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Statement by the G12 Asia Coordinator Lawrence Khong, on Philippines' G12 network.
19 Jul 2016
STATEMENT BY APOSTLE LAWRENCE KHONG, G12 ASIA COORDINATOR
I. THE ACCUSATIONS BY RICHARD WITMER CONCERNING THE PHILIPPINES G12 COORDINATOR, BISHOP ORIEL BALLANO;
On June 23 2016, Richard Witmer sent me an email containing allegations regarding Bishop Oriel Ballano, the G12 Coordinator of the Philippines.
The weighty accusations against Bishop Oriel stated that:
- Bishop Oriel is not a man of integrity. He has been found lying to the National 12 of the G12 Network in the Philippines;
- Bishop Oriel is a corrupt man who is motivated by money and power. He forms his own network of churches under the name of “Doulos” and receives tithes from these churches as their “bishop”. This according to Rich Witmer is common practice among the Philippines churches;
- Bishop Oriel appointed a pastor to the National 12 whose church has less than a hundred people; and
- Bishop Oriel is trying to restrict pastors from working in the UK and other Asian countries in the churches that they have planted.
My wife, Senior Pastor Nina and I - together with Rev Simon Yee who is the Assistant to the G12 Asia Coordinator (Philippines & Indonesia), and FCBC Pastor Patrick Pang, travelled to the Philippines on 10 July to do due diligence with regard to the above accusations. We met with each of the National 12 pastors and their wives individually without Bishop Oriel to solicit their honest and unbiased responses to these allegations. We managed to meet all the couples except Pastors Herley and Nelly Montes who were unable to be present.
The following statements are the unanimous feedback of the National 12 - with the exception of Pastor Leo Carlo Panlilio who had already, in an earlier meeting in Davao, chosen to stand with Richard Witmer:
- There is no reason at all to doubt the honesty and integrity of Bishop Oriel. For good and proper corporate governance, all financial matters of the G12 network are handled by the Treasurer, Pastor Vicky Sebastian, and not Bishop Oriel. He is also not one of the three required signatories for cheques issued by G12 Philippines.
- Bishop Oriel does not have a network of “Doulos” churches in the Philippines. In fact, some churches have voluntarily offered to become part of the “Doulos” umbrella, but have been turned down by Bishop Oriel. He has publicly said the reason he will not start any “Doulos” church in the Philippines is because his mandate from God is to help existing churches grow in the G12 vision.
- The appointment of the pastor of the small church to be one of the National 12 was done in full consultation with all in the Philippines National 12 and fully endorsed by Pastor Cesar.
- Bishop Oriel does not restrict pastors from working in the UK and other Asian countries in churches that they have planted. Rather, he insists these G12 churches submit and support the G12 coordinator of these respective countries. This is a position that I, as the Asia G12 Coordinator, have insisted on and have communicated this to Bishop Oriel in the past.
Upon our meticulous review and dialogue with the Philippines National 12, my conclusion is that Richard Witmer’s accusations against Bishop Oriel are totally baseless and unfounded.
II. THE BARRING OF RICHARD WITMER FROM MINISTERING AT G12 EVENTS IN ASIA;
It is my directive as the Asia G12 Coordinator that we will not permit Richard Witmer to minister at any G12 event in Asia due to the following reasons:
- Richard Witmer has officially resigned from the G12 network. He has gone so far as to publicly state on social media that he is no longer accountable to Pastor Cesar.
- Richard Witmer is recently divorced. He needs to set his house in order and come under spiritual authority to help him in this area.
- A video has been circulating showing Richard Witmer with a female member of his church staff entering a hotel bedroom in the middle of the night. This is grossly improper and most incriminating for any Christian disciple – let alone a pastor of a church. Every member of the Philippines National 12 found it totally unacceptable and unbecoming of a spiritual leader. In my own church, this type of inappropriate conduct among my pastoral staff will not be tolerated. He or she will be asked to leave immediately.
It is therefore my view that Richard Witmer is not spiritually qualified to be in a position of Christian leadership at this moment. Hence, I ask that no church in the G12 Asia network have him minister at any G12 event. My prayer is that God will bring him to a point of brokenness and repentance.
Apostle Lawrence Khong
Asia G12 Coordinator