Politicians are flocking to different religious leaders like hungry migratory birds looking for more abundant warmer fields, courting them and indirectly asking to be chosen as the anointed one; and in effect may win the presidency with the tsunami of votes that these religious congregations may give the lucky guy.
Gibo Teodoro, Erap Estrada, Manny Villar, Eddie Villanueva and Noynoy Aquino are all courting Mike Villarde of El Shaddai, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy of Kingdom of Jesus Christ, and the Manaloâ€™s of the Iglesia Ni Cristo and only a few of these Presidentiables approaching Catholic Bishops.Â These religious groups usually practice â€œblock votingâ€ and have proven to really deliver crucial votes.
Archbishop Cruz was indeed right in saying, â€œI am very happy Iâ€™m not God because if I were God, I would not know what to doâ€¦I think God must be having fun.â€
But more than the pun Cruz shares is the underlying ill that this exercise of Presidentiables in assuring a seat in MalacaÃ±ang brings to the democratic process and public governance; putting public governance and policies hostage to religious institutions who pushes also their faith-based and institutional agenda.
This is made visible recently with the Reproductive Health Bill that was stalled and was eventually crushed in the House of Representatives as the Catholic Church and religious groups bullied politicians into choosing to throw the important piece of legislation into the trash bin; threatening of campaigning against those who pushed for it.Â And not only will these religious leaders gain a strong position on meddling with the dynamics of government process and policies but may also end up getting the better end of projects and contracts as Mike Velardeâ€™s real estate company is being accused earning billions from overvalued lands sold to government during the time of Erap Estrada.Â And the RH Bill is not the only legislation and government policy that fall prey to intimidation and meddling of religious groups and institutions.
These endorsements do not come for free.Â Godâ€™s anointment is for a certain price the Filipino will have to eventually pay.
And while all these Presidentiables are promising us that they are their own man and will never yield to anyone or groups when eventually seated as a president, as early as now, we are already seeing who will once again have the upper hand on the shaping of public policies; more powerful than the votes of the common citizens.Â And gratitude may soon get the best out of the upcoming President.
This practice is a show of desperation for Presidentiables, campaigning of the lowest kind and the cheapest way of earning the Presidency:Â to trade the noblest (ideally) position in the land and power to serve to religious groups that hinder its followers on following the dictates of their own conscience and hindering them to practice their God-given power of freewill.
For now, none of these religious groups have yet raised a particular hand and told its millions of followers that â€œThis is the man that God told me that will become the next President.â€
Negotiations and bargaining maybe are still being discussed? *grinning*
Now it makes me remember the preacher Wilde Almeda saying that God told him that Joe De Venecia is going to be the president during the 1998 elections betting to be shot dead if his bet will not win.Â But Estrada won.Â Velardeâ€™s God was the more precise fortune-teller.
And now after almost 12 years, Almeda is still preaching.
What is your thought about Presidentiables and politicians in general asking for endorsements from religious leaders?Â How will these endorsements affect government policies?
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