DAVAO CITY—Three of the five religious groups earlier reported to have been backing the mayoralty bid of House Speaker Prospero Nograles in Davao City denied making such an endorsement.
“It is against pastoral ethics,” said Bishop Constante Claro, head of the Southeastern Mindanao jurisdiction of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) when asked to comment on the Mindanao Daily Mirror story which named the UCCP among the five religious groups backing Nograles.
The report which quoted Mario Tamayo, spokesperson of the Team Nograles, said that aside from the UCCP, the religious groups Jesus Is Lord of presidential candidate Brother Eddie Villanueva, El Shaddai of Brother Mike Velarde, The Loved Flock of preacher and Congressman Bingbong Crisologo, the Seventh Day Adventists were all backing Nograles. The report came after the religious group Iglesia ni Cristo announced its support for the father and daughter tandem of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who is running for vice mayor and Vice Mayor Sara Duterte, who is running for mayor against Nograles.
Pastor Elmer Eleazar, an elder of The Loved Flock, told Davao Today it is not the practice of their group to endorse a political candidate.
Eleazar said that Crisologo, their community leader, may have made such endorsement but if he did so, he did it as an individual and did not speak for the whole church. Eleazar said he could not yet confirm the endorsement from Crisologo, who is running for reelection as representative in the first district of Quezon City and is still on the campaign trail. Eleazar said he hadn’t seen Crisologo in three months because of the campaign.
Lawyer Teodoro Pascua, secretary-general of Bangon Pilipinas, denied that his group is endorsing any local candidate in Davao.
He also explained that Bangon Pilipinas, the political party where presidential candidate Eddie Villanueva belongs, is a separate entity from the Jesus is Lord church, from which Villanueva is currently on leave. “Jesus is Lord endorses Congressman Nograles but there’s no such endorsement from Bangon Pilipinas,” Pascua said.
Speaker Prospero Nograles is running for city mayor against incumbent Vice Mayor Sara Duterte, daughter of outgoing Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
The article said the Team Nograles also got the backing of El Shaddai and the Seventh Day Adventists. Davao Today tried but failed to reach both groups. (CJ Kuizon/davaotoday.com/