Eliseo Soriano
Overview
Eliseo Fernando "Bro. Eli" Soriano (born April 4, 1947) is a Filipino
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 televangelist. He is the current Presiding Minister of the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

-based Christian organization Members Church of God International
Members Church of God International
The Members Church of God International is an independent Christian organization with headquarters in the Philippines. The Church of God International is colloquially known through its flagship international television program, Ang Dating Daan...

, colloquially known through its radio and television program Ang Dating Daan
Ang Dating Daan
Ang Dating Daan is a religious radio and television program in the Philippines produced by the Members of the Church of God International. It is primarily hosted by Eli Soriano. In Portugal and Brazil, it airs as O Caminho Antigo which is a direct translation for The Old Path...

(The Old Path, Portuguese: O Caminho Antigo, Spanish: El Camino Antiguo). His radio and television program is considered the longest-running religious program
Religious broadcasting
Religious broadcasting refers to broadcasting by religious organizations, usually with a religious message. Many religious organizations have long recorded content such as sermons and lectures, and have moved into distributing content on their Internet websites.While this article emphasises...

 in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

.

Soriano is known for his signature method of "Bible Expositions" where he "exposes" the doctrinal errors of various other religious groups.
Encyclopedia
Eliseo Fernando "Bro. Eli" Soriano (born April 4, 1947) is a Filipino
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 televangelist. He is the current Presiding Minister of the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

-based Christian organization Members Church of God International
Members Church of God International
The Members Church of God International is an independent Christian organization with headquarters in the Philippines. The Church of God International is colloquially known through its flagship international television program, Ang Dating Daan...

, colloquially known through its radio and television program Ang Dating Daan
Ang Dating Daan
Ang Dating Daan is a religious radio and television program in the Philippines produced by the Members of the Church of God International. It is primarily hosted by Eli Soriano. In Portugal and Brazil, it airs as O Caminho Antigo which is a direct translation for The Old Path...

(The Old Path, Portuguese: O Caminho Antigo, Spanish: El Camino Antiguo). His radio and television program is considered the longest-running religious program
Religious broadcasting
Religious broadcasting refers to broadcasting by religious organizations, usually with a religious message. Many religious organizations have long recorded content such as sermons and lectures, and have moved into distributing content on their Internet websites.While this article emphasises...

 in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

.

Soriano is known for his signature method of "Bible Expositions" where he "exposes" the doctrinal errors of various other religious groups. In some occasions, he uses defamatory languages in his television shows
Itanong mo kay Soriano
Itanong mo kay Soriano is a religious radio and television program in the Philippines produced by the Members Church of God International and hosted by Eli Soriano. Unlike its sister program, Ang Dating Daan, the program features a question and answer format in which any visitor in the show can...

. This consequently led to a three month suspension of the program in a case that went to the Supreme Court of the Philippines
Supreme Court of the Philippines
The Supreme Court of the Philippines is the Philippines' highest judicial court, as well as the court of last resort. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices and 1 Chief Justice...

.

Biography

Soriano was born to Triunfo Soriano and Catalina Fernando in Pasay City
Pasay City
The City of Pasay is one of the cities and municipalities that make up Metro Manila in the Philippines. It is bordered on the north by the country's capital, Manila, to the northeast by Makati City, to the east by Taguig City, and Parañaque City to the south.Pasay City was one of the original four...

 and is the seventh of eight children. He grew up in Pampanga
Pampanga
Pampanga is a province of the Philippines located in the Central Luzon region. Its capital is the City of San Fernando, Pampanga. Pampanga is bordered by the provinces of Bataan and Zambales to the west, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija to the north, and Bulacan to the southeast...

. He started school at the age of eight.

Soriano was supposed to receive the highest honors of the school, but he dropped out three months before graduation due to an alleged religious debate between Soriano and the school administrator. On April 7, 1964, three days after his 17th birthday, Eliseo was baptised in Seneguelasan, Bacoor, Cavite
Bacoor, Cavite
The Municipality of Bacoor is a first class urban municipality in the province of Cavite, Philippines. It is a lone district congressional district of Cavite...

, and became an official member of the Iglesia ng Dios kay Kristo Hesus, Haligi at Suhay ng Katotohanan (Church of God in Christ Jesus, Pillar and Support of the Truth in English) founded by Nicolas Perez where his parents were also members.

Appointed as Minister

In 1969, Nicolas Antiporda Perez, who was then the church's presiding minister, bestowed upon Soriano the title minister making him the only minister in the Iglesia ng Dios kay Kristo Hesus, Haligi at Suhay ng Katotohanan at that time. Rumors were circulating that Soriano is going to be Perez's successor. However, after the death of Nicolas Perez in 1975, Levita Gugulan was appointed as temporary Presiding General Secretary of the group. Soriano initially accepted the appointment of Gugulan but subsequently denounced her leadership stating that women should not be leaders of the church according to the Bible.

The Schism

In 1976, Soriano and his allies left Gugulan's sect. In 1977, Soriano registered a new group, called Iglesia ng Dios kay Kristo Hesus, Haligi at Saligan ng Katotohanan(Church of God in Christ Jesus, Pillar and Ground of Truth in English), which was later changed to Mga Kaanib sa Iglesia ng Dios kay Kristo Hesus, Haligi at Saligan ng Katotohanan sa Bansang Pilipinas, Inc. ("Members of the Church of God in Christ Jesus, Pillar and Ground of Truth, Philippines, Inc." in English).

Because of the similarity between the name used by Gugulan's group and Soriano's group, the former filed a suit, which was resolved by the Supreme Court of the Philippines
Supreme Court of the Philippines
The Supreme Court of the Philippines is the Philippines' highest judicial court, as well as the court of last resort. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices and 1 Chief Justice...

 in 2001 in favor of Gugulan's group and Soriano's group was ordered to change their church's name. In 2004 Soriano's group changed their church's name as Members of the Church of God International.

Golden Age of Ang Dating Daan

Before starting his flagship TV program, Soriano would preach in different towns and municipalities in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. In 1980, Soriano started the Ang Dating Daan
Ang Dating Daan
Ang Dating Daan is a religious radio and television program in the Philippines produced by the Members of the Church of God International. It is primarily hosted by Eli Soriano. In Portugal and Brazil, it airs as O Caminho Antigo which is a direct translation for The Old Path...

radio program, which became a television program in 1983. In 1983, Soriano was invited as a panelist in GMA-7's multi-religious program, "Dis [This] is Manolo and His Genius Family". He, along with other representatives of religious groups, would debate and defend their beliefs in the show. Soriano won and was awarded "Most Outstanding Gospel Minister of the Year 1983". Soon, Soriano would receive multiple awards from different charity orgranizations, notably as "Bayani ng Lahing Kayumanggi (Hero of the Brown Race)".

Being invited to talk shows

In January 20, 1999, Soriano was invited to be the guest in Korina Sanchez
Korina Sanchez
Korina Maria Sanchez-Roxas is a Filipina broadcast journalist, TV host and commercial endorser.-Early life:Korina Sanchez was born on October 5, 1964 in Hong Kong. Her father, Ramon P. Sanchez, Sr. , was the General Manager of then Hong Kong landmark, Ambassador Hotel. She is the only girl of Ramon...

's talkshow "Balitang K" (K News). There Soriano admitted that the Ang Dating Doon program, which is a parody of his Ang Dating Daan
Ang Dating Daan
Ang Dating Daan is a religious radio and television program in the Philippines produced by the Members of the Church of God International. It is primarily hosted by Eli Soriano. In Portugal and Brazil, it airs as O Caminho Antigo which is a direct translation for The Old Path...

 show, actually helped raise the popularity of the said religious program
Ang Dating Daan
Ang Dating Daan is a religious radio and television program in the Philippines produced by the Members of the Church of God International. It is primarily hosted by Eli Soriano. In Portugal and Brazil, it airs as O Caminho Antigo which is a direct translation for The Old Path...

. The terms "Alien" (parody of Amen), and "Raise the Roof" (parody of Praise the Lord!) also became popular among televiewers during those years.

In February 4, 1999, Soriano was featured in the GMA-7 talkshow program Extra-Extra which is then hosted by Paolo Bediones and Karen Davila. A similar interview occurred in March 29 of the same year.

Current Status

He is currently on exile due to the various death threats he received during his controversial years. He used this opportunity to preach in other countries.

Currently, Ang Dating Daan
Ang Dating Daan
Ang Dating Daan is a religious radio and television program in the Philippines produced by the Members of the Church of God International. It is primarily hosted by Eli Soriano. In Portugal and Brazil, it airs as O Caminho Antigo which is a direct translation for The Old Path...

 airs in 73 countries worldwide including United States, Brazil, Uruguay, Portugal (as "O Caminho Antigo"), Spain (as "El Camino Antiguo"), India, South Africa, Saipan
Saipan
Saipan is the largest island of the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands , a chain of 15 tropical islands belonging to the Marianas archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean with a total area of . The 2000 census population was 62,392...

.

In his TV show Itanong mo kay Soriano
Itanong mo kay Soriano
Itanong mo kay Soriano is a religious radio and television program in the Philippines produced by the Members Church of God International and hosted by Eli Soriano. Unlike its sister program, Ang Dating Daan, the program features a question and answer format in which any visitor in the show can...

 (Ask Soriano) he invites people to ask him any bible-related question.

Charitable works

Soriano, through the help of his nephew Daniel Razon, has been spearheading many projects for the indigent. These include free medical and dental check-ups, a free Bus Ride and a free Transient Home for homeless people. Soriano and Razon created a free college scholarship program at the La Verdad Christian College in Metro Manila
Metro Manila
Metropolitan Manila , the National Capital Region , or simply Metro Manila, is the metropolitan region encompassing the City of Manila and its surrounding areas in the Philippines...

 which will provide scholarships to deserving youth.

On May 17, 2010, Soriano appeared (through a live video patch) in a concert conceptualized by Daniel Razon and was titled Protest Broadcast 3. The concert aims to help the families of the victims of the Maguindanao Massacre. The victims’ representatives received the net proceeds of the concert. The media workers’ orphaned children would also be granted scholarships. During his appearance, Soriano harshly criticized Former Philippine President
President of the Philippines
The President of the Philippines is the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The president leads the executive branch of the Philippine government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines...

 Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...

, whom he blamed for his legal troubles.

On August 1, 2010, Soriano-Razon's free college program would receive further financial support from the Philippine Basketball Association
Philippine Basketball Association
The Philippine Basketball Association , is a men's professional basketball league in the Philippines composed of 10 company-branded franchised teams. It is the first and oldest professional basketball league in Asia and the second oldest in the world after the NBA...

 (PBA) through a basketball game to be played by the PBA. The game, titled "Hoopsters Meet The Legends: Kahit Isang Araw Lang" is scheduled for the Cuneta Astrodome. The teams involved are the "PBA legends", Hoopsters (led by Razon) and the KAPI team. All the net proceeds will be given to support the free college program of Soriano and Razon.

Soriano and Razon are also involved with the donation and launch of two Mobile Schools (dubbed Dunong Gulong Project ) equipped with learning tools suited for the ALS (Alternative Learning System) of Philippine Education
Education in the Philippines
During the period of governance of Spain and the United States, education in the Philippines changed radically, mostly modeled on the system of education in the United States of the time...

. The project was initially conceptualized during a talk between Education Secretary
Department of Education (Philippines)
The Department of Education , is the executive department of the Philippine government responsible for the management and governing of the Philippine system of basic education. It is the chief formulator of Philippine educational policy and is responsible for the Philippine primary and secondary...

 Br. Armin Luistro and Razon in the latter's television program "Good Morning Kuya".

On November 27, 2010 Education Secretary
Department of Education (Philippines)
The Department of Education , is the executive department of the Philippine government responsible for the management and governing of the Philippine system of basic education. It is the chief formulator of Philippine educational policy and is responsible for the Philippine primary and secondary...

 Luistro signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Daniel Razon at the ADD Convention Center
ADD Convention Center
The Ang Dating Daan Convention Center is a large open-type convention center built in the Philippines. Owned directly by the Members Church of God International and supervised by Daniel Razon, the convention center was constructed in the 1990s to house the gatherings of the congregation...

 regarding the Dunong Gulong launch. The two Dunong Gulong mobile school buses were launched at the SM Mall of Asia on November 28, 2010. "And words became action". This is how Luistro described the project. He is impressed because of the support given by public service channel UNTV and the benevolent group, the Ang Dating Daan headed by Soriano, to anti-illiteracy campaign of the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

.

Conflicts with the Iglesia ni Cristo

The Iglesia ni Cristo
Iglesia ni Cristo
Iglesia ni Cristo also known as INC, is the largest entirely indigenous Christian religious organization that originated from the Philippines and the largest independent church in Asia. Due to a number of similarities, some Protestant writers describe the INC's doctrines as restorationist in...

 (Church of Christ) "has been in conflict
Conflicts between Iglesia ni Cristo and Members Church of God International
Since 1980, the Iglesia ni Cristo have been at odds with the Members Church of God International . Through Bro. Eli Soriano's program, he discussed biblical issues and exposed doctrines of other religious groups which he believed to be wrong, including those of INC...

" against Soriano ever since 1980 when Soriano started his Bible-exposé program "Ang Dating Daan". Iglesia ni Cristo, criticised by Soriano and Filipino
Filipino people
The Filipino people or Filipinos are an Austronesian ethnic group native to the islands of the Philippines. There are about 92 million Filipinos in the Philippines, and about 11 million living outside the Philippines ....

 media agencies for their political influence, also launched "Ang Tamang Daan
Ang Tamang Daan
Ang Tamang Daan is a program produced by the Philippine-based religious organization, Iglesia ni Cristo, and aired over its secular-programming television station, Net 25. On this program, the INC Ministers headed by Rommel Topacio, Leopoldo Guevarra and Maximo Bularan Jr...

" to counter Soriano's criticisms.

In August 2003, the Iglesia ni Cristo
Iglesia ni Cristo
Iglesia ni Cristo also known as INC, is the largest entirely indigenous Christian religious organization that originated from the Philippines and the largest independent church in Asia. Due to a number of similarities, some Protestant writers describe the INC's doctrines as restorationist in...

 sued Soriano for libel after Soriano accused them of publishing explicit comic books depicting Soriano having homosexual sex. In 2007, Soriano filed multiple petitions to stop the lawsuit to no avail.
In 2005, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board
Movie and Television Review and Classification Board
The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board is the government agency responsible for rating television and film for the Philippines. Recently, the MTRCB was given the additional task of rating various video media . It is under the executive powers of the Office of the President...

 (MTRCB, Philippines) banned Soriano's programs because of statements made by Soriano against the Iglesia ni Cristo
Iglesia ni Cristo
Iglesia ni Cristo also known as INC, is the largest entirely indigenous Christian religious organization that originated from the Philippines and the largest independent church in Asia. Due to a number of similarities, some Protestant writers describe the INC's doctrines as restorationist in...

 (INC), and the MTRCB. He was prohibited from uttering libelous and defamatory statements against INC. Soriano had used terms like iglesiang pumapatay ng kapwa tao (church who murders) and iglesia ni Manalo (church of Manalo) to malign the INC in his programs. The Philippine's Commission on Human Rights
Commission on Human Rights (Philippines)
The Commission on Human Rights is an independent office created by the Constitution of the Philippines, with the primary function of investigating all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights in the Philippines....

 urged Soriano to file charges against the MTRCB. The CHR ruled that Soriano's "freedom of speech and religion" was violated by the MTRCB's suspension order.

In the November 10, 2005 issue of Philippine Daily Inquirer
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Philippine Daily Inquirer, popularly known as the Inquirer, is the most widely read broadsheet newspaper in the Philippines, with a daily circulation of 260,000 copies. It is one of the Philippines' newspapers of record...

internet edition, it was reported Eliseo Soriano was put on the Bureau of Immigration watchlist. The order was made by Justice Secretary
Department of Justice (Philippines)
The Department of Justice , abbreviated as DOJ, is the executive department of the Philippine government responsible for upholding the rule of law in the Philippines...

 Raul Gonzales on the request of the Pampanga Prosecutor's Office.

Allegations of sexual assault

In May 2006, Soriano was indicted on rape
Rape
Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or with a person who is incapable of valid consent. The...

 charges at the regional trial court of Macabebe, Pampanga, following a complaint filed by former MCGI
Members Church of God International
The Members Church of God International is an independent Christian organization with headquarters in the Philippines. The Church of God International is colloquially known through its flagship international television program, Ang Dating Daan...

 productions (ADDCIT) staff Daniel Veridiano that he was sexually assaulted in Apalit, Pampanga on two occasions. Soriano countered, claiming that Veridiano was only retaliating after being expelled from the MCGI sect due to alleged misappropriation of funds of the ADD. Charges of Perjury under Art. 183 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 was also filed by Soriano against Veridiano. Sooner, the church released videos showing Veridiano admitting his crimes in the church and that he committed acts of lasciviousness against 14 fellow members; this was during the time Veridiano was still "de jure" (yet suspended) member of the church.

The charge was dismissed due to lack of evidences but was later refiled in a higher court by the country's Department of Justice
Department of Justice (Philippines)
The Department of Justice , abbreviated as DOJ, is the executive department of the Philippine government responsible for upholding the rule of law in the Philippines...

 Secretary, Raul Gonzales. Macabebe Regional Trial Court Judge Manuel Siyangco issued the warrant of arrest. Soriano was allowed to post a P400,000 bail
Bail
Traditionally, bail is some form of property deposited or pledged to a court to persuade it to release a suspect from jail, on the understanding that the suspect will return for trial or forfeit the bail...

 bond (P200,000 for each count).

In November 2006, an arrest warrant
Arrest warrant
An arrest warrant is a warrant issued by and on behalf of the state, which authorizes the arrest and detention of an individual.-Canada:Arrest warrants are issued by a judge or justice of the peace under the Criminal Code of Canada....

 was issued against Soriano by Judge Lucina Dayaon, Macabebe. Soriano posted a P240,000 bail
Bail
Traditionally, bail is some form of property deposited or pledged to a court to persuade it to release a suspect from jail, on the understanding that the suspect will return for trial or forfeit the bail...

 at a police Station in Pandacan, Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

 on June 21, 2008.

As of August 2010, the case has been archived but not terminated.

External links

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