Daily Tribune : El Shaddai endorses BBM-Sara

13 February 2022

By MJ Blancaflor | Daily Tribune

Before this, other presidential aspirants have been bruited about as being backed in tandem with the President’s daughter. They include an Isko-Sara pairing and a Ping-Sara tandem

The big religious group El Shaddai headed by Bro. Mike Velarde on early Saturday endorsed the presidential bid of former Sen. Bongbong Marcos of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) and running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio of the Lakas-Christian Muslim-Democrats (CMD).

The President’s daughter thanked El Shaddai and its millions of members for deciding to support her and Bongbong.

“Your blessing is an added ammunition in our quest to unify our country,” Sara said in the vernacular.

She vowed to pursue the programs of her father, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, including the campaign against illegal drugs.

The Davao City mayor said the endorsement of El Shaddai will inspire her and Bongbong to lead the country.

In a related development, the camp of Vice President Leni Robredo is not surprised that some politicians are pushing for a Leni-Sara tandem in the 9 May elections.

Leni is in tandem with Senator Kiko Pangilinan of the Liberal Party.

Leni’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said supporting candidates from rival parties was an “inevitable” scenario in the Philippines where presidents and vice presidents are elected separately.

“We aren’t really surprised. In any election, there will be groups outside of the campaign who will endorse a different tandem than the one actually pushed for by the campaign itself,” Gutierrez said Friday in a television interview.

“That’s an inevitable consequence of having a system where, instead of voting for a tandem, voters vote for an individual candidate for president and an individual candidate for vice president,” he added.

Before this, other presidential aspirants have been bruited about as being backed in tandem with the President’s daughter. They include an Isko-Sara pairing and a Ping-Sara tandem.

Sara however is firm in her stand for her running mate, Bongbong, saying she wouldn’t settle for anybody else and “cannot be one with you on this,” referring to those pairing her with other presidential aspirants.

Gutierrez stressed that while Leni’s choice for vice president is her party mate Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, she would welcome all forms of endorsement to boost her candidacy.

“If there are people who will say that they support her but they support another VP bet, then we will welcome that support because after all, an election is about addition,” he said.

“But we are firm in our position on supporting Senator Kiko as vice president,” Gutierrez added.

Leni had assured the public that in the event she becomes the next Chief Executive, she would get down to work with the winning candidate for the No. 2 post regardless of their differences.

At the sidelines of her campaign sortie in Calauan, Laguna on Friday, she said Filipinos will be the losers if the winning president and vice president are quarreling.

“After elections, everyone should set aside politics and work together — whether it’s me, whether it’s Mayor Sara — since it is our obligation to do so,” Leni said.

On the first five days of the grueling three-month-long campaign period, the Leni-Kiko tandem has barnstormed Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, and Albay in Bicol, as well as Batangas, Laguna, Bataan, and Zambales.

During their campaign sortie in Albay, 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda endorsed Leni for president. He declared support for Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio the following day.

“These two are friends who can work together if they both win,” he said. Both Leni and Sara said they respect Salceda’s views.

Sara is running in tandem with Bongbong Marcos Jr. They are the tandem to beat in the upcoming polls, according to Pulse Asia’s December 2021 survey.

Leni ranked second in the presidential race, while Pangilinan sat in third place behind Sara and Senate President Tito Sotto.

The Philippines has yet to install a female president and a female vice president at the same time.