DAET CITY, Camarines Norte: Vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday thanked the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC or Church of Christ) for its support of his candidacy.
Reports that Marcos has been endorsed by the INC after he visited Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo last Tuesday at the religious sect’s headquarters on Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City has gone viral on social media.
The Ilocano senator, however, clarified that he is yet to receive any official news from the INC senior leadership that he is, indeed, the “chosen one.”
Many candidates are seeking the 2-million solid block vote of the politically influential religious organization, which in a close fight is crucial to win a position or seat in any electoral exercise in the Philippines.
“I am thankful to the INC leaders and ‘mga kapatid’ [brothers and sisters]for the support.
The INC had supported my father and my family. I am thankful to Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo for the support,” Marcos said during a news conference here.
Meanwhile, INC spokesman Edwil Zabala issued a statement also clarifying that the church hierarchy has not endorsed Marcos for Vice President.
“The Iglesia ni Cristo does not want to be misconstrued as meddling in politics, which is why we neither confirm nor deny any claim or news item that says we met [with]any particular candidate,” he said.
Zabala added that the official stand of the Iglesia ni Cristo is that the members of the church will vote on May 9.
“In the meantime, we are focused on ecclesiastical activities. And also immediately after the voting itself, we will continue with the church’s activities.”
Zabala, however, recognized the statement issued by the Marcos camp.
“Anyway, if the camp of Senator Marcos is the one releasing the [information], perhaps that would suffice for your need,” he said.