|Corruption in the Philippines|
Lordy Salunga <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
From: Lordy Salunga
Dear beloved brethren in Christ,
The trip we just made to General Santos City was never easy but Bert and I spoke with all honesty and sincerity preaching the Gospel and hoping that those who have sinned will repent. Brethren who were there told us that this was the first time that such kind of direct preaching and rebuke happened. But we felt it had to be done. We felt the gravity of trying to investigate and prove the allegations. Brethren spoke regarding the anomalies but would not name names publicly though some did stand and name some names short of accusing them. But sincere brethren did tell either me and bro. Bert privately. They could not disclose what they know publicly. We also have to use our Filipino common sense in all these. I took bro. Bert with me since he speaks the dialect and he did well in speaking to the brethren. I was able to speak to some of the brethren as well. Before we made the trip, we were requested by brethren Earl Mitchell, Andy Alexander and Kevin Maxey to try to investigate the accusations against the brethren in General Santos City. This we did in the best of the circumstances we were in.
The allegations were proven to be positive. We could not produce any black and white evidence but our sources have been brethren who have told us regarding the accusations. And as bro. Bert said, it is next to impossible to prove them beyond reasonable doubt. But what people told us were the same. It was a common knowledge. They were just afraid to speak out for some reasons. But what we have heard was just despicable to say the least especially people who are called preachers.
We made a side trip to Bukidnon with bro. Julie Notarte. There were some US brethren who contacted bro. Bert Enostacion to try to see the veracity of the information regarding the evacuees. We have proven there were evacuees. Talked to some of them. Gave some help but I believe it is impossible to ascertain the real number of evacuees. As said in bro. Bert's report, the number seems to be too big to be true. I have a big fear whenever big amount of money is spent on benevolence. It has been a source of big temptation.
I have let bro. Bert do the report for most part since he knew some people in Mindanao whom I did not know. He speaks the dialect and had a greater rapport in so doing. But what he has reported is what we saw.
What needs to be done?
We will leave that to you brethren. We will need prayers from God to have the wisdom to have the right answers and attitude regarding these things. But I would like to add some things:
1. First, it appears that there are some form of factionalism happening in some parts of the country. We have seen that in Davao City where some preachers are identified as belonging to some preacher e.g. Emilio Lumapay, Jerry Ca-a and Juanito Balbin. I and bro. Bert dealt with that squarely in Gen San. Bro. Lumapay was there and he could not escape the reality why they had to have ribbons. I asked why they are so interested in handling the money for lectureships and why they could not work together in unity and peace without wrangling. This is 1 Cor. 1 pure and simple. This is not only true in Davao City.
2. Second, we need to deal strongly with brethren who have been proven to have committed gross judgment and sin for the simple reason that it could affect the work as a whole and for the salvation of the soul of the sinner. There should be no discrimination in this. They need to be exposed. They should be named: 1 Tim. 5: 20; Acts 5:11.
3. Thirdly, we need to nip the bud when we see ugly things developing. Because when those ugly things developed into monsters, it is almost impossible to stop them. We need to be tolerant and yet we need to be vigilant as well. History teaches us this fact.
We are just servants of the Lord as you are. We do not have the right to dictate to others what we think should be given attention but we hope that we give some consideration and perusal with what we have seen in Gen San and Davao City. We give this in fear and trembling. We feel the gravity of the situation but we have the responsibility before God. Bro. RON Halbrook has made it a practice to give some "guidelines" in making the trip that brethren will understand. I feel that we need to reeducate some of the brethren from the "culture" they have developed through the years. We need to pray and ask wisdom from God!!! May God help us all!!!
In brotherly love,