Analyst: Other Christian groups can negate INC bloc vote for Marcos, Duterte

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 04 2022 01:30 PM

Iglesia ni Cristo church along Commonwealth Avenue in this photo taken on Jan. 26, 2019. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News
Iglesia ni Cristo church along Commonwealth Avenue in this photo taken on Jan. 26, 2019. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Other Christian groups can negate the endorsement that presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and his running mate Sara Duterte-Carpio secured from the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC), a political analyst said Wednesday.

Dindo Manhit, president of Stratbase ADR Institute, noted that about 85 percent of voters in the country identify as Catholic.

"It (INC endorsement) can be negated if there is a strong campaign from other church bloc," he told ANC's "Rundown". "But it's really Iglesia who has really used this to, based on the discernment of their leaders, really guide their followers to a certain candidate."

The influential group, which has millions of followers overseas, announced its endorsement on Tuesday.

At least 2 percent of registered voters are members of INC and could swing the vote, Manhit said.

"Historically, they are considered solid and it's reflective on how in tight races, even in local campaigns, the value of an endorsement gives a boost on the campaign," he added.

In the 2016 elections, the INC endorsed then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Sara's father, for the presidency, and Marcos for the vice presidency.

While Duterte won the presidential race, Marcos lost to Vice President Leni Robredo.

Robredo's Malacañang bid has secured the backing of hundreds of Catholic priests, nuns, and lay leaders. 

But in Pulse Asia's last pre-election survey from April 16-21, Marcos continued to enjoy a two-fold lead over Robredo, as their scores barely moved from the previous poll. 

Twenty-three percent of respondents said they would vote for her if the elections were held last month, while 56 percent chose Marcos.

Manhit noted that Marcos' rallies were driven by local political leaders, while Robredo's sorties were led by volunteers.

"The challenge is who can deliver the votes come May 9? Who can move from house to house, community to community and deliver the votes?" he said.

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