Iglesia ni Cristo and Regghie Orpiada

Instead of dedicating their time and effort to help out the survivors of super typhoon Yolanda, some individuals would instead use the opportunity to stir controversy involving people of different religions. In recent days, a series of Twitter posts by someone named ‘Regghie Orpiada’ has gone viral.

The said user presented himself as a member of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC). In his posts, Orpiada is gleefully noting that INC worship houses remained standing even though much of the community where it is located was washed out by Yolanda. There were also accusations circulating online that non-INC members were shooed away when they sought shelter in the said group’s worship houses at the height of the storm.

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Regghie Orpiada is not an Iglesia ni Cristo member

Naturally, many unsuspecting netizens, including some of my students, became aghast upon reading the said posts. Not surprisingly, they directed their anger at INC. However, the truth eventually came out. The real Regghie Orpiada came out and claimed that his account was hacked.

Nevertheless, some netizens are arguing that Orpiada intentionally made the inflammatory posts to gain public fame. Meanwhile, accusations that non-INC members were refused shelter inside INC facilities were also debunked.

While the Internet is a very useful tool in information dissemination, erroneous reports also gets shared just as easily. Because of the easiness by which we can “share” online content, the need to verify things gets lost in the process. This isn’t really a stunning development. In fact, it has been discussed in The Economist as early as 1999.

Making the problem worse is the fact that those who commit these shameless acts can get away unscathed because they can stay anonymous. This is a useless distraction from the relief and evacuation efforts that everyone should be focusing on. The most important lesson from this incident is to learn to ignore online BS.

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About Mark Madrona 1191 Articles
Mark Madrona is a prize-winning blogger, online journalist, and educator from the Philippines. Previously a book editor, he is now teaching communication subjects for two public universities in Manila. His blog The Filipino Scribe won 3rd place in a blog competition organized by the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP). In 2015, it was one of the finalists in the 2015 Lasallian Scholarum Awards for Best Online Feature Article in Youth and Education. He also won the Best Blog Award during the 2011 Population and Development Media Awards, the youngest recipient of that recognition. Know more about him here: http://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

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