INC Launched a Major Defamation Lawsuit against CBC’s The Fifth Estate program

Deception. Discouragement. Division.

CBC intentionally and maliciously published untrue and defamatory statements and innuendo about INC on their Fifth Estate program citing allegations of “murder, kidnapping, financial wrongdoing”.

It is time for iterative lies and regurgitated news be put to rest. They become exhausting when divisive intents are known.

INC is a Christian religious organization whose primary purposes are to serve and worship, and share the gospel of salvation with all people.

In many instances since January 2018, CBC rejected INC’s request to air their side of the story. Jennifer McGuire, General Manager and Editor in Chief of CBC News never even replied to an offer of an interview in early August 2018. It was the first request. 

At the behest of the expelled members of the Church, CBC had already formed its predetermined opinions. Given the perception of bias and prejudice within CBC, there is no guarantee that divergent views will be reflected respectfully by both Rankin and McKeown.

“CBC journalism promotes balance, impartiality, accuracy, integrity and fairness for information content.”

Balance, as defined on the CBC website, is the fair presentation of a range of views and perspectives over time.

In a display of arrogance and insolence, they attempted ambush interviews in front of chapels and venues holding sacred worship services, in Sacramento with 17,000  attendees and Toronto with about 2,000 worshippers. 

They tweaked their videos to show that they were the ones harassed.  Their sentiments were so harrowing that, in effect, portray the INC members and worshippers as members of an organization involved in “corruption, kidnapping, murder”. Through repetitions of these allegations, McKeown was quoted saying ” it ups the ante, but you also want to tell it in a way that people can understand and appreciate what the severity the allegations is”. 

It was condescending. 

CBC sourced their information from a few disgruntled members, who hurl invectives on social media using dummy accounts and fake profiles. 

Iterative lies and regurgitated news are just too exhausting.

It is but vital for INC members to seek justice in a temperate and rational way– in the proper forum, at the right time, for the right reason.

INC Launched a Major Defamation Lawsuit on CBC

Winnipeg, Manitoba (February 11, 2019) – The Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) or Church of Christ, an international religious organization, launched a major defamation lawsuit against Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)- The Fifth Estate’s TV program “Church of Secrets”—that they aired in November 2018.

The Notice of Action against CBC and those involved in the Fifth Estate program had been served on the people being sued. The actual lawsuit was filed in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Winnipeg, in a historic city where the first congregation of Iglesia Ni Cristo was registered in Canada.

A news conference organized on behalf of the INC held in Winnipeg on Friday announced that the charges were based on the scandalous, outrageous and false accusations against the Church in that program.

At the news conference attended by several Ministers of the Church, members of the Church, and the Church’s lawyers, the following points were made by Minister Rod Bruno and Minister Sidney Santos:

  • The Church is seeking, above all, vindication for the false allegations made against it by CBC’s Fifth Estate program and, Timothy Sawa and Bob McKeown. There was and is no evidence to support these false allegations;
  • The Church is seeking an apology and retraction for the misrepresentations and falsehoods asserted by the Fifth Estate program. CBC is not prepared to offer an apology and retraction and have therefore left the Church with no alternative but to pursue this lawsuit to hold them accountable for these grossly unjust accusations which were based on nothing more than innuendo and speculation;
  • The program included an allegation by an individual which turned out to be false.  Well before the program aired, the individual disavowed the information she had provided to CBC.  CBC should have known full well that what the individual said was false and had been disavowed, yet they proceeded to include it as part of the program.
  • The program referred to Iglesia Ni Cristo as the “Church of Secrets.” The point highlighted at the news conference that the Church had nothing to hide. The Church has been very involved in outreach programs, humanitarian programs of all sorts and has participated in assisting victims of calamities: hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, etc.
  • The Ministers made clear at the news conference that the members of the Church are law-abiding, God-fearing and peaceful citizens of Canada and the rest of the world.

The Church could not remain silent and do nothing about these spurious allegations against it that have stained and damaged the Church’s reputation. The Church is determined to hold CBC accountable for the gross misrepresentations that tainted its reputation worldwide.


Amazing Graces Strong

CBC Fifth Estate has created perception and prejudice against the INC

“A total hogwash”,  critics said about the CBC program.


CBC Fifth Estate’s odd documentary on “Church of Secrets” once again highlighted their standard practice of sensationalizing news.

Their video clips were taken out of context; some were cut and dried from fake news outlets like Rappler and some dummy news outlets on Facebook.

They may have gained traction on the number of viewership–assisted, wheeled and peddled by the anti-INC propagandists. The only fact is that they are REGURGITATED FAKE news. 

It’s not certain yet of the CBC ratings, but based on the mainstream media, most of their programs were failing ratings. Until they have shown the “Church of Secrets”.

CBC’s The National and CBCInvestigates were too tempted on the prospective viewership and inserted the teaser-trailer with a much-publicized caption of “murder, kidnapping, and financial wrongdoing” on their programs.

How do they push their stories forward? 

First, they make allegations, even though no evidence whatsoever to make such an outlandish statement. Next, they IMPLY with repeated questions. The goal was to raise doubts.

Typical smear job.


…particularly concerned with the CBC’s insidious slanting of news, their innuendos about people who do not fit their particular profile of what they deem acceptable, their non-reportage of the ridiculous quotes and ideas put forth by their pet people. 
 …sadly, [they] are intellectually lazy, and almost all accept the outright lies..

Yup! Above online comments may be from 2012 and 2013 national news on what CBC had been doing. The fact is: they haven’t learned. 


How many times did Bob McKeown mention the words “murder, kidnapping, and financial wrongdoing”?***     

Mr. Bob McKeown was videotaped saying, “We look forward to having theINC debunked!”…”Because we have been speaking to people, whose lives have been threatened by the church… husband killed by church…” and “I did not say Manalo killed anybody…What I did say is that the church is alleged to have been associated. People have told us, people say there were victims. They told us that the church is associated with the kidnapping murders and systemic corruption. Skimming from collections, smuggling money…”

He was the one bullying the Filipinos at the parking lot of the Golden Arena in Sacramento, and not the one intimidated by the presence of the ‘small guys” who stopped CBC in getting an ambush interview with the Church Leader.

CBC has already received the cease and desist order– days before Timothy Sawa attempted an ambush interview in Toronto in September 2018.

Timothy Sawa and his crew were already anticipating the unwelcoming crowd. So, they filmed it, recorded the conversations, then manipulated their video and played like they are the heroic journalists.

Their news sources: Menorca, Dizon, De Ocampo, Canono, et al were expelled members of the Church, so-called dissidents.  

There was no secret whatsoever that happened inside the Toronto chapel. It was a sacred gathering, a traditional worship service with the choir singing, homily, and prayers.   

Outside of the chapel, while the volunteers and a few paid-security staff were protecting the solemnity of the event, CBC Sawa made a litany of “alleged murder, kidnapping, and financial wrongdoing”.

It’s arrogance at its worst.

Here are the legal notes and comments on the CBC-FifthEstate’s program, “Church of Secrets” which, in part, will form the basis of the lawsuit against CBC, Sawa, McKeown, Menorca, Dizon and Liz De Ocampo:

1. The allegations against INC of kidnapping, murder and financial corruption are based on rumour, innuendo, gossip and speculation. The innuendo is very strong and severe. 

2. The allegations are not supported by any evidence and are uncorroborated. 

3. The allegations are not only untrue but are scandalous and vague. 

4. CBC and its journalists on this matter think they are above the law. They and the show portrayed arrogance. 

5. CBC complained about the program about being harassed by members of the church when it was, in fact, the other way around: they were harassing members of the church. 

6. CBC did not give the church an opportunity to present their side of the story despite several requests by us to do so. 

7. Our offer to produce a senior member of the church as a spokesperson was rejected by CBC. 

8. Calling the church the “Church of Secrets” was not supported by any evidence. 

9. McKeown referred to “sources” in a vague way without saying who they were, where they were or when they spoke to them. 

10. McKeown also said “people,” told them certain things but, again in a vague way without saying who, where or when. 

11. The Iglesia Ni Cristo has been defamed by baseless innuendo, gossip and speculation and should be sued along with the others listed above.

CBC reports should have been more mindful of how stories are framed. CBC reporters should also be mindful of the divisive and controversial intents of Lowell Menorca and his group.

Based on the aforementioned, CBC programs have demonstrated the intent to cause offence or instigate hatred against a group based on religion. Members of the press should and must have a duty to maintain the highest professional and ethical standards.

Theirs was a big neglect.

Since January 25, 2018, when Mr. Eric Rankin published his story about Lowell Menorca II, quoting the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) of Canada, that the “Philippines-based church has ‘means and motivation’ to kill refugee if returned”, CBC has already formed their predetermined opinions prior to gathering the facts of a story.  

Given the perception of bias and prejudice within CBC, there is no guarantee that divergent views will be reflected by Rankin, Sawa, McKeown, Swain and their crew.

They should be ashamed of themselves.


***My apologies, I have repeated these words too many times for the purpose of desensitization– to diminish readers’ emotional responsiveness to negative, aversive, and false allegations.


NOW, let’s share this with everyone else with the same media template and hashtags that incsilentnomore is using:  


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#fifthestate, #bobmckeown

… and with my favorite #cbcExposed

The Welkin Rings