presidentiables court religious leaders endorsements – real votes or just bragging rights?
there is a new kid in the block. it’s used to be just the catholic bishops, the CBCP, Iglesia Ni Cristo and El Shaddai and now there is the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name that the presidentiables are courting.
the CBCP does not endorse a single candidate but it would normally give guidelines for its faithful in choosing their candidate. Iglesia Ni Cristo selects a candidate and asks its faithful to vote for that candidate. El Shaddai, headed by Mike Velarde also tells the faithful his choice. Recent developments seem to point manny villar is the the chosen one.
there is a new name, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, davao-based Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name (we like the name of the latter, very good marketing). we have not heard this name until this year and yet the presidentiables seem to be forming a line to talk to the pastor.
is there a religious vote? we do not think so. but we think it’s excellent marketing to get an endorsement from the religious groups and leaders. it is something that the press writes about and thus gives the candidate a sense of big numbers of supporters. in other words, these are just bragging rights.
these candidates have reduced the religious leaders as celebrity endorsers, some kind of a medal to wear on the lapel for others to see. we have not seen a candidate win or lose an election because of the religious endorsements.
in fact we did not see eddie villanueva winning the election when he ran for president and lost the last time. villanueva’s votes in that election even fell short of the number of members his JIL had. that meant contrary to claims or the wish, not all JIL members voted for villanueva. that is the problem with numbers – they look good and impressive at face value but often they do not deliver in real life.
we are also wondering, since villanueva is a religious leader himself and therefore we can assume righteous, why are the other religious leaders not endorsing villanueva? we think its logical that religious leaders will choose one of their own as the stamp of God is with them. but that is not happening. does that mean the religious leaders doubt the credentials of villanueva as righteous or is this just politics as usual?
Bishop: Religious leaders lord over pols, confuse God
By Leila Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:52:00 02/17/2010
MANILA, Philippines—With so many candidates seeking the blessings of religious leaders who say they speak in His name, God must be having fun but is also probably confused, according to Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz.
The retired Roman Catholic bishop said he would not wish to be in God’s shoes right now.
Cruz spoke at the Ilustrado forum in Manila where he was asked what he thought of candidates flocking to influential religious leaders Brother Mike Velarde and Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, who both command big followings.
“I am very happy I’m not God because if I were God, I would not know what to do,” Cruz said. “Here is the son of God endorsing this, and here is the leader endorsing this. I think God must be having fun.”
Easter Sunday decision
Quiboloy heads the Davao-based group called Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name, while Velarde heads the El Shaddai group. Members of both groups say their numbers run into millions.
Quiboloy, who claims to be the “Appointed Son of God,” seems to have become particularly popular among politicians running for president in the May 10 elections. A number of them have visited his “Prayer Mountain” compound in Davao and all reportedly have confirmed they will attend a presidential forum the group is hosting next month.
Velarde’s support has long been sought by candidates in national and local elections. On Sunday, Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Manuel Villar appeared as the only invited candidate at an El Shaddai rally in Hong Kong, where Velarde referred to the senator’s wife, Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar, as “Madame First Lady.”
Velarde said his group would make a collective decision by Easter Sunday on who it would vote for in May.