Sunday, April 4, 2010

Aquino, Villar, Estrada court votes of influential El Shaddai

By Nikko Dizon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:22:00 04/04/2010

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Inquirer Politics

Original Story:

MANILA, Philippines -- The top three contenders for the presidency in the May 10 elections on Sunday courted the votes of members of the religious sect El Shaddai led by its influential leader, Bro. Mike Velarde, at their Easter Day celebration in Paranaque City.

But Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III of the Liberal Party, Sen. Manuel Villar of the Nacionalista Party, and former President Joseph Estrada all declined to say whether or not they received the endorsement of Velarde, said to have command over three to four million members of his flock worldwide.

Among the three, Villar appeared to be the most confident that he would get Velarde's endorsement but it was Estrada who got the most cheers and loudest applause from the sect members gathered for the overnight vigil at Velarde's Am-Vel City in Paranaque.
“That's why we are sure that the surveys will change,” Estrada told reporters in Filipino after making a humorous 15-minute extemporaneous speech before the crowd that had them laughing and cheering “Erap! Erap!”[Estrada's nickname].

In separate interviews, Aquino and Villar said they would leave it up to Velarde and the El Shaddai leadership to make the announcement on who they would endorse for president in the May elections.

Villar admitted that he felt that Velarde had practically endorsed his candidacy in an El Shaddai gathering in Hong Kong two months ago.

“But I still want the announcement to come from them,” Villar said.

Aquino said that he and Velarde did not talk about a political endorsement after the Easter Mass but instead discussed matters such as the poll automation.

“I don't want to speculate [on Velarde's endorsement]. I am just happy that I was welcomed here and we were able to share points of views,” Aquino said.

Aquino attended the two-hour Easter Vigil mass with his sisters, Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, Pinky Aquino-Abellada, and Kris Aquino-Yap, as well as his running mate Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.

There were 300, 000 to 400, 000 people during the rally, according to ParaƱaque chief of police, Supt. Alfredo Valdez

Original Story:

No comments:

Post a Comment