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.

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  • Weder-Weder Lang

    This is a fair point.

    But in fairness to everyone, I wouldn’t vote for a candidate just because he was endorsed by Erap or PNoy. Or just because someone’s with LP or UNA. They’re all trapo, dirtier than the gutter. I’d rather go for independent candidates. I’m willing to make an exception for Dick Gordon though, who happens to be every nation-loving Filipino’s Dick.

    • txtman

      NOW NA

    • jcsantos

      I agree with Dick Gordon considering he has one of the longest achievements amongst all other candidates, and most of his accomplishments are actually concrete changes. His no-nonsense attitude has turned people off, but it has also created initiatives both in politics and in social problems, especially in Red Cross and during Ondoy. Changes are made through actions, not in vague promises or family names.

  • txtman

    NOW NA

    • catherine sien

      nasa press releases po dahil nababasa ko po. siguro po they will. abangan po natin.

  • Good_Governance

    “White Vote Movement” is a most unfortunate choice of words as it calls to mind the white robes of the Ku Klux Klan in the US, another single issue group but with race as the issue instead of RH.

    Economic issues (e.g., jobs) and economic and social justice issues (e.g., access of poor Filipinos to quality education and health services, better opportunities for women, less corruption) are likely to resonate far more strongly with Filipino voters at this time than the single issue of RH. I am inferring this from the widespread support of the population (despite church admonitions and pastoral letters) for the RH bill. Candidates that are seen by voters to be strong on economic and economic/social justice issues are likely to win over anti-RH candidates (other things being equal). Of course, given the current sorry state of our politics, candidates with a lot of name recognition would trump them all.

  • eigendik

    Sad to say, this elections is still about the RH bill. Let us move on please.

    • catherine sien

      sorry but the RH bill is a moral issue. this has to be settled. we can’t have candidates favoring a law that will bring down the moral fiber of this country win the elections..

      • jcsantos

        But should we allow those corrupt, the abusive and murderers to lead the country instead as the church wants just for the sole fact that others were in favor of the RH Bill?

      • juan_luisjr

        correct but the rh bill is just 1 issue and there are many important issues to weigh in also. The former US Pres Bush is anti abortion ( which i am also ) , anti gay but he is very pro -war which is also horrible. This is where a famous story goes about the 3 major leaders during world war II. One was faithful to his woman an did not smoke or drink. The other was a drunkard and history showed that he would drink almost a bottle of scotch every night and the other died in the hands of his mistress and not with his wife. If you chose the faithful man to be your leader, he chose adolf hitler !! the drunkard was churchhill and the one who was with his mistress was FDR, roosevelt. Life is not as simple as just having only 1 issue to consider. I remember Bishop villegas calling the anti RH congressmen as heroes. Imelda Marcos voted against RH but stole billions from us. Corruption is a very very heavy issue that will bring down the moral fiver our the country also . Thanks

      • eigendik

        I agree but the RH bill also aims to address some social issues like poverty and miseducation. Morality goes beyond the use of contraceptives. It includes fidelity to the family and to the sacrament of marriage. MAny candidates who are being endorsed by the Church because they were anti-RH, have 2-3 wives and have fathered children with different women. One is also being accused as to have used his family’s power to cover up a murder he committed. Are there different degrees of morality or shouldn’t morality be absolute? Are the standards of morality dictated by the moneyed? Ang mahirap mey galis and mayaman mey allergy.
        I am sorry to say that the country’s moral fibre has long been pulled down by poverty. Many of our young men and women are forced into prostitution to eke out a living. The situation of hopelessness in our country has made millions to gamble the little money they have to buy lotto tickets, as they see this as the only way out of poverty.
        Sometimes I’d like to think that by keeping most Filipinos uneducated and miseducated, this corrupt politicians will have ample supply of voters who are easily manipulated and coerced… hence the anti_RH stand.

    • Jeremiah_CheGuevara

      You’re wrong! It’s about who are morally corrupt by heart and those candidates like Hontiveros, Cayetano, Chiz Loren and the like shouldn’t be voted to office!

  • just_anotherperson

    No to socialist and humanist ideas.
    Yes to obedience to God’s will.

  • Jeremiah_CheGuevara

    Corruption starts in the heart. When one is corrupt by heart, he can be corrupt in actions. Favoring and forcing contraceptives even upon those against it is a fundamental sign one is corrupt by heart. For me a Pro-RH politician is worst than the thief of all thieves in govt!

  • Palparan

    Dont vote any candidate from Team Abnoy!

  • bgcorg

    People or groups who consider the endorsement of the “Buhay Team” grossly misunderstood the issues involved, as a “single” theme, as though members of the “Buhay Team” are not representing other issues that cut deep into our economic and political life. Listening to the “Buhay Team” candidates will readily convince anyone that it is not just the constitutionality of the RH Law the “Buhay Team” is concerned about but also employment, alleviation of poverty, the family and marriage, life enhancement from conception to natural death, social justice, peace and the environment.

    The Church, in the process of discernment, prays for guidance so that our elected leaders could be God-fearing, moral, upright and socially and environmentally conscious. As an initiative of lay people, the Holy Spirit seems to be talking to the Church today. The needs of the times, the dangerous, precipitous currents, and the fervor of faith by some cafeteria Catholics should be adequately met. The laymen are speaking out!

  • Guest

    Para sa kaalaman ng lahat si Alan Cayetano rin ang gumagawa ng black propaganda against Chiz Escudero and Antonio Trillanes.

  • novaliches

    kung may influence ang INC, bakit hindi ang Catholico. separation of church and state, e bakit sila pumupunta kay manalo pag malapit na ang eleksiyon.

    • Josef Hernandez


  • novaliches

    kung hindi totoo ang single issue, bakit malakas ang rating ni nancy binay at bam aquino.

  • disqusted0fu

    Yes, there are many issues to consider. Aside from the passing of the RH bill, there is also the passing of the anti cybercrime bill, and then the blocking of the FOI bill. And if you also include the increasing crime rates, or the number of poor people in the country, the scarcity of quality jobs, and many more… It just makes it hard to vote for candidates who share the same path with the administration.

  • jeff

    Sana itong mga anti-RH pagbigyan naman ang mga mahihirap na makagamit ng condom o contraceptive na libre. Kayong mga mayayaman, bakit kukunti lang ang inyong anak habang ang mga pulubi ay sobrang dami. Di ba kayong mga anti-RH ay gumagamit din ng condom o di kaya contraceptive? Huwag naman sana kayong ipokrito.

  • Guest

    Alam’nyo ba kung saan kinukuha ni Alan Cayetano ang pondo para sa mga black propaganda niya? Sa pondo ng Taguig City government.

  • jeff

    White Lies Vote Movement. A bunch of deceptions and white lies advocates

  • jeff

    Mga el $$$haddie, bili na kayo ng maraming payong para pangsalo ng grasiya.

  • Gloria Wheelchairroyo

    Napakahusay talaga pumili ng El Patay.
    2 Rebelde, 1 Terrorismo, 1 anak ng Plunderer at 1 protector ng Plunderer na si GMA ang kandidato. Walang susunod sa White Vote na ito.

  • boybakal

    Palace: Voters should not pick candidates based on One issue alone….

    Okay, i will make two issues.

  • Fancy Tan

    Performance record and belief.

  • regd

    Anybody here brave enough to form a Wife Vote Movement?

  • Jason Lykan

    Oh, I thought Malacañang “will not anymore join in the debate on the so-called Catholic vote”? They made this statement yesterday and now this? Yep, they are threatened. Tough luck, Noynoy!

  • kismaytami

    Siyempre, yung malaki ang ‘donasyon’ kay mike v., sila yung na-endorse. el shaddai??? It is simply ALL ABOUT MONEY! MONEY! MONEY! AND LOTS OF IT.

  • mave

    If you are corrupt politician but Anti-RH they will still endorse you… nice hehehe

    • eigendik

      … and if you’re a killer and/or a smuggler and/or a womanizer who fathered a number illegitimate children who are not admitted to some Catholic schools BUT anti RH, the Church will endorse you

    • Guest

      My countrymen, may be you’ll ask….what Alan Cayetano in six years as a senator? If you remember anything, ililibre ko kayo ng pizza.

  • Bienvenido Estapia

    Single issue nga pero pinakamalaking issue ito. MORAL ISSUE is the biggest issue dito. Kung Morally descended ang lider-pulitko; uubusin nyan ang pera ng gobyerno, tatanggap yan ng lagay, gagawa yan ng batas na sisira sa kinabukasan at buhay ng mga tao, kahit pumatay ng tao ay papatay yan makuha lang ang gusto nya, at marami pang iba. Iyan lang naman mga dahilan kung bakit dapat tingnan ang MORALIDAD ng isang lider pulitiko bago sya iboto…

  • mave

    To All CROC POLITICIAN its time na simutin na ang kaban ng bayan, but dont forget to be ANTI-RH and this white movements and other churches will supports you, and most important thing don’t forget your donation…wheeeee have fun alwayzzz.

  • Ellee R. Bullo

    di ba kasama ang El shaddai movement sa mga tax free?… bakit di bubusisiin ang el shaddai fund at dapat mag tax na sila kasi nag iinderso sila ng politician anghihimasok sa kalakarang political at pang gobyerno so dapat may tax na mga iyan

    • Josef Hernandez

      ngayon ko lang to nadinig ah parang wala namang ganyang comment sa INC hha biased

  • Ako_Hiking

    Aquino has made these elections a one issue topic. It’s about to attack Gloria or not. If you hate Gloria then you are pro-Team PNoy but if you don’t hate Gloria then you are anti-Team Pnoy. It’s silly but that’s what the President has done to these elections.

  • Rodrigo_Tisoy

    desperate move….

  • disqusted0fu

    These statements from Valte are following a recent SWS survey results about the Catholics. It is getting clearer and clearer that these surveys could very well be controlled by the administration. Looks like it’s all part of their plan. They are just eager to make that 12-0 sweep happen.

  • Guest

    Sen. Alan Cayetano led the fight [daw] against the corruption of the GMA regime. So what? May napala ba tayo?

    • Guest

      Yes I agree. First the Arroyos, then JPE. Binastos niya sa Senado dahil
      issue ng additional pork barrel. e wala naman mali dun. User talaga si Alan

    • Arvin Morales

      Naniniwala ako na wala naman napapala itong si Senator Cayetano. Ginagawa nilang oligarchy ang senado, dinadaan sa pangalan pero wala naman talagang serbisyo nagagawa.

  • massacaire

    Here’s a wake up call guys!

    Honasan is a terrorist. He just admitted that he is a killer, amd that “there’s a bigger killer out there” aside from him. He is a threat to this country!

    Trillanes has absolutely no contribution to the country. Wala ka namang ginagawa, bakit amg lakas ng loob mong tumakbo? Wala kaming makikinabang sayo kaya utang na loob, umuwi ka na lang. Sinasayang mo peranat pagod mo sa pagtakbo, wala ka rin namang kwenta!

    Poe says that she wants to continue hernfather’s legacy. What legacy? Yung pag aartista ba? Try mo mag VTR na lang, di ak bagay sa senado! Wag ka ng sumunod sa yapak ni Trillanes!

    Hontiveros, yung boyfriend mo bumibili ng fake dvds. Piracy yon diba? Bakit di mo ipakulong? I bet kasama ka pang panuorin yung dvds na yon. Simula pa lang sa maliit na bagay, di mo na macontrol. Yung malalaking bagay pa kaya? Di ka maaasahan, umuwi ka na lang rin dun sa boyfriend mo.

    Bam Aquino, more like BUM Aquino! Stop trying to be like your father! Mag cosplay ka na lang, gayang gaya ka sa tatay mo eh!

    Pimentel is such a cry baby!

    Cayetano is a hypocrite!

    Villar (please search for her “nursing” scandal)

    Binay has absolutely o background. Wag mo ng itry, di ka mananalo. Wala ka pang alam! The country cannot take another failure. Go home!

    Maraminpang kandidato diyan, wag natin piliin itong mgantaong ito na hindi naman karapat dapat sa senado!!!

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