Watch: Mayor Duterte Visits INC Executive Minister, but Denies Asking for Endorsement (Video)
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo ‘Rody’ Duterte visited Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) Executive Minister Eduardo V. Manalo this Friday, April 22, at the Iglesia Ni Cristo Central Office in Diliman, Quezon City, as shown in the video below. But contrary to some news reports, the tough-talking presidentiable denied asking for the INC endorsement.
According to INC’s Eagle News, Mayor Rody Duterte “sought the INC’s endorsement, and that as a politician, he needed the endorsement of the Iglesia Ni Cristo whose members vote as one during elections in adherence to the biblical doctrine on unity.” Ka Eduardo Manalo and Duterte talked at the Bulwagan room of the INC central office.
“Because the faithful believe in the decision of the elders, and the elders naman decide on what is good for the country. They will never decide on what is bad or the country, so mahalaga para sa akin (this is important for me),” Duterte was quoted as saying, after his meeting with the INC leader and presented him his platforms.
Mayor Duterte reportedly said he discussed his plans on how he will fight corruption, illegal drugs, criminality, and will address the problem of food security, El Nino, and economy, in case he will be elected president this coming May 9 elections. Senatoriables Greco Belgica and Richard Gordon also visited the INC that same day.
But in an interview after the said meeting, Duterte categorically denied seeking endorsement from the INC. Nevertheless, he admitted writing to the influential church to have a courtesy call with Ka Eduardo Manalo. He noted that the discussion was about what is good for the country, and that he is thankful for the chance to talk to him.
“If the Lord wills it and I would be elected in the coming polls, the millions of INC members have the assurance that I will fight for their right and welfare as citizens and believers. With the guidance of the Lord and with the help of the Filipino people, we will push for real change.” Duterte said, adding that he will respect INC’s choice.
Other presidentiables who have earlier made a courtesy call to the INC Executive Minister are Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas, and Vice-President Jejomar Binay. In early April, Sen. Grace Poe admitted having a meeting with INC political affairs chief Eraño Cordera. The INC is being dubbed for practicing bloc voting.