The Manila Times : No INC backing yet for Uniteam

9 February 2022

By The Manila Times

BOCAUE, Bulacan: There is no official statement yet from the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) declaring its support for presidential candidate and former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

In a chance interview before the proclamation rally of the UniTeam, Marcos spokesman Victor Rodriguez said there was no conversation between the camp of Marcos and the INC.

He said the tandem chose the INC-owned Philippine Arena because it can accommodate more supporters of Marcos and Duterte-Carpio.

"You are reading too much between the lines. We have not said anything close to that. Ito ay venue lamang (It's just a venue)," Rodriguez told reporters when asked if Marcos and Duterte-Carpio got the INC's support after it allowed the UniTeam to hold its rally here.

In 2016, the INC, known for bloc voting, endorsed then presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte and Marcos, who ran for vice president.

The Philippine Arena boasts of a 55,000 seating capacity, but only 25,000 were allowed to witness the event in compliance with health protocols.

UniTeam event organizers said that only fully vaccinated individuals were allowed inside the arena.

Marcos and Duterte-Carpio introduced their official senatorial line-up composed of Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Juan Miguel Zubiri and former Defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro.

They were joined by former Public Works and Highways secretary Mark Villar, former Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr., Antique Rep. Loren Legarda, former senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada, Sagip party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta, former Quezon City mayor Herbert Bautista, lawyer Larry Gadon, and former senator and Information and Communications Technology secretary Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan 2nd.

Meanwhile, different transport groups, socio-civic and political organizations committed their support for the presidential bid of Marcos.

To signify their commitment, the leaders of the different groups signed a manifesto of support for Marcos' candidacy.

Among the groups that attended the meeting, organized by Col. Erik Bautista, former head of the Makati Public Safety Department, were leaders of Matrifed, an association of tricycle drivers; the United Transport Federation of Makati (UTFM), a jeepney association; Pedicab Association; Knight Riders Nation (KRN); and market vendors association.

Also present were heads of the Alpha Phi Omega Makati Chapter; Tau Gamma Phi Makati Chapter; Alpha Kappa Rho Makati Chapter; Guardians Makati Chapter; ASAP Makati Chapter; and the Lex Leonum Fraternitas, a group of volunteer lawyers for Marcos), among others.

"We, the members of UNITED TRANSPORT FEDERATION OF MAKATI (UTFM), hereby wholeheartedly and strongly support former Senator FERDINAND "BONGBONG" ROMUALDEZ MARCOS JR. to run for PRESIDENT of the Republic of the Philippines in the 2022 National Elections," said Nerio Duka, UTFM president, in a manifesto.

Jimmielyn Almazan, KRN national president, said they are supporting Marcos because they believe that his platform and plans will bring further development to the country.