Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Villanueva tells Aquino: ‘Diyos at Bayan,’ that’s my slogan

January 14, 2010 04:29:00
Dona Pazzibugan
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Original Story:

MANILA, Philippines—Is there a copyright to the slogan “Diyos at Bayan” (God and Country)?

For evangelist and presidential candidate Eduardo “Brother Eddie” Villanueva Jr., front-running rival Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III appears to be mimicking his longtime political mantra.

The Bangon Pilipinas standard-bearer was reacting to Aquino’s latest campaign ad in which the latter invoked piety and patriotic duty in his vow to fight poverty and resist temptations of corruption once in power.

“Nangangako ako sa Diyos at sa bayan, hindi ako magnanakaw (I promise before God and country, I will never steal),” Aquino, who had consistently topped the surveys of presidential contenders, declared in the ad.

Title of talk show

As though to underscore his stake on the slogan, Villanueva Wednesday pointed out that “Diyos at Bayan” was the title of his long-running talk show produced by his own ZOE Broadcasting Network and which aired on QTV 11, GMA 7 and UHF Channel 33.

“We are happy that Noynoy is convinced in the advocacy of Bangon Pilipinas to put God and country first before oneself,” he said in a statement.

Sought for comment, Liberal Party campaign manager Florencio Abad said Aquino did not merely mouth the slogan but also embodied it.

“To Noynoy this is not a new slogan that he is picking up from Brother Eddie. It has been his life, the embodiment of his belief and core,” Abad said. “Slogans remain slogans until they are lived out. Noy has done it.”

“Anybody can say I love God or even fear God. One can be religious without God, but a person who upholds his word through justice and fairness is proof of genuine fear. Noy has shown his fear of God not in slogans but by his dealings with people and governance,” he stressed.

The preacher-turned-politician stressed that his own campaign was also centered on the theme of serving God and country.

The 63-year-old Villanueva said Aquino’s ad showed that the Liberal Party standard-bearer had been supporting his advocacy all along.

“Noynoy must have felt that putting God in everything we do is really the way to go. We at Bangon Pilipinas have always believed that,” said the religious leader who also founded the Jesus is Lord Church.

Christianity in governance

“Without genuine love for God and for country, it is very easy for a leader to succumb to his or her own selfish interests and disregard the welfare of the Filipino people. If you are a true follower of Christ, as Christians are supposed to be, then you cannot in conscience even think of enriching yourself through corrupt means,” Villanueva added.

“We are a predominantly Christian nation. Yet where is our love for God? It is not reflected at all in the way that many of our leaders are running the affairs of our government,” he said.

Villanueva is making a second bid for Malacañang after a dismal showing in the 2004 elections, where he finished last among the five candidates.

Facing seven opponents in this year’s race, Villanueva has been trailing in the surveys conducted by the Social Weather Stations. With a report from Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.

Original Story:

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