MANILA – A Quezon City court has ordered evangelist Eliseo Soriano to pay religious group Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) a fine of P100,000 for the supposed malicious and libelous remarks that he uttered in his television show 10 years ago.
In a 19-page decision, Regional Trial Court Branch 92 Judge Eleuterio Bathan said elements of libel were present in the April 23 and 27, 2003 broadcasts of Soriano’s “Ang Dating Daan,” in which he uttered statements against INC such as “Iglesiang pumapatay ng kapwa tao, manloloko, terrorist, magnanakaw, and mamamatay tao.” “There is no question that the broadcasts were made public and imputed to Iglesia Ni Cristo defects or circumstances tending to cause it dishonor, discredit and contempt,” read the decision promulgated on Monday. are libelous per se, uncalled for and misleading information to the public.
Now as for the judge who presided over this arraignment, was his judgment prudent, to make all Eli Soriano’s accusation as libelously at par with each other–as gravely, libel?
Nevertheless, this is not the final judicial front line.
Soriano’s memorable quotes that proved to be true during a live debate held last February 7 this year.