MANILA - El Shaddai leader Mike Velarde on Saturday endorsed the tandem of former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in the 2022 elections, according to Lakas-CMD.
This, following an event which saw Velarde raise the candidates' hands Saturday evening in Paranaque.
Duterte-Carpio, who is Lakas-CMD's vide-presidential candidate for the upcoming elections, said El Shaddai's backing will help boost her and Marcos Jr.'s campaign for the two highest positions in the country.
"Kagalang-galang na Brother Mike Velarde, ang inyo pong dasal at basbas--kasama ng lahat ng kasapi ng El Shaddai--ay karagdagang sandata sa amin ni Apo BBM sa pagharap namin sa hamon na pamunuan ang ating bansa," Duterte-Carpio said, as quoted in Lakas-CMD's statement.
In prayer rally for El Shaddai, which has about 6 to 8 million members nationwide, Velarde raised the hands of both candidates, without explicit mention of an endorsement.
"Ngayon may gagawin ako... Ang isisigaw 'nyo 'Brother Mike the choice is yours,'" he said. During the event, Velarde described Marcos as "ating (our) presidential candidate."
(I'll do something, and in response, shout 'Brother Mike, the choice is yours!')
Marcos Jr. thanked Velarde for his support.
""Ako po at nagpapasalamat kay Bro. Mike Velarde at sa El Shaddai. Sa aming pag-iikot, nararamdaman namin ang mensaheng pagkakaisa dahil tayong mga Pilipino ay mapagmahal. Mabuti naman po na ganyan ang ugali ng mga Pinoy," the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas standard-bearer said.
""Ito po ang aming layunin, ito po ang aming pangarap... Sundan po natin ang turo ng ating Maykapal...love each other. Sama-sama po tayong babangong muli," he added, citing his campaign.
El Shaddai also endorsed Marcos Jr. when he ran but lost for vice president in 2016. The religious group likewise endorsed the presidential bid of Jejomar Binay in the same year.
-- With reports from Johnson Manabat, ABS-CBN News