This ‘Lone Ranger’ takes fight for change from pulpit to podium

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Eddie Villanueva was an “atheist” before he became the leader of arguably the biggest Christian group in the Philippines — the Jesus is Lord Movement (JILM).

His transformation from non-believer to devout Christian and Marxist-Leninist ideologue to evangelist are the stuff local movies are made of, for which he admits, he’s had offers to do.

But the life story of Brother Eddie is larger than any movie, highlighted by his decision to enter the “dirty” world of politics in 2004 and again in 2010 when he ran for president on a platform of reform and moral uprightness.

It is his same campaign platform now that he is running for senator in the 2013 mid-term elections so much so that he has likened himself to the “lone ranger”, a fictional cowboy hero who fought the bad guys.

He admits that he has discouraged his two sons —  Eduardo “Jon-Jon” and Joel Villanueva — from entering politics, warning them against its pitfalls and urging them instead to be active with the JILM.

He says they assured him, however that “if the Lord calls them to become pastors, then they will obey”. So Brother Eddie says he let them go. His eldest, Jon-Jon is mayor of Bocaue, Bulacan where Brother Eddie  himself has lived while Joel is former Representative of CIBAC, a partylist group against graft and coruption.

Brother Eddie remains hopeful that he too will be given the opportunity to serve the people not only from the pulpit but from the podium of the Legislature as well.

More of the interview by INQUIRER.net on Brother Eddie Villanueva on INQuest: Vote 2013.

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