Saturday, February 27, 2010

Evangelist presidential bet vows ‘zero corruption’

By Dona Pazzibugan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:22:00

Filed Under: Elections, Eleksyon 2010, Politics, Inquirer Politics

Original Story:

MANILA, Philippines -- Promising “six years of zero corruption” if elected, evangelist-turned-presidential candidate Eduardo “Brother Eddie” Villanueva led his Bangon Pilipinas party proclamation rally at the historic Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila on Saturday.

The proclamation rally was preceded by a motorcade participated in by about 1,000 vehicles that started from the People Power Monument along Edsa, Quezon City at 6 a.m..

The motorcade traversed the highway up to Monumento in Caloocan City, briefly stopping at the monument of Philippine Revolution leader Andres Bonifacio before heading to Quiapo.

Traffic was jammed on the Lawton-bound lane of Quezon Boulevard because of the many vehicles parked there. Despite the heat of the sun, some supporters, who all came in yellow “Eddie Tayo!” shirts, stayed in the middle of the plaza in front of the Quiapo Church using their own umbrellas during the five-hour program that started about 9 a.m.

A huge tarpaulin on the covered makeshift stage proclaimed the party's slogan, “Ibalik ang dangal! Anim na taong walang korapsyon (Restore our pride! Zero corruption for six years) with blown-up pictures of Villanueva, running mate and former securities and exchange chief Perfecto Yasay Jr. and their six senatorial candidates.

Before taking the stage, Villanueva told reporters that they chose to start their proclamation rally at the People Power Monument as Bangon Pilipinas' way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1986 People Power revolution that ended the 20-year Marcos dictatorship.

Villanueva, the founder of the Jesus is Lord Church, added they chose Plaza Miranda, site of the bombing of the 1971 Liberal Party campaign rally that preceded the imposition of martial law in 1972, because it has always served as “a symbol of public opinion historically.”

“EDSA revolution brought back democracy. But sadly it did not bring back righteous governance,” said Villanueva, who described himself as a radical activist during the Marcos regime.

“People power is not merely an occasion that is celebrated every year. The essence of People Power is the empowerment of every Filipino in a democratic environment. With this power, the Philippines can liberate itself from the shackles of corruption and rise again,” he went on.

He thanked Bangon Pilipinas' supporters for the “show of force,” expressing his surprise at the turnout at the motorcade.

“The show of force is a clear statement of Filipinos who are tired of traditional politics. I challenge every Filipino who loves God and country to remember our history. We are a nation of heroes. Let us become heroes again. The answer to the nation’s woes is in your hands,” he said.

“Under our Constitution, People Power is recognized. But for nine years (under the Arroyo administration) we restrained ourself from staging People Power. We waited for the May 10 elections to bring back real change,” said Villanueva.

His senatorial candidates are Dr. Zafrullah Alonto, lawyers Reynaldo Princesa and Ramoncito Ocampo, broadcast journalists Kata Inocencio and Alex Tinsay, Count Habib Adz Nikabulin, and educator Dr. Israel Virgines.

Villanueva ran for the first time in 2004 when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo won her presidential bid. The 2004 victory of Arroyo -- who was first catapulted to Malacañang in the 2001 EDSA revolt that ousted Joseph Estrada from the presidency -- was disputed a year after when tapes of Arroyo’s conversations with an elections commission official surfaced. Arroyo later apologized for her lapse of judgment but insisted she did not mean to ask the official to cheat for her, but was just following up the status of her vote count.

Original Story:

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