In a report on GMA News’ morning program Unang Balita, Mike Velarde, founder and servant leader of charismatic group El Shaddai, finally said that he will not endorse any presidential candidate for the general elections on May 9.
Velarde stressed that he will leave it up to El Shaddai members to decide upon who they think would be the best candidate to lead the country at this time.
Instead of giving his blessing to a particular candidate, the group leader instead urged the members to vote wisely and pray for guidance as they make the crucial decision in the upcoming national elections.
On Saturday, three presidential candidates attended El Shaddai’s prayer vigil in Paranaque City in hopes that they will get an endorsement from Velarde.
In the said gathering, Senator Grace Poe, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Secretary Mar Roxas were given the opportunity to present their programs and platforms in front of thousands of the religious group’s members.
But by the end of the vigil, the religious leader did not declare who he will endorse for president.
While some candidates believe that El Shaddai’s endorsement would be a huge advantage to their bid, Velarde never claimed that their group is a voting bloc.
Bishop Teodoro Bacani, who serves as the spiritual leader of El Shaddai, earlier advised members of the charismatic group to not vote for presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte, expressing his unease with the Davao mayor’s attitude that it is okay to “do evil by fighting evil.”
“Ang sinasabi ko lang, nakakabahala kapag ganyan mga pananaw. At ang mas lalong nakakabahala eh iyong ganoon ang paniniwala ng maraming tao na puwede ka gumawa ng masama upang sugpuin ang masama. Kung ganyan ang pananaw natin ang baba na ng moralidad ng ating bansa,” the retired bishop said.
(All I am saying is that those views are worrisome. And what’s even more worrisome is the people’s mindset that you can fight evil by doing evil. If that is our mindset then our morality as a nation has become so low.)