Bro. Mike 'endorses' Villar-Legarda in Hong Kong
- Christina Mendez () - February 15, 2010 - 12:00am

HONG KONG, Philippines – The charismatic El Shaddai movement  showed massive support for the presidential bid of Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. and his running mate Sen. Loren Legarda yesterday as they wore orange (Villar’s campaign color) shirts and skirts during their Chinese New Year fellowship  and prayer rally in Tsuen Wan district here.

Saying his followers are “showing their true colors” this early in the campaign period, El Shaddai leader Bro. Mike Velarde said he is praying that his candidate will win in the May elections without directly saying it was Villar.

Velarde recalled having a conversation with a good friend, who he asked to run for president. He did not name the “friend” but later he introduced Villar as a good friend.

“I would like to introduce to you a very good friend, Sen. Manny Villar. The Manny that you want,” Velarde said.

A number of times, Velarde also flashed the “V” hand sign in between the “Amen” response of the crowd composed of around 2,000  El Shaddai worshippers.

Villar thanked El Shaddai leader Bro. Mike Velarde for the support they have given to him.

“Brother Mike has been a long-time friend and we share the same advocacy of helping the poor and the OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) ,” Villar said.

Legarda, for her part, said she always consults with Velarde every time she has a major decision to make in her life.

Velarde called Villar’s wife, Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar as “First Lady” before introducing Legarda as “Lingkod Loren”  to speak before the crowd. 

Velarde said their group would support only those who took time to remember them, obviously referring to the Villars and Legarda.

Velarde reminded the crowd who were clad in orange and white, both campaign colors of Villar and Legarda respectively, that  the El Shaddai “does not really endorse.”

“We just vote and we have promised that we are going to vote as one this elections and so we are going to examine the candidates, especially the president and vice president,” he said.

At one point during the start of his preaching, Velarde said that “we cannot serve two masters at the same time — money and God. But here we have the Manny that you want.”

“A lot of people ask me why I did not run for president. Well anyway, let me reveal to you what I have promised God. When I went through a quadruple bypass in 1998, I said God if you will extend my life, I will serve you and no one else,” said Velarde, eliciting loud applause from his supporters.

“But God knows that my dream when I was a boy was to become President because I want to live in Malacañang. But you know a dream and a calling are two different things. With that I said, Lord I will forget about my dream to become President. I will not enter politics.  But you are going to make my candidate win,” said Velarde, getting a response of “Amen” from his members.

The El Shaddai leader said his decision will be known by Easter Sunday.

Villar, however, was not keen on discussing if his alliance with Velarde has something to do with the C-5 road extension project wherein the roads passed by the charismatic leader’s property in Las Piñas.

Meantime, Villar also shrugged off what appeared to be another desperate attempt to single him out in the Senate as staff members detailed to his office were forcibly removed and asked to report to their respective departments.

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