JIL leader announces presidential bid

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 21 2009 05:16 PM | Updated as of Aug 22 2009 10:12 AM

MANILA - Jesus is Lord Movement founder Bro. Eddie Villanueva on Friday formally announced his bid to run in the May 2010 presidential election.

In a gathering in Barasoain Church compound in Malolos, Bulacan, Villanueva said he has accepted the nomination of Bangon Pilipinas party as its standard bearer at next year's presidential elections.

This is not the first time that Villanueva will run for the highest elective post in the country. The spiritual leader ran and lost in the 2004 presidential election, which saw then-incumbent President Gloria Arroyo win a fresh mandate.

In his speech, Villanueva said massive cheating marred the 2004 elections, which saw him get zero votes in Cavite and Pangasinan despite having many supporters there. "The cheating in 2004 furthered my resolve to run again," he said in an interview after his acceptance speech.

Bangon Pilipinas is a political party which is not solely dominated by members or officials of Jesus is Lord Movement. Its senatorial slate includes former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Perfecto Yasay Jr., Tom Meneses of the Seventh-Day Adventista and Ramoncito Ocampo, a lay preacher of the charismatic group, El Shaddai.

Asked if Bangon Pilipinas is open to an alliance with the popular El Shaddai movement of Bro. Mike Velarde, Villanueva said: "Bukas kami sa anumang alyansa, basta ang partidong makakasama namin ay consistent sa aming vision at mission na good governance."

Bangon Pilipinas is now preparing a shortlist of aspirants in its Vice-Presidential slot, which will be announced on October in Plaza Miranda, when the party launches its full-blown campaign.