Thursday, April 19, 2018
  • share this

Palace: Voters should not pick candidates based on one issue alone

Deputy press spokesperson Abigail Valte: Not on one issue alone. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Reacting to the White Vote Movement’s recent endorsement of senatorial candidates supportive of the Catholic Church’s opposition to the reproductive health (RH) law, Malacañang said it was leaving it to the voters to elect candidates over a range of issues.

“As far as this call to vote for candidates who were anti-RH, we will leave it to the voters on May 13, whether or not they will assess their chosen candidates based on a singular issue that may or may not be representative of the entire track record or capability of that particular candidate,” said deputy press spokesperson Abigail Valte in an interview over dzRB radio.

The newly formed White Vote Movement, led by the Catholic charismatic group El Shaddai, endorsed over the weekend six senatorial candidates who stood by the Church in opposing the reproductive health law. They were JV Estrada, Gregorio Honasan, Mitos Magsaysay, Koko Pimentel, Antonio Trillanes IV and Cynthia Villar.


The announcement was made during a big prayer rally led by Mike Velarde, head of El Shaddai.

“It is one way of expressing our gratitude for the steadfast commitment they showed despite the pressure on them to change their position and vote for passage of the RH bill,” said Velarde.

Groups involved in the movement include Couples for Christ-Foundation for Family and Life, Catholic Women’s League, Focolare Movement, Bukas Loob sa Diyos, among other charismatic and parish-based organizations.

Another group, Cebu-based Lay Initiatives for Election (LIFE), also recently announced its endorsement of the same anti-RH candidates, plus former Sen. Richard Gordon, Nancy Binay and Juan Miguel Zubiri of United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), and independent candidates John Carlos de los Reyes, Marwil Llasos and Christian Seneres.

Malacañang had campaigned for the passage of the RH bill.

“As to the existence of a Catholic vote, we will leave that to the political analysts to debate and to speak about. We all have different ways of choosing. We have advocates here who have their own issues and choose their candidates based on these issues that in their view are important to them,” said Valte.

Velarde said the movement will announce another batch of candidates it would be endorsing in the coming weeks, “once a discernment process has been completed.”

In an interview with reporters, Velarde also said he was set to meet with Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, who had urged Church leaders to avoid endorsing specific candidates.


Velarde said he would explain El Shaddai’s position to Villegas.

“After all, this is in answer to the bishops’ prodding of lay people… that we should take the initiative,” he said.

Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Elections, endorsements, Lay Initiatives for Election (LIFE), RH law, vote, White Vote movement
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

2 men use signs to spread happiness

April 19, 2018 05:33 PM


PSEi slides on “overheating” fears

April 19, 2018 05:32 PM


Maute bank accounts frozen

April 19, 2018 05:32 PM

© Copyright 1997-2018 | All Rights Reserved