Rumors claimed that Iglesia Ni Cristo is endorsing presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte, but members of the sect said that nothing is official yet.
Since INC leader Ka Eduardo Manalo flew back from Jerusalem, candidates have been wooing the spearhead that controls millions of votes. On Apr. 22, Duterte dropped by at the INC headquarters in Commonwealth, which sparked rumors that the sect is endorsing the candidate.
However, reliable sources confirmed that there is no official list of candidates released to the different locals to serve as guide. INC members expect the list to be distributed on May 7 or 8, which is a day or two before the national elections, during the service.
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Insiders also claimed that INC has shortlisted presidentiables Grace Poe and Duterte for their endorsement. Ads of Poe and Duterte are aired in NET 25, which is part of the media arm of INC.
Meanwhile, President Benigno Aquino III had a closed door meeting with the Executive Minister earlier today. This suggests that the current president is courting the minister, who endorsed him when he ran for president in 2010, for the Liberal Party bet Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo.
Marcos for VP?
There are also whispers that Vice Presidential bet Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is being endorsed by the religious organization. Aside from Marcos, INC allegedly supports 10 senators: Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, ex-Technical Education Skills Development Authority secretary-general Joel Villanueva, former Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino, Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, Senate President Franklin Drilon, reelectionist Senators Ralph Recto and Vicente Sotto III, and ex-senators Panfilo Lacson, Fancisco Pangilinan and Juan Miguel Zubiri.
The Iglesia neither confirmed nor denied the reports. “Once we informed our brethren in the Iglesia of which candidates have been selected by the church, that’s the time we will inform the media and the public,” INC spokesman Edwil Zabala said.