in the Black Market versus using a bank. But Matt and Roger do not do this, it's illegal.

CHURCH MEETING: He said that the church met in his house, but the living room that we were sitting was very small, there was more room in each of the two bedrooms than in the living room. I don't think you could get 8 people to set in that room let alone 12 people. Roger also pointed out that there was no sign saying "Church of Christ". Roger pointed out, of which I saw to be true, that all Filipino's have a sign that says "Church of Christ" anywhere they meet.

1986 CAR: Rosendo said that he needed the car to pick up the people to get them to church. He said that there are 7 people about an hour away he must drive one way to pick them up. So he goes Saturday night, sleeps over, and then he drives them all back to his house to worship. Katherine is the only Christian living near his house. Katherine is his brother's daughter (daughter of Rody Gumpad). It is hard for me to see him taking his wife and three children an hour drive, sleep over, then pick up an additional 7 people in their 5 passenger car. ( I know that the Filipino's can put more people in a car than we are allowed to by law here in the US, but this was still hard to believe).

MDR: I asked him some questions about Marriage Divorce and Remarriage, he turned to Mat. 19 and then to ICor. 7, yet he was very unwilling to explain. I asked again what he teaches, but he was not very forth coming. He said that he taught that if a person divorced for fornication they could remarry. We, the three of us, had to remind Rosendo that in the Philippines, you do not have the right to remarry while your spouse is living. (What a Filipino calls divorce is usually just simply walking away from one wife, and living with another woman, no legal documents given. It's somewhat common in that country. This is not divorce, it's either adultery or polygamy - all depending if he marries the second woman or not. Under Christ's teaching I do not believe that you have to (or must) divorce for fornication, it is not a must do. Christ did not require that when fornication takes place the other spouse must divorce the fornicating spouse. Now in the Philippines, divorce is not permitted for fornication, so how can you divorce and remarry if their is no divorce granted? Strange to American ears, yes. That's why I picked up a legal book on Philippine law while I was there. It's called "The Family Code of the Philippines Annotated, 1997, Revised. What I have read so far this seems to be the case. Glenn Hamilton, a U.S. lawyer, and who has been preaching in the Philippines for 5 years is where I learned about Philippine law.) Rosendo, living in the Philippines should know the laws of his country as it applies to the Bible. But when discussing this issue with him, he did not know what to say or how to respond.

SUPPORT: When he answered how many were supporting him he wrote (letter enclosed) that 4 were supporting him. During our conversation, he counted 5 on his hand. This caught my attention and I asked again how many were supporting him, he said 4 support him. In the list and addresses he gave me that day, he gave 4 supporters and Hudson, NY is not included. So I'm not sure if he considers the two places of Louisiana one source of support or if he's not being honest. If both places in Louisiana support him, a total of $125, he's answered correctly. But if he is receiving $125 a month from either place, he's been caught in a
lie. Rosendo is asking for $725.00 a month. I asked him what jobs he has had in secular work, he said he was a stock boy in a grocery one time and made about $37.50 a month (1,500 Pesos). But this was back in the 80's, today the average worker makes P150 a day or about 100 US dollars a month. I told him that I worked in the machine shop for about 3 years, and I made about $34,000 a year, and when I started back into full time preaching I made $35,000 a year. (Which was hard telling a Filipino how much I had made, but I wanted him to see the point.). Rosendo is wanting to make a great deal more than the average Filipino. He said that there were no jobs he knew of that he, himself could make $725.00 a month. I don't think Rosendo got the point. I personally don't begrudge someone being paid well, or above average, if he is doing the work.

There are a few other things that were disappointing to me as we talked, but over all he is simply dishonest. I will be glad to answer any questions you may have, or you may write to confirm any of this with the other two men who were with me.

Roger Wanasen
Church of Christ
P.O. Box 2271-1162
QC Central Post Office
Quezon City, Philippines 1100

Matthew Raymer
PO Box 1899
2600 Baguio City

Here is Roger's and Matt's email addresses

I take no delight in sending this letter to you, but if it was me, I would want to know. I'm sending this same letter to each of the 4
supporters that he gave me, along with copies of Rosendo's letters. Also I will send a copy to Roger and Matt. I'm also sending a copy of this to Rosendo Gumpad. Perhaps he will read this and it will cause him to see his sins for what they are and repent. But repentance is more than sorrow (2Cor. 7:10). Bill Clinton has been caused great sorrow because he has been caught, but has this caused him to repent? God will be the judge, as He will judge me and you and Rosendo too.

I will be gone the first half of December preaching in several places, IL & AR. If you contact me before then I will try and reply, but if not I will when I return. One more important thing. Please respond to me that you have received this letter. I do not need to know what you will decide about Rosendo, but I do need to know that this is a real address, and that this list Rosendo gave me is accurate. If you know that he is receiving support from other places, they would appreciate knowing what is contained in this letter as well. Feel free to send it to them and send me also their addressees. Rosendo may try and defend himself against such charges, although there were 3 witnesses. Please send me a copy if he sends you a defense, so that every fact may be confirmed.

Thank you for reading this letter, it was difficult to write and very likely more difficult to read. I would not have sent this letter if it was simply a matter of how much Rosendo wants to make in preaching. But his unwillingness to 'render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's", his use of the black market, and general dishonesty, has been the cause of this letter. And now, as I am about to send this letter out, I have been given another address of a said "supporter". I will send a letter to confirm or deny it, and will let you know what happens. I am simply trying to give you information so that you can make a decision. I do not want to throw stones, but I do not want to feed corruption either.

Dan Peters