Anthony Taberna files leave of absence from TV, radio shows amid Iglesia protest

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MANILA – ABS-CBN journalist Anthony Taberna is taking a temporary leave from his programs in the broadcast network to keep away from conflict of interest in reporting amid an ongoing protest of Iglesia ni Cristo members at EDSA-Shaw in Mandaluyong City.

This, Taberna announced on Sunday where he wrote on his Facebook account that the present situation won’t permit him to voice out credible opinions on issues regarding the INC protest being a church member.

In his FB post, Taberna said: “Mga kapamilya, napakalungkot po na nagpapaalam po muna ako sa programa namin na ‘Dos por Dos’ at ‘Umagang Kay Ganda’ dahil sa mga kaganapan po ngayon. 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.” (It is sad to note that I have to temporarily take a leave of absence from my programs due to the situation. As an active member of the INC, I might not be credible enough in tackling issues besetting the religious organization.)

“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 added. (I have my religious belief but I also have my responsibilities as a journalist which puts me in a situation of conflict of interests.)

In an Inquirer report, Taberna said the ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs management immediately granted his request for leave of absence from today until the INC issue settles down.

Before Taberna came out with his post on social media, he and his wife, Roselle, had the opportunity to speak before over a thousand INC members at the intersection of Edsa and Shaw Boulevard on Sunday noon.

According to him, the protesters who are asking the Department of Justice to stop the investigation on the alleged kidnapping of some church ministers, were not forced to attend the rally.

The INC members who have started the protest four days ago have criticized Justice Secretary Leila de Lima for allegedly meddling with internal affairs of their church.

The protesters moved from the Department of Justice compound in Padre Faura, Manila to Edsa on Friday evening, causing heavy traffic along the main roads.

The INC protesters who called for a separation of church and state, asked De Lima to focus instead on “more important issues” rather than prioritizing the illegal detention case filed by dismissed INC minister Isaias Samson against the church leadership.