MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Catholic Church on Tuesday criticized Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. of the Nacionalista Party (NP) for tapping celebrity endorsers who are reputed “womanizers.”
Monsignor Pedro Quitorio, media affairs director of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said he disapproved of some of Villar's endorsers namely Dolphy, Willie Revillame and Manny Pacquiao.
Dolphy has several children from different women, while Pacquiao has been rumored to be keeping an illicit affair with a young sexy actress. Revillame, on the other hand, has been romantically linked to several women.
Quitorio wondered how voters can support a presidential candidate who is purportedly not putting any value on the issue of morality. He said candidates should get endorsers who are good role models themselves.
“Dapat mag-reflect po yan sa kandidatura ng kandidato. Sinasabi ng simbahan at civil society na dapat piliin ang mas OK ang buhay ng kandidato," he said.
“Why should we select a person na immoral kung ang ating pakay ay mag-build ng bansa?" he added.
When sought for reaction, Willie Revillame merely brushed off Quitorio’s remarks.
“Hindi [ako galit]. Wala akong kinagagalitan. Basta ang sinasabi ko lang mahirap manghusga ng kapwa mo, hindi ba? Dapat nga diyan kapag may nadadapa ay tinatayo natin. Hindi ‘yong binabagsak pa natin,” he told abs-cbnNEWS.com.
He also told radio dzMM that those who judge him should first get a good look at themselves in the mirror.
When pressed about the womanizer tag, the “Wowowee” host replied: “Hindi, nagsha-share lang ako.”
In the dzMM interview, Revillame continued to criticize ABS-CBN for not showing the number of people who attend the "Wowowili" rallies that he hosts for Villar. "I just want things to be fair...If you don't show what is happening, then there is bias," he said.
He also downplayed the results of pre-election surveys showing Villar ranking second behind Liberal Party presidential candidate Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.
NP’s senatorial bet Adel Tamano, meanwhile, hit back at CBCP for criticizing Villar's celebrity endorsers.
Tamano pointed out that it is hard to judge the morals of Dolphy, Revillame and Pacquiao. He also expressed sadness that political mudslinging has gone this low. "Huwag sana tayong lumihis sa mga tunay na isyu ng halalan," he said.
Come Election Day, Tamano said Villar should be judged based on his qualifications as a leader.
He also noted that Villar is not a womanizer.
Meanwhile, Villar said what is important is his background, not the lifestyle of his endorsers.
"Ang mahalaga ay yung aking buhay. Alam naman ng mga kababayan na ang aking buhay ay simple lamang," he said.
He said the people clearly love his endorsers as reflected in their campaign sorties.
"Sila po ay mahal na mahal ng mga Pilipino saan man kami dumako," Villar said. "Minamahal sila for what they are. Somehow yan ay ginagalang ko at dapat igalang ng lahat." --With Reyma Buan-Deveza, abs-cbnNEWS.com