MANILA – Presidential candidate, former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte on Tuesday night welcomed the endorsement of the religious group Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), as they vowed to pursue their platform of unity to help Filipinos recover from the crisis brought about by the pandemic.
During the UniTeam Alliance’s “Miting de Avance” in Guimbal, Iloilo, Marcos assured that he and Duterte would work to ensure that the trust given to them by the influential religious group would result in unity among Filipinos, leading to a brighter future for the youth.
“Sisikapin po namin na ang tiwalang ipinagkaloob niyo sa aming tambalan ay magbubunga ng tunay na pagkakaisa ng mga Pilipinong nagmamahal sa Pilipinas at walang alinlangan na sama-samang haharap sa mga pagsubok na daraan sa paghanda ng magandang bukas para sa ating mga kabataan (We will make sure that the trust you gave to our alliance would result in unity among Filipinos who love the Philippines and who would not hesitate to face the challenges ahead to prepare a brighter future for our youth),” Marcos said.
Duterte, meanwhile, said it was an honor to receive the INC's endorsement, as well as a challenge for the UniTeam to unify the country to help its recovery from the pandemic.
“Ang pagpili sa amin ni Apo Bongbong Marcos bilang mga kandidato na inyong sinusuportahan sa pagka-presidente at bise presidente sa darating na halalan ay isang malaking karangalan na may kaakibat na hamong nakatuon sa aming kakayahang mapag-isa ang bansa, mapagbuklod ang mga Pilipino at maitawid ang sambayanan sa crisis na dulot ng pandemya (Your decision to support me and Bongbong Marcos in our bid for vice presidency and presidency, respectively, in the coming elections is both a huge honor and a challenge in our capacities to unite the country, unify the Filipinos, and help them get through the pandemic-induced crisis),” she said.
The INC, with about 2.5 million members worldwide, announced its decision to formally endorse Marcos as president and Duterte as vice president during the “Mata ng Agila” news program over Net 25.
The religious group is known for its capacity to deliver a bloc vote.
In the 2016 polls, the INC also endorsed the vice presidential bid of Marcos and President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a statement, lawyer Vic Rodriguez, Marcos' spokesperson and chief of staff, expressed gratitude to the INC.
"We will value the support you have given to us just like the support of the majority of our fellow Filipinos. This kind of trust will serve as a guide to presidential frontrunner Bongbong Marcos and vice presidential leader Inday Sara Duterte in leading our nation should they win in the upcoming elections on May 9,” Rodriguez said.
This week, the INC is expected to distribute sample ballots bearing the names of the UniTeam pair and senatorial candidates Jojo Binay, Alan Peter Cayetano, JV Ejercito, Guillermo Eleazar, Francis Escudero, Jinggoy Estrada, Sherwin Gatchalian, Loren Legarda, Robin Padilla, Joel Villanueva, Mark Villar, and Miguel Zubiri. (PNA)