Anthony Taberna takes leave of absence from TV, radio show
MANILA, Philippines – Broadcast journalist Anthony Taberna on Sunday, August 30, announced that he will take a leave of absence from his two shows on ABS-CBN, citing "conflict of interest" due to the ongoing controversy surrounding the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC).
Taberna, a member of the INC, posted a short statement on his Instagram account explaining his decision to leave the ABS-CBN TV show "Umagang Kay Ganda" and the dzMM radio show "Dos Por Dos."
"Ako po bilang aktibong miyembro ng Iglesia ni Cristo ay nasa isang sitwasyon na hindi maaaring maging credible sa pagtalakay sa isyung may kinalaman dito," Taberna posted.
(As an active member of the Iglesia ni Cristo, I am in a situation where I can't credibly discuss issues surrounding these events.)
"Mayroon po akong paniniwalang pangrelihiyon at mayroon din naman akong tungkulin bilang mamamahayag, bagay na hindi po maaaring pagsamahin ngayon dahil sa tinatawag na conflict of interest," he said.
(I have religious beliefs, and I also have a duty as a journalist, two things I cannot mix due to conflict of interest.)
ABS-CBN, he said, immediately acted on his leave request, but said he will be back once the controversy surrounding his church dies down.
Appearance at Shaw rally
His statement came within hours after he and his wife appeared onstage before the INC crowd gathered along EDSA corner Shaw Boulevard on Sunday.
In his brief speech, Taberna said church authorities did not force INC members to gather along one of the major thoroughfares in the metro.
“Hindi po tayo pinilit na pumunta dito. Lahat po tayo ay pagod. Puwede naman tayong magpakuyakoy sa ating mga bahay pero dahil mahal natin ang Iglesia ni Cristo kaya patuloy natin itong ipinaglalaban,” Taberna said, as his wife Rossel stood beside him.
(We were not forced to go here. We are all tired. We could have stayed at home but because we love the Iglesia ni Cristo, we are continuing this fight.)
He called on his brethren to maintain peace and order as they continue their street vigil, which is now on its 4th day.
INC members started their rally in front of the Department of Justice in Manila on Thursday afternoon, August 27, demanding that government keep its hands off the illegal detention complaint filed by expelled minister Isaias Samson Jr against the leaders of the INC, which is facing its worst crisis in years.
Samson, who alleged abduction and corruption in the INC, is the uncle of Taberna, an INC member himself.
Before dawn on Friday, unidentified gunmen opened fire at Taberna's newly opened coffee shop along Visayas Avenue, Quezon City. No one was hurt in the attack.
Probers are still investigating the motive behind the shooting. – With reports from Mara Cepeda and KD Suarez / Rappler.com