Bro. Mike Velarde: El Shaddai members free to choose candidates

Bianca Dava, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 19 2022 07:58 PM

El Shaddai members are free to choose their candidates in the May 2022 elections, the Catholic charismatic group’s leader said on Saturday.

Bro. Mike Velarde told the group's members they can make their own choices in politics.

“The choice is yours, not mine. I heed my personal choice,” Velarde said during the El Shaddai’s worship service in Parañaque City.

He also said that various candidates will be joining the Catholic charismatic group’s gatherings in the coming weeks.

“Ngayon, huwag kayong magtataka. Tuwing Sabado, mayroon tayong mga panauhing kandidato,” Velarde said.

“I-welcome natin silang lahat na dumalo sa ating gawain. When I present them to you, examine their hearts.”

Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso and his running mate Dr. Willie Ong attended El Shaddai’s worship service on Saturday.

“Yung sinabi ni Bro. Mike kanina na choice—because of that, Bro. Mike, you gave me hope. Hindi pa huli ang lahat. Matigas man ang bulalo, nalambot din ito,” Moreno said.

“May nagsabi sa akin na may napili na kayong VP, pero wala akong magawa kundi magtiis sa inyo. Tatakbo tayo… kahit sa 2025 hanggang magising kayo,” Ong, for his part, said.

Velarde earlier endorsed the tandem of former senator Bongbong Marcos, Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in the presidential elections.

Domagoso wooed El Shaddai members during his turn.

“Sa awa ng Diyos at sa tulong ninyo, kayo naman ang mauuna. Palarin ako, ipadaramdam ko sa inyo ang pagkakapantay-pantay ng tao… sa serbisyo, polisiya at programa ng gobyerno,” the mayor said.

He continued, “Sabi ni Bro. Mike kanina, buksan niyo ang inyong mga puso, unawain ang mga kandidato. Baka kasya ako sa inyong puso. Ang hinihingi ko lang, pagkakataon. Ang isusukli namin ni Dr. Willie Ong, maglilingkod kami nang tapat sa bansa.”

In an ambush interview after the worship service, Domagoso said he and Ong attended the gathering upon the invitation of Velarde.

“Opo, opo, inimbitahan kami. Galing na rin kay Bro. Mike, naimbitahan na rin ang iba. I’m just happy dahil nabigyan kami ng pagkakataon ni Dr. Willie na makasama ang ating mga miyembo ng El Shaddai,” he told reporters.

“In 2019, tinulungan ako ng mga kapatid ng El Shaddai sa Maynila. Bilang ganti naman sa kanilang pagtitiwala bilang mamamayan, pinilit ko namang pagbutihin ang paglilingkod sa Maynila,” he added.

Domagoso said he and his fellow candidates in Aksyon Demokratiko are open to attending the gatherings of other religious groups in an effort to get more votes.

“May awa ang Diyos. Mamamayan din sila. Ang opportunity na makausap ang mga miyembro nila, salamat naman,” he said. “Anybody na mabibigyan kami ng pagkakataon na makausap, kakausapin namin, papaliwanagan namin at pipiliting makumbinsi.”

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