Bro. Mike to announce presidential bet on Saturday
By Sheila Crisostomo and Aurea Calica
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – El Shaddai leader Mike Velarde said yesterday he would reveal on Saturday the presidential candidate his group would support in the May 10 polls.
In an interview at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Intramuros, Manila, Velarde said the El Shaddai Council of Elders has been evaluating the track records of leading presidential bets.
He however refused to give a hint who between frontrunners Senators Manuel Villar Jr. and Benigno Aquino III he would endorse.
Velarde and officials of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, led by chairman Donald Dee, went to the Comelec yesterday to meet with poll officials.
Dee said they want to help the Comelec ensure a peaceful and credible election.
Meanwhile, Aquino disclosed that he and his sisters had met with Iglesia ni Cristo executive minister Eduardo Manalo thrice and was given a chance to discuss his platform and other issues.
His running mate, Sen. Manuel Roxas II, also had a meeting with INC leaders where he was asked about his program of government.
Talks are circulating that INC leaders are no longer considering Villar and that their choice had been narrowed down between Aquino and administration candidate Gilberto Teodoro Jr.
He admitted courting the votes of religious groups but it would be up to various sectors supporting them to make the announcement.
“My sisters were with me when I met him. It was also our chance to say thank you because there were prayers offered by INC for my mother’s health and also after she passed away so that was the perfect opportunity (to meet them),” Aquino said.
He said they were also able to discuss concerns about poll automation and other issues the Comelec had not addressed.
Aquino and Roxas said they hoped to get the endorsements of at least three big groups by next week.
Roxas debunked text messages being sent that the INC was looking for the “highest bidder,” saying these were only black propaganda.