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Bro. Eddie vows to work for ‘genuine change’

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - After two failed attempts at the presidency in 2004 and 2010, Jesus is Lord founder and Bangon Pilipinas Party chairman Eddie Villanueva is seeking a Senate seat on May 13.

Just like his first foray into politics in the 2004 presidential polls, Villanueva once again surprised many when he showed up at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Dec. 20, 2012 to file his candidacy for senator.

Villanueva replaced Bangon candidate Israel Virgines, who backed out a day before the deadline set for replacing bets that withdrew their bids, thus sealing the 33-bet senatorial race.

There had been a clamor for him to seek a Senate seat but Villanueva initially refused because his son, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority director-general Joel Villanueva, was earlier named by President Aquino as among the Liberal Party (LP) bets for senator.

But when the son was removed from the LP slate, Villanueva accepted the challenge to run.

“I don’t want history to blame me later on, that there is a clamor for genuine change and I could have done something... but walked away,” said the 66-year-old candidate.

Despite his past two electoral defeats, Villanueva believes he will win the coming race if it is “God’s will.”

Before becoming one of the country’s most popular religious figures, Villanueva was an activist who fought the dictatorship during the Marcos regime.

Imprisoned twice during martial law, Villanueva said that then and now, he could not close his eyes to the prevailing injustices that stem from wanton graft and corruption committed by traditional politicians.

If he is elected senator, Villanueva sees his role as a “peacemaker” at the Senate. When there is a disagreement among the lawmakers, he says he could be the mediator.

But even if he wins, Villanueva is not planning to relinquish his role as leader of the JIL Church Worldwide.

He said that years of wearing multiple hats – as religious leader, family man, businessman and educator, among others – have taught him to manage his time efficiently.

“Efficient time management and careful planning is key to being productive and attending to a number of duties that demand your equal attention. New technologies in mobile communication make it even easier to get things done,” he noted.

Villanueva gave assurance that his JIL works would not be a hindrance to his legislative duties when he becomes senator.

“I do not consider my decision to run for a seat in the Senate in conflict with my being a JIL member. One’s spiritual belief should never be a hindrance to our desire to help the country,” he added.

Villanueva is married to Adoracion Jose Villanueva. They have four children – Joe; Eduardo Jr. who is now mayor of Bocaue, Bulacan; Eleonor Villanueva-Tugna and Edelisha Villanueva-Binalla.

ADORACION JOSE VILLANUEVA BANGON PILIPINAS PARTY CHURCH WORLDWIDE EDDIE VILLANUEVA EDUARDO JR. ELEONOR VILLANUEVA-TUGNA AND EDELISHA VILLANUEVA-BINALLA ISRAEL VIRGINES JOEL VILLANUEVA LIBERAL PARTY VILLANUEVA
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