By Cathrine Gonzales | Inquirer.net
MANILA, Philippines — Catholic charismatic group El Shaddai endorsed on Saturday the tandem of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for the presidential and vice presidential race in the May 9 polls.
Photos shared by the Partido Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) showed El Shaddai leader Mike Velarde raising the hands of Marcos Jr. and Duterte-Carpio during the group’s religious event. The charismatic group supported the candidacy of Marcos for vice president in 2016 but he lost to Leni Robredo, who is also now running for president.
In a statement, the camp of Marcos thanked El Shaddai for choosing to support the Marcos – Duterte-Carpio tandem.
Atty. Vic Rodriguez, Marcos’ chief of staff and spokesperson, said the generous gesture” of El Shaddai in endorsing the tandem is “another testament that the call to liberate the Filipino people from the fetters of disunity gets stronger by the day.”
“We extend our brotherly embrace to Bro. Mike Velarde and his congregation. Truly, the time has come for all to be of one desire, and that is, to hurdle the pandemic, and rise, as one nation, together with other nations, towards the road of recovery, even progress,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said the Marcos camp welcomes everyone in the movement for national unity.
“We welcome everyone in this movement for national unity, even those who have different political leanings and beliefs, even our very critics, for only in the act of joining hands we may triumph over all challenges we face today and on the road ahead,” he added.
Meanwhile, in a statement shared by Lakas-CMD, Duterte-Carpio also thanked El Shaddai for throwing its support to their tandem.
“Maraming, maraming salamat po Bro. Mike Velarde at sa milyun-milyong kasapi ng El Shaddai. Ang inyong suporta sa aking kandidatura pagka-bise presidente ng Pilipinas ay isang malaking tulong sa aking pangarap at mga gustong isulong kapag ako ay nahalal kasama ang ating presidential candidate, si Apo Bongbong Marcos,” Duterte-Carpio said.
(Thank you very much, Bro. Mike Velarde and to the millions of El Shaddai members. Your support to my candidacy will largely help me in reaching my dreams and the things I want to push for if I am elected together with our presidential candidate, Apo Bongbong Marcos.)
She said their tandem wants to continue the good programs and projects of the administration of his father, President Rodrigo Duterte.
She added that the endorsement of El Shaddai will further inspire her and Marcos to lead the country if they win in the upcoming polls.
“Kagalang-galang na Brother Mike Velarde, ang inyo pong dasal at basbas, kasama ng lahat ng kasapi ng El Shaddai, ay karagdagang sandata sa amin ni Apo BBM sa pagharap namin sa hamon na pamunuan ang ating bansa,” the Davao City mayor said.
(Respectable Brother Mike Velarde, your prayer and blessing, together with the members of El Shaddai, will be an added weapon for me and Apo BBM in facing the challenges of leading the country.)
“Alam ko na ang pagkakaisa ay isang bagay na pamilyar at malapit po sa puso ng mga kasapi ng El Shaddai. Kasama ang pananampalataya sa Diyos, ang pagkakaisa ang dahilan bakit malakas at lumalakas po ang inyong samahan,” she added.
(I know that unity is a familiar thing and is near the heart of El Shaddai members. Partnered with faith in God, your unity is the reason why your fellowship is strong.)