MANILA, Philippines – Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, founder of the 6-million strong Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC) religious sect, on Sunday made no formal announcement on which presidential candidate he will endorse for the May 10 elections.
He did, however, broadly hint that his preferred candidate is "magaling at matalino."
"Galing at Talino" is the campaign slogan of Lakas-Kampi Christian Muslim Democrats standard-bearer Gilbert Teodoro.
It was not the first time that the influential Davao pastor and self-proclaimed "son of God" had allegedly endorsed Teodoro's candidacy. Last February 11, Quiboloy prayed that God would favor Teodoro by letting him win the presidential election.
On Sunday, Quiboloy said his personal preference could still differ from God's own revelation on who he should endorse for the May poll. He said he will make a formal announcement on his endorsement on May 2, just one week before the election.
Politicians and candidates in the May elections flocked to the KJC leader's Sonshine Land to celebrate Quiboloy's 60th birthday. Among those who visited the pastor were presidential candidates Richard Gordon, Joseph Estrada, Brother Eddie Villanueva, Jamby Madrigal and Teodoro.
Also seen at the party were vice presidential candidates Jay Sonza, Jejomar Binay and Perfecto Yasay; and senatorial candidates Ompong Plaza, Toots Ople, Ramon Mitra, Jr and Adel Tamano of the Nacionalista Party.
Teodoro sidestepped questions that he came to the party to formally seek Quiboloy's endorsement. "I am not here for an endorsement. I won't talk about any endorsement. I'm just here to wish my friend a happy birthday," he told reporters.
Other candidates also echoed the same line.
Said Madrigal: "I come here with no expectations."
"Whatever happens, it's fine with me," added Gordon.
Liberal Party bet Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III was not able to attend the birthday celebration but his running mate, Mar Roxas, called up Quiboloy to say Aquino had a prior engagement.
Aside from politicians, thousands of children also came to Sonshine Land and were treated to free rides, food and entertainment.
It was Quiboloy's way of celebrating his birthday, declaring this day as the 5th National Children's Day, which was dubbed as a nationwide children's party and feeding program. Quiboloy also has a foundation, the Children's Joy Foundation, that aims to feed, clothe, and shelter 3 million children.