Corruption in the Philippines

[Editor's Note: I recently ran across this article in an old Truth Magazine. It is fascinating to see how little things have changed in the Philippines since 1975. I am left to wonder what happened to all those who were baptized and why Filipinos are unable to support their local preachers.]

Philippine Trip Report
[Truth Magazine, May 15, 1975, Volume 14, Number 27, pages 5-6]

Brother Connie W. Adams and I are now in the midst of special lecture programs in several places in the Republic of the Philippines. Presently we are in Cebu City in the Visayan Islands of the Philippines. We just arrived here today and because we could not arrange a connecting flight ot Dauao (on the southern island of Mindanao), we had to stay over-night in this city. However, the Cebu City brethren hurriedly arranged a service in this city this afternoon at 3 o'clock. After Brother Adams and I ahd spoken, ten persons responded to the gospel invitation and were baptized.

Thus far we have completed lecture programs at the Dian Street church in the Makati section of Manila. The highest attendance at Makati was 357; the other sessions were attended by over 200 people. Twenty-seven were baptized during the Makati meeting. Two days ago the lecture series at Pagadian City concluded. Attendance varied between 277 and 447 at Pagadian City. The largest attendance was on Sunday at Pagadian City. The attendance at Santa Lucia congregation, where Brother R. G. Carino preaches was 68. I preached at the 8:15 A.M. service at Santa Lucia. Thirty-three were baptized at Pagadian City. Totalling the assemblies at Pagadian City (Kawit and Santa Lucia congregations), there were 515 present on Sunday in Pagadian City. About 50 preachers have attended each series of sermons presented thus far.

Yesterday (Monday) we went to the Tukurong congregation at Tukuran, where Brother Frederico Cadungog preaches. Three were baptized there. Altogether, 73 have been baptized since we arrived in the Philippines. We have lecture programs scheduled yet at Kidapawan on Mindanao, at Tablos on Rombrong island, and at Narra on Palawan. After these scheduled services, I will proceed immediately to Australia for a month of gospel preaching.

The conflict between the Philippine army and the Moslems is quite serious. We have been told that about 11,000 persons have been killed here in the last two years. Pagadian City has been one of the hot spots. About 500 have been killed in the Pagadian area within the last two years. About 75 have been slain within the last month. There were gun shots to be heard every night, some hardly more than 100 yards from where we were staying. Fortunately, the Philippine Constabulary assigned 14 men to guard the area around the church building and the home of Brother Eduardo Ramiro, with whom we are staying.

There are serious problems in Cotabato, where Kidapawan is located, and to which we go tomorrow. There is a "red alert" in effect now, which means an attack is expected very soon. Serious security problems also exist in Palawan. But fortunately, so far we have faced no immediate danger. My greatest exposure to danger occurred yesterday; a cocoanut fell from a tall tree and missed my head by only about two feet. A "cocoanut victim" was buried last week; the funeral service was conducted by a gospel preacher. The child's parents were Christians. Getting killed by a falling cocoanut would be an insignificant way to die! Both Brother Adams and I are well, and enjoying immensely our preaching opportunities here, and are delighted at the large number who have been converted thus far. A later report will be more complete, but it will be six weeks before I return home. So I thought you might like to read this preliminary and incomplete report before I can return home and write a fuller report.

Cecil Willis, Cebu City, Republic of the Philippines. April 15, 1975