No INC endorsement yet for Bongbong-Sara

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star
No INC endorsement yet for Bongbong-Sara
Ruel Ricafort denies threatening to kill presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during a press conference at the National Bureau of Investigation yesterday.
Jesse Bustos

MANILA, Philippines — The camp of presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has not received the endorsement of the Iglesia ni Cristo despite his proclamation rally being held at the INC-owned Philippine Arena in Bulacan last Tuesday.

Marcos’ chief of staff and spokesman Vic Rodriguez stressed that their choice of venue for the proclamation rally should not be equated to endorsement by the Filipino-founded church known for bloc voting of its members.

“You’re reading too much between the lines. We have not said anything close to that. This is just a venue,” he told reporters when asked about speculations on INC’s endorsement of the Bongbong Marcos-Sara Duterte tandem.

Rodriguez pointed out that they could have held the event elsewhere if a bigger venue was available. “This is just a proclamation rally. We just chose this venue because it’s the biggest,” he said.

The INC backed the vice presidential bid of Marcos in the 2016 elections.

Presidential candidates traditionally seek the endorsement of the INC, which has been known to deliver votes of millions of its members.

Candidates also seek the blessings of other religious organizations such as El Shaddai of Bro. Mike Velarde and Jesus Is Lord of televangelist-turned-congressman Bro. Eddie Villanueva.

Last month, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy of Kingdom of Jesus Christ Church gave his endorsement to the Marcos-Duterte tandem.

Rodriguez likewise underscored that Marcos would remain selective in attending presidential forums and would not attend debates that would pit candidates against each other.

He explained that the leading presidential candidate is not avoiding debates, but only wants to engage in discussions about possible solutions to the country’s problems.

Meanwhile, the netizen linked to the alleged plot to kill Marcos has surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Rodriguez revealed this yesterday after receiving the information from the NBI as their camp vowed to dig deeper into the matter.

“The person who posted the death threat surrendered to the NBI (on Tuesday). Today, we will attend to the matter and find out the identity of the person and how deep is the extent of the threat,” he said over ANC.

The Department of Justice’s Office of Cybercrime (DOJ-OOC) has initiated the investigation on the alleged assassination plot, which it received through an online tip.

Rodriguez commended the DOJ for its “swift and uncompromising response to uncover those behind this open threat to harm” Marcos.

The NBI yesterday presented the person linked to the alleged assassination plot against Marcos.

Ruel Ricafort surrendered to the NBI on Tuesday to clear his name after he was linked to a live feed with known pro-Marcos TikTok user “Joei De Vivre,” where he allegedly threatened to kill the late dictator’s namesake.

In the video that went viral, the two cursed at each other after the kill threat against Marcos was made. – Marc Jayson Cayabyab, Evelyn Macairan, Roel Pareño

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