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El Shaddai adviser insists: Velarde’s endorsement of BBM-Sara ‘personal’

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The spiritual adviser of El Shaddai said the Catholic charismatic group has not endorsed any presidential and vice presidential candidates for the May 9 polls.

ILOCANO SUPPORT. Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and his daughter Kathrina endorse presidential aspirant Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. during a grand rally held at Tuguegarao, Cagayan.

Bishop Teodoro Bacani said the endorsement of Bro. Mike Velarde of the tandem of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio was “personal.”

“Let me be very clear: It was not the endorsement of El Shaddai that Bro. Mike extended,” Bacani said in a radio interview.

“That is not El Shaddai—that should be clear. That is Bro. Mike Velarde, who is head of El Shaddai, but it is not the opinion of the body,” he added.

As a Catholic group, Bacani said El Shaddai members are free to choose their candidates.

“Followers cannot be obligated to vote for one candidate or the other. Part of the freedoms enjoyed by Catholics is the freedom to choose who to vote for according to their conscience and informed opinion. There is no command vote for El Shaddai,” Bacani added.

Velarde on Sunday urged Filipinos to unite behind Marcos and Duterte-Carpio.

“It is time for us Filipinos to unite. After all, we have already given the rivals of Marcos the chance to govern for so many years. These two might do something good for the country. That’s why I have chosen them,” Velarde said.

Meanwhile, Velarde also endorsed senatorial aspirant Mark Villar, who is part of the Marcos-Duterte slate.

“I thank El Shaddair and Brother Mike Velarde for their support. We in the BBM-Sara UniTeam are one in pushing for unity,” said Villar, a former Public Works Secretary.

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