Teodoro still hoping for Pastor Quiboloy’s nod
By TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Pastor Apollo Quiboloy is expected to announce his presidential candidate during his birthday celebration Sunday and administration standard-bearer Gilbert Teodoro Jr. hopes to hear the good news—first-hand.
“Nobody is sure of it, but we’re hoping Gibo will clinch the endorsement,” Lakas-Kampi-CMD deputy secretary general Reginald Velasco said by phone, confirming Teodoro’s attendance at the affair.
Apart from Teodoro, Quiboloy also invited vice presidential contender Edu Manzano and senatorial candidates Silvestre Bello III, Ramon Guico, Raul Lambino, Rey Langit, Senators Lito Lapid and Ramon Revilla Jr.
Other presidential aspirants, who, like Teodoro had sought Quiboloy’s endorsement since the campaign kicked off Feb. 6, are also expected to attend the celebration in Davao City.
Quiboloy, whose sect, The Kingdom of Jesus Christ, counts 6 million members around the world, had organized a presidential forum, but front-runners Senators Benigno Aquino III and Manuel Villar Jr. were no-shows.
Quiboloy had said he would announce his candidate on his 60th birthday at the sect’s sprawling headquarters in Davao City.
With deposed President Joseph Estrada joining Aquino and Villar in the political mudslinging, Quiboloy is more likely to pick Teodoro as his candidate, according to Velasco.
“Of the four front-runners, [Teodoro] is the only one left who has not thrown mud at the other candidates. Maybe on that basis he can nail, not only Quiboloy’s endorsement, but that of the other religious leaders,” he said.
While some frown on it, Quiboloy’s endorsement is crucial to the candidacy of Teodoro, who remains in fourth place in poll surveys—behind Aquino, Villar and Estrada, according to Velasco.
“The members are very disciplined. They wear white, they are squeaky clean. Who knows? They might vote as a bloc. Six million is a big number of votes,” he said on the phone.
Party secretary general Raymundo Roquero agreed: “The leader and the members have a very close relationship. They meet regularly, they are a close-knit community. They can act with one vote.”
The 3 Cs
Meanwhile, Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz clarified that as a member of the Catholic Church, he had not endorsed Teodoro or any other presidential candidate.
“We’re prohibited from doing that,” he said by phone.
In a print ad for Teodoro that appeared in the Inquirer on July 9, Cruz was quoted as having said that the former defense secretary “is the only candidate with the 3 Cs—competence, character and capability.”