Corruption in the Philippines

Summary of Problems Documented

There has been a lack of accountability with past distributions of benevolence funds:

The use of multiple receipts for the same gift makes tracking impossible
Money not distributed directly to needy saints or their congregations
McDonald states that funds were delivered through seven central distribution points
In one short trip Halbrook says he distributed $400,000 to 15,000 Christians
Halbrook states $400,000 was distributed to central locations
Funds were delivered to representatives and not directly to the churches
McDonald states distribution in July 1998 occured in 8 days.
McDonald states he delivered $237,034 and Halbrook about $145,000, additional funds were sent later.
Speed of distribution guarantees deliverer did not verify delivery
McDonald did not have time to visit all the churches and relied on the accounts of preachers believed to be faithful
Sample of multiple receipts which provide no accountability
Another sample of multiple receipts which provide no accountability
Explaination of why the receipts don't provide accountability
Even a large donation might be subdivided in small quantities among several churches, each division combined with other donations, making tracking a nightmare
Only receipts in Halbrook's possession show the amount of donation applied to each congregation's gift
Halbrook assures us that the funds were delivered properly because they lectured the representatives
Halbrook states that the amount the donor gave did not need to be on the receipt
Halbrook says two men with accounting backgrounds said the system of receipts was good
Funds are being distributed via a trust fund administered by local preachers and not directly to the needy
Cempron states that some have not passed on the full amount entrusted to them
McDonald reportedly has given up on aiding Filipino preachers in the future
Gumpad has been accepting funds and distributing them without those giving checking up on the distributions

Distribution of benevolence money was not targeted to the needy

Over $200,000 distributed in an area that was mostly recovered from a drought
Funds were distributed on the basis of being a Christian and not on a basis of need
Halbrook states that distribution was made based on membership in the church
Halbrook states that while conditions on Luzon had improved, it still justified distribution of benevolence
Halbrook states that the amount of money distributed in Mindanao and Luzon was substantial
Halbrook indicates that approximately $26 was distributed to each member of the church (not based on need)
Halbrook again states that they distributed $26 per member of the church
Notarte claims only one large distribution was made to brethren in 1997 of $18.22 per member of the church
Enostacion claims benevolence money was used to "convert" people

Preachers profitting from the distribution of benevolence funds and other funds:

Local preachers accuse Gumpad of worldly living
Wally Little claims that little of the money sent to some preachers reach the ones in need
Rody Gumpad demanding property in exchange for paying medical bills
Purchases made by Rody Gumpad
List of purchases made by Gumpad in 5 year time span
Details on Gumpad's purchases and how the actual cost was estimated
Gumpad agrees that he made the purchases
Gumpads says his properties were from God's blessings (money given by brethren)
Gumpad was rebuked by nine local preachers for his misuse of funds (on video tape)
Details of Gumpad's purchases and why he calls imprecise reports "lies"
List of Gumpad's purchases, the probable cost, and the amount Gumpad claims they cost
While saying the reported purchase price is incorrect, Gumpad is careful never to reveal the true cost
Description of Gumpad's new 9 bedroom, 5 bath house and who lives there
Corsino says Gumpad's old house was in good condition before he tore it down
Halbrook helped Rody Gumpad purchase a $15,000 car showing an uneven distribution of funds
Wanasen is sadden that Gumpad claims preaching brings worldly things
Halbrook claims brethren gave Gumpad money for the purpose of buying a car
Gumpad used $3,000 given for his son's chemotherapy to purchase a second card and then solicited funds for his son's chemotherapy the following month
Gumpad states he receives more money than he requested
The money collected by Gumpad for a sick sister was used to purchase a car
Gumpad says the reports about his wealth are exagerated
Hamilton is told Gumpad hired an ex-preacher as a chauffer
Malone says claim of Gumpad having a chauffer is false
Wanasen confirms that De Los Reyes did stop preaching and only resumed when Hamilton's report went out
Gumpad's household servants
Balbin claims no preacher on Mindanao owns a motorcycle
Mitchell says he saw two and several tricees (motorcycles with side-cars)
McDonald states that if any misuse of funds are proven, then the preacher will receive no future funds
Preacher claimed to represent for funds a group with whom he doesn't worship
One Filipino preacher states that another preacher did not report all the funds he received
Gumpad admits on video tape to receiving much more money than he needs
Gumpad returns some checks to increase interest in him and thereby receiving more future support
Gumpad claims his only source of income is from U.S. brethren
Preachers document that Gumpad leases farm land and derives income from it.
Sapitula sends out forms requesting support for Bible class teachers.
McDonald documents one preacher pocketing money intended for orphans and widows
Cempron says some receipents of past aid are spending the funds on wordly pleasures
Enostacion states that money sent for Bible purchases was spent elsewhere and receipts were altered to cover it up
McDonald is reported as stating he will no longer support Filipino preachers

Past distributions have caused men to expect funds for attending meetings or by simply asking

Little warns in 1979 that poverty in the Philippines will leave preachers dependent on American aid
Filipinos believe all Americans are rich and can afford to support Filipino preachers
Preacher's learning they have a right to wages believe they can demand support from Americans
Cempron complains that distributions were not made at Halbrook's April 2001 as expected.
Halbrook explains there should not have been such an expectation
Mitchell claims the problems Cempron mentions were investigated and found to be untrue.
Cempron eventually apologies when he realized his belief would cut-off his funding
Enostacion claims Mitchell was taken by undeserving preachers

Followings of various doctrines are often influenced by who has the money

Cempron mentions a preacher will gain a large following because he has funds to distribute.
Harry Osborne documents that many Filipinos "hero worship" Americans.
J. D. Tant notes that people are compromising beliefs based on who controls funding

Preachers using local problems as appeals for more money:

Rody Gumpad use of his wife's illness
Rody Gumpad use of his son's illness
Local preachers state that Gumpad uses family illness to raise money that is spent on properties and houses
Wealth Gumpad has displayed since his son became ill .
Little documents that Gumpad received more aid than he needed for his son's illness and spent the excess on himself
Despite his wealth, Gumpad continues to appeal for funds for his wife's illness
The death of Halbrook's mother at the end of 1998 impacted his trip in both 1999 and 2000
Use of rebel fighting on Mindanao
Halbrook sites an article that 31,000 were displaced in fightings, leaving the impression that Christians were displaced
Wally Little's list of known profitters
Claim of 59 Christians starving to death on the island of Mindanao and response
Claim of 60 Christians starving to death on the island of Mindanao and response
Newspapers show a total of 64 deaths due to starvation on the entire island of Mindanao in 1998
Starvation was among the tribals, who reject the available government aid
Hamilton is uncertain who is supplying the misleading accounts, but suspects someone on Mindanao
Balbin asserts that the preachers reporting the starvation should be consulted for verification and not the newspapers
Halbrook states he used those reporting the need as verification of the need
Mitchell believes the Filipino press is government controlled
Hamilton explains that the Philippines have a free press similar to the United States
Filipino preachers told Halbrook that press did not know about the deaths by starvation because of the fighting
Claim of Christians suffering from a drought and fleeing homes due to rebel fighting and reponse to drought and flight
A Filipino preacher claims he can get 150 witnesses that McDonald's report of drought and fighting is true
Halbrook states he personally witnessed preachers, children, and brethren suffering
Balbin asserts that Christians are suffering from the drought
Hamilton acknowledges the drought and fightings, but disputes that Christians were heavily impacted
Halbrook claims to have talked with displaced brethren
Halbrook points out that Hamilton doesn't know the questions he asked of the displaced brethren
Balbin claims Muslims are still a problem because of splinter groups
Balbin claims rebels are a problem because communists were fighting the government in the 1980's
Mitchell says he heard artillery fire while in Mindanao
Halbrook claims to have heard rifle and mortar fire at night
Hamilton clarifies his dispute about rebel fighting is whether Christians are impacted
McDonald states that rebel fighting impacted his travels so it must impact the brethren on Mindanao
McDonald states that he read interviews with Communists in the newspapers, so they must be a problem
McDonald has a letter testifying that 4 brethren fleed their village and claims that they know of 400 additional
McDonald has a letter signed by 29 preachers that 1,800 members were affected by the drought
McDonald has a list of 78 Christians who died by starvation. Again, the sources are local preachers
Possible use of rebel problem by someone who lives near by not in the know area of fighting
Gumpad uses his son's surgery, for whom he had already received extra funds, and a typhoon to make an appeal
Sapitula pleads for payment of his wife's illness and states he is receiving no support
Julom claims to have converted so many denominational preachers that he is unable to support the needs
Julom claims his son has epilepsy and needs funds for diagnosis
Rosendo Gumpad asks that aid for a cancer patient be sent to him
Notarte uses terrorist activities in his area to appeal for funds
Notarte states thousands are hungry and sick because of miltary action in his area
Enostacion states the Notarte is inflating the problem at best

Intimidation is used to force Christians to comply with the will of the preacher:

Gumpad is accused of intimidating others
Rody Gumpad's threat to cut off aid to Christian's daughter for a needed operation
Balbin barred his nephew from preaching when he did not back up his uncle's statements
Halbrook wants people to believe Wilson is a false teacher solely on Halbrook's say so
Halbrook defends Gumpad
Halbrook and McDonald treaten loss of support if preachers continue to talk to preachers with whom they disagree
Gumpad causes men to lose their support on his say-so
Gumpad tries to split churches who have preachers with whom he disagrees
Some confront Gumpad despite the possible loss of support
Gumpad tries to get charges dropped by reminding men of past favors in gaining support
Gumpad hints he will reveal a preacher's possible sins if charges are not dropped .
Gumpad indicates he might sue for libel when men confronted him with wrong doing
Gumpad threatens to sue for libel unless charges are dropped . ( Second example )
Mariano was threaten with death by Enostacion, a Filipino preacher
Man who threatens Hamilton denies the threat in front of Adams, but he does threaten to try to have Hamilton expelled from the Philippines
Hamilton continues to be threatened by a Filipino preacher
Hamilton says he received a death threat in the mail
Hamilton says he was threaten verbally in front of a witness and a police report was filed
Hamilton gives details of the investigation into the threat by officials in the Philippines
Gumpad took McDonald to a different officer than the one who took Hamilton's report
Malone claims threat against Hamilton's life could not have occurred.
Gumpad, in the middle of a tirade, admits that a complaint was registered with the police
McDonald says he was mistaken on the officer's rank, but not his name
Hamilton was attacked in his own home
Preachers tried to blackmail with rumors and threats of violence
Salung speaks of common knowledge of wrong doing, but brethren fear to speak out
Balbin calls Hamililton a coward for not accepting a debate about Balbin's past statements
J. D. Tant notes some intimidation that he has heard about

Since most Americans are unfamiliar with the country, some inflate membership and attendance:

Claim of 10,000 Christians on the island of Mindanao and response
Claim of 7,000 Christians aided on the island of Mindanao
Claim of aid given to 15,000 Christians in the Philippines
Claim of having started hundreds of churches and baptized thousands among the tribals
Claim of 1,004 T'boli baptized in a few months
Gumpad offers food at two churches for those who would attend
Rosendo Gumpad claims church meets in his house, but it is too small for numbers claimed and has no sign
Though only a member for 4 years, Julom claims to have led 500 denominational preachers to Christ
Julom claims, as a goal, converting 100-150 denomination preachers and leading 500 to Christ per year
Julom claims his work has brought 400 preachers and 300 congregations to the Lord
Marrs states Julom has converted hundreds of denominational preachers and thousands of members
Halbrook and McDonald used professional, denominational organizers to hold large meetings.
Notarte claims thousands of brethren evacuated on Mindanao.
Claim of over 15,000 faithful brethren in just three provinces
Claim of hundreds to thousands of brethren on the island of Mindanao in the 1970's
Gumpad claims 102 converted in during a 12-day meeting tour
Enostacion, after visiting the area, states that many have been taken in by false claims of membership and conversions
Salunga states that numbers are being inflated
Enostacion gives some sources as evidence of inflated memberships in Mindanao

Since local cost of living are unknown, some preachers use estimates similar to American costs:

Rody Gumpad inflating the cost of local travel versus the actual cost
Claim of Christians being denied hospital admittance and response
Preacher lies about support he receives, which exceeds the standard wage
Rosendo Gumpad askes for seven times the wage he could make working locally
A car is not a necessity in the Philippines for many Filipinos
Inflated claim of a monthly payment on a motorcycle.
Rosendo Gumpad asks for funds for to pay doctor, though doctor are paid by the government
2006 Estimates of Living, Nominal, and Real Wages in the Philippines by Region
Nardo claims what amounts to $1,100 of monthly living expenses
Rudy Gumpad's monthly report for February, 2007
Halbrook solicits funds for Carino, who recently lost more support than most Filipinos make earning a living.

Lack of experience in the country makes Americans susceptible to fraud:

Little in 1979 noted that known crooks were soliciting American churches for support
Local preachers disgusted with Gumpad teaching them to profit from American benevolence
Filipinos bemoan how easily Americans are deceived
Unable to speak the local language
Little time is physically spent in the country
McDonald only planned to spend two days on Midanao to distribute aid
McDonald made no plans to visit the needy areas, left no time for a visit, and has no means of determining the truth
Halbrook states that his correspondence for 30 years with Filipino brethren allows him to know who is honest
Halbrook lists Ben Libertino, Julie Notarte, Juanito Balbin, and Emilio Lumapay as faithful men
Halbrook defends Rudy Gumpad, calling Hamilton's evidence against Gumpad lies
Hamilton explains his experience in the Philippines and his personal knowledge of Gumpad
Little's list of men known to be profitting from American aid
Little points out he has been in the Philippines since 1966
Legal terms, such as tribal, can be misapplied, giving false impressions
Halbrook mixes the definitions of tribal and cultural minority
Balbin mixes the definitions of tribal and cultural minority (two separate classifications in the Philippines)
Hamilton straightens Mitchell out on the meaning of tribal
Halbrook dismisses the definition of tribal as being unimportant
McDonald has a letter claiming 1,004 people were baptized among the T'boli tribe
In a short trip, Halbrook says he baptized 300 people
In another short trip, Halbrook says he baptized 270 people
Confusion on divorce and remarriage can result because local customs and laws are different from the United States
Gumpad deceived brethren when Gumpad said his old house was deteriorating
Corsino confirms Gumpad's old home was not deteriorating
Wanasen states that McDonald supressed the evidence that he sent of the corruption in the Philippines
Gumpad admits he sent Marrs documents on his property containing the wrong purchase price
Short associations with a man does not tell you what he is like
Gumpad reports on congregations for which he does not preach
Gumpad fabricates information, knowing most would be unable to verify his charges
Arguelles sends customized notes giving the impression of acquaintance where none exists. (Note 2) (Note 4) (Note 5)
Burgos states that Rosendo Gumpad and Roger Salvejo are claiming to be preachers without cause.
In one short trip, Steve Wallace reports 300 people being baptized
Nortarte claims almost constant baptisms in one month of meetings
In a 47-day trip of one week stops, McDonald claims 236 baptisms, turned 3 congregations from false doctrine, and started several congregations
Julom writes to Ken Marrs that members of six demnominations are threating his life
Julom states he is behind on his bills, yet also claims to be working in several countries -- not just the Philippines
Julom sends out the same list of needs a month later
Julom is involved in professional organization of meetings
Baptized people disappear after "conversion"
Rody Gumpad claims 76 baptisms at one congregation in one year's time.
Domie Jacob is cashing checks faster than Filipino banks process them, giving indication that he is using the black market.
Notarte claims thousands of brethren evacuated between 2002 and 2003 with many dying.
Bowers appeals on Notarte's behalf without taking time to verify Notarte's claims
Samson implies that justice is unknown in the Philippines
McDonald and Andy Alexander reportedly acknowledge that they were defrauded
Hamilton points out Nardo is exaggerating his expenses and wanting more support than most people make in his area
Thomas, upon staying with the Gumpads, thinks the evidence against Rody can't be true because he and his wife are nice people

Associating names with people are used to give the impression of approval or the impression of holding false beliefs:

Balbin aligning himself with famous preachers
Balbin giving the impression that Hamilton agrees with Little and Puterbaugh
Little points out that he has known Gumpad for over 15 years
Little and Puterbaugh raised aid for Gumpad's son
Halbrook acknowledges that he doesn't know Hamilton
Halbrook links Hamilton to various men and implies the association makes Hamilton unreliable
Halbrook states that Hamilton lies and distorts the truth
Hamilton explains his relationship with the men Halbrook dislikes
Hamilton gives details on his relationship with Little and Puterbaugh
Halbrook lies about Hamilton's relationship with his father-in-law
Halbrook claims to know more about Hamilton's family than Hamilton
Halbrook "proves" Hamilton is in fellowship with Little and Puterbaugh by citing his association with Wilson
Gumpad claims relationships with Marrs, Halbrook, McDonald, Little, and Kay
Hamilton's paper showing his position on Little and Puterbaugh's beliefs of "One Covenant" and Remarriage
McDonald and Halbrook's treatment of Puterbaugh
Gumpad gives false information on the teachings of others
Malone claims Hamilton can't be trusted because of those with whom he communicates
Wanasen charges McDonald with causing confusion and division in the Philippines
Domie Jacob tried to play this game and justly lost his support from one congregation
Guillermo's letter filled with familar names
J.D. Tant notes several instances of branding people by association.

Knowing the lack of communication, preachers solicit men from different sides of issues within the church

Burgos plans to solicit men with diverse beliefs.
A month later Burgos mentions in a letter that he is not attending services.

Newly converted men are being encouraged to call themselves preachers and receive support from Americans

Little noted in 1979 the problem of new converts becoming preachers because it paid well
Halbrook and McDonald call newly baptized men preachers
In the same year they are baptized, denominational preachers are teaching the truth
McDonald asks for support for newly converted denominational preachers
Julom makes large conversion claims after only becoming a Christian four years ago
Julom makes several references to newly converted preachers (not Christians) and mentions many are returning to their old beliefs.
Notarte states that Bugcotan began preaching immediately after being baptized

Oversight over multiple congregations being practiced:

Balbin claims oversight of 65 congregations and 85 preachers
Second claim of Balbin overseeing 65 congregations and 85 preachers
Gumpad claims to be the evangelist of Cagayan (a region in the Philippines)
Gumpad believes an evangelist is someone who travels to train preachers
Gumpad claims oversight of many congregations and assigns preachers to congregations
Enostacion claims oversight of several areas
Preachers claiming to belong to other preachers
Metro Church of Christ is arranging the visitation schedule of preachers for multiple congregations

Just plain errors in practices and beliefs:

Halbrook reimburses expenses for preachers who come hear him speak
Halbrook denies handing out money to preachers who attends his lectures
Hamilton recalls McDonald and Marrs giving money to preachers who attended their lecture
Gumpad offers food at two churches for those who would attend
Mitchell charges Hamilton with lying and slander before checking Hamilton's evidence
Bernasor complains that another preacher claimed to represent two churches
Funds are being distributed via a trust fund administered by local preachers and not directly to the needy
A board of five local preachers is determining the distribution of funds from America
McDonald used to pay food and transporation costs for men to come hear him speak, now he just feeds them
Preacher admits he doesn't pay his taxes
Rosendo Gumpad says he doesn't pay taxes
Rody Gumpad admits claiming a lower purchase price to avoid paying taxes
McDonald admits a local preacher is doing wrong, but turns against the person pointing out the sin
Local preacher living in adultery receives support from Americans
Salviego admits to living in adultery for 17 years, but claims his "repentance" makes it not a sin
McDonald reports that Salviego has "entered" [?] into a questionable marriage
Gumpad tears up a letter of rebuke and calls the senders "Satan"
Rosendo Gumpad uses the illegal black market to cash support checks
Gumpad brings up past, forgiven sins to defame one who brought charges against him
Gumpad sees support funds as God's blessing and lack of support as God's punishment ( Second example ) ( Third example )
Gumpad presumes to eternally condemn his accusers ( Second example )
Claim that a Filipino preacher teaches that partaking of the Lord's Supper forgives sins
Enostacion is accused of cursing another preacher
Enostacion is accused of drunkenness
Lies to preachers used to get their signatures on a document against Hamilton ( Second testimony )
Gumpad admits on vidotape to lying about his purchase price of land to Marrs and to reduce his taxes illegally
Gumpad signs affidavit that he lied to Marrs about his purchases ( Gumpad's version that only he signed )
Gumpad scribbles out his name on the affidavit, but then resigns the document
Gumpad tells Marrs he removed his and his brother's name from the affidavit
Gumpad had an adulterous couple living over a pig-sty on his property
McDonald tells Wanasen he would do one thing and then does the exact opposite
Ronnie Gumpad was caught lying about the support he received
Preacher interrupts a Bible study to make accusations about a two year old event
Salviejo resorts to name calling
McDonald charges Little, Hamilton, and Wanasen of writing without adequate checking for the truth
McDonald and Halbrook state that being materialistic is not a doctrinal matter
Filipino preacher affirm that Gumpad is materialistic, sets a bad example, and deceitful
Castillon talks of being directly lead, as if the Spirit told him to write
Julom seems to see Christianity as a means to material wealth
Julom claims the great commission requires Christians in distant countries to support his work in the Philippines
Smearing the names of other preachers to enhance personal status. [Response]
J. D. Tant lists several problems