By Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star)
Updated December 01, 2009 12:00 AM
Bangon Pilipinas standard-bearer Eddie Villanueva (right) and his running mate Perfecto Yasay, a former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, hold copies of their certificates of candidacy at the Commission on Elections office in Manila yesterday. EDD GUMBAN
MANILA, Philippines - Jesus is Lord (JIL) leader Bro. Eddie Villanueva, standard-bearer of the Bangon Pilipinas party, took a shot at the presidency once more when he filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) with his running mate, former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Perfecto Yasay.
Bangon’s senatorial slate is composed of Dr. Israel Nicolas, an educator; Zafrullah Alonto who is a descendant of former senators Alauya and Domocao Alonto; broadcasters Ma. Katherine Luningning “Kata” Inocencio of the 700 Club, Alex Tinsay of GMA-7 and lawyer Ramoncito Ocampo.
“I’m now presenting to you the ‘Dream Team’ of Bangon Pilipinas Party. This is the ‘Magnificent Seven.’ Each of us represents the various sectors of our society,” Villanueva told reporters.
He boasted that none of Bangon’s candidates has an “iota or trace of corruption in the past.”
“(We are) not beholden to any political power, not beholden to any business or economic power. (We are only) beholden to God and the Filipino people,” he said.
Villanueva first sought the presidency in 2004 but lost to President Arroyo. This time around, he claimed that Bangon Pilipinas would have enough volunteers in the grassroots to guard their votes.
“In 2004, I decided to run three months before the election. But now, we have been preparing for two years. Silently, the sleeping giant, Bangon Pilipinas, has already awakened,” he added.
He also clarified that it was Bangon Pilipinas that was accredited by the Comelec to make use of yellow gold as the party’s official color. They have been using yellow gold since 2004 because it symbolizes resurrection and sunrise.
The true colors of the Liberal Party (LP), he said, are red, white and blue and only when Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III came in as its standard-bearer did it start adopting the color yellow because of its significance to Aquino’s mother, former President Corazon Aquino.
When asked about his poor showing in surveys, the tele-evangelist said he believed that the survey was not accurate since it only covered five candidates.
If he becomes president, Villanueva said he would introduce a formula that would minimize corruption in government, particularly at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
He also promised to construct one million modest homes and one million classrooms every year and build 100,000 kilometers of roads every year.
Their party would promote seven “Es” namely empowerment, emancipation, educating the people in a quality and progressive way, energizing the economy, elevating the standards of living of all Filipinos, eradicating bad governance and establishing peace and order all over the land.
Moro National Liberation Front (MILF) former leader Nur Misuari is also reportedly running as Sulu governor under the BPP.
‘El Shaddai’s Velarde likely to endorse Bro. Eddie’
Bangon Pilipinas senatorial bet Ocampo, who is also an elder disciple of El Shaddai, said there is a possibility that Bro. Mike Velarde of El Shaddai will consider endorsing Villanueva’s presidential bid.
Ocampo, a family and immigration lawyer based in the United States helping overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), has been a member of El Shaddai since 1993. He is now an elder disciple-preacher with El Shaddai DWXI-Prayer Partners Foundation Inc. (PPFI) in the United States.
He clarified that while he is an elder disciple of El Shaddai, he could not speak for Velarde.
But Ocampo explained that Velarde does not make an outright endorsement of a presidential candidate, preferring to give subtle hints as to who his choice is.
“I’m here. That’s a subtle sign,” Ocampo said.
He added that before he agreed to run for senator under Bangon Pilipinas, he sought Velarde’s blessings.
Since Velarde has decided not to pursue presidential plans, Ocampo believed that “if there is anybody next to Bro. Mike, it’s Bro. Eddie. No one is more spiritual
(than) Bro. Eddie.” – With Evelyn Macairan