ALAMINOS CITY, Pangasinan: Vice President Jejomar Binay confirmed Friday that he had talked with Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo.
“Secret,” he replied when asked about his alleged meeting with Manalo. “Basta tinatanggap ko nagkausap kami ni Ka Eduardo (I confirm that Ka Eduardo and I had a talk.)”
He refused to disclose, however, whether he had sought the INC’s support in his bid to become the country’s next President as the standard-bearer of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) for the May 9 elections.
When asked how much of help it would be if the INC endorsed him, he replied, in Filipino, “It would be a big help even in local elections, especially with councilors. Out of eight councilors, if you were number five, six, seven, eight, if you did not have the Iglesia’s support, you would be in danger.”
The religious sect INC is considered influential because of its practice of bloc voting during elections.
Joey Salgado, UNA communications director, said Thursday, “The Vice President is humbled by the opportunity extended by INC Executive Minister Ka Eduardo Manalo to discuss his programs, to lift the poor from poverty and build a compassionate, caring and competent government.”
He added, “It was an opportunity for the VP to share his vision for the country with Ka Eduardo.”
On Friday, Binay took his campaign to Pangasinan province.
In a speech at the Plaza Enrique Braganza Covered Court, the former Makati mayor promised free health-care services, including free medicines and hospitalization like those given to Makati residents, if he is elected President. REINA TOLENTINO