The influential religious sect Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), whose support is greatly sought during elections because of its bloc voting practice, issued sample ballots supporting seven Team PNoy senatorial bets and five candidates from the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
The sample ballot obtained by reporters on Thursday showed that the INC-backed candidates include Rep. Edgardo “Sonny” Angara of Aurora, Benigno “Bam” Aquino 4th, Nancy Binay, Sen. Alan Cayetano, Rep. Joseph Victor (JV) Ejercito of San Juan, Rep. Jackie Enrile of Cagayan, former sen. Richard Gordon, Sen. Gringo Honasan, Sen. Loren Legarda, Grace Poe-Llamanzares, former chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th and former rep. Cynthia Villar of Las Piòas City.
Binay, Ejercito, Gordon, Enrile and Honasan are from the opposition slate UNA.
The sample ballots were distributed on Wednesday by grassroots INC leaders, identified as “katiwala ng purok’’ nationwide.
The seven party-lists supported by INC are Citizens Battle Against Corruption, Buhay Hayaang Yumabong, Arts Business and Science Professionals, Alliance of Volunteer Educators, Anti-Crime and Terrorism thru Community Involvement and Support, Social Amelioration and Genuine Intervention on Poverty and Aagapay sa Matatanda.
In 2010, political analysts estimated that an INC endorsement translates to at least three million votes for a candidate running for national position.
The sample ballots were distributed thru house-to-house visits to INC members, who were asked to sign a document attesting that they received their copies.
Llanesca T. Panti