Philippine politics is said to be at its critical level in moral degradation. Corruptions and political immorality is extremely rampant from the top most powerful governing body to the lowest. There are even times that school teachers teach students to cheat in an inter-school examination contests. No wonder why corruption has become more and more difficult to solve and why religion entered to politics.
Corruption is like a termite that slowly cripples a wood building eating everything as long as it is made up of wood. The building starts to weaken and disintegrate, until time comes that it will be in the hands of a strong wind which can blow it away. And this is exactly what is happening to our country.
The Church however (meant collectively), is trying its best to re-educate people and restore morality in politics. Some religious leaders even went as far as running for government position. One of the primary examples that we can quote is Fr. Panlilio, who run and won as governor in Pampanga.
The most heated debates among Christian groups however, was about the candidacy of Bro. Eddie Villanueva, a well known evangelist, founder and leader of Jesus Is Lord Movement who has itself around 5 million members.
Just like Fr. Panlilio his candidacy did not pass without scrutiny among religious groups especially among Evangelical Christians. In his first presidential candidacy in 2004, many Christians were never convinced of a pastor running for government office. I was in seminary that time during his first candidacy when I witnessed how Christians expressed their disappointments against him.
As I tried to involve myself deep within the forums of presidential candidates, I was even surprised that Christians are more hysterical and critical against Bro. Eddie especially in the issue of compromise. And as far as my personal observation is concern, there are more evangelical Christians who seem to humiliate him than non-evangelical Christians. Non-evangelical Christians who won’t vote for him simply commented that he’s not their best choice.
Six years passed, Bro. Eddie decided to run again. In an interview conducted by the Inquirer, Bro. Eddie was asked, “why are you running again?” Bro. Eddie answered, “Hindi pa ako nadala… ang importante before the eyes of history I am not guilty of abandoning the patriotic duty of every Filipino, …to have a genuine government that is dedicated for the Filipino people.
Was Bro. Eddie Really The Answer For This Genuine Change?
Evidently, we cannot put our trust to people who claims to have a genuine change. In fact, Bangon Pilipinas did recognize this fact which leads to their slogan “Sino’ng para sa matapat na gobyerno? Eddie Tayo”. The slogan has a double meaning. One is that, genuine change in government starts within us, and second, Bro. Eddie will set an example for that change.
The only thing that we can do however is to choose someone who has the political will and ability to put that changed into effect.
One of the questions that my friend asked me, “Is Bro. Eddie the only one who can bring this change?” I answered him, “no!” Other candidates are also capable for that change. But as of now, Bro. Eddie is the only one who has the political will to bring that moral revival on our stinking politics. He was not driven by political machineries and money. In fact, most of the Bangon Pilipinas campaigns were made through volunteers and donations of ordinary people.
Another fact is, Bangon Pilipinas has set an example of a real genuine support where campaigning makes a difference. Other political candidates depend on businessmen who will finance their campaign, paying the materials and paying the man power. Bangon Pilipinas supporters however, depend on volunteers and donations from ordinary people. Funny, but this is the first time that I saw campaign materials for sale to refinance other campaign materials and the Bangon Pilipinas Party.
To make these things clearer, here’s a table that tells something about their qualifications and doubts (religion aside).
Qualifications and Doubts
|Eddie Villanueva||Evangelist, Civil and Political Moralist, Political Economist, CEO, Professor but little low according to SWS Surveys|
|Noynoy Aquino||Political moralist, senator for many years, no record of corruption, but probably has a weak leadership|
|Richard Gordon||Economist, and a strong political leader, have a strong political will, but remained silent in administration’s scandal.|
|JC De Los Reyes||Godly, Civil and Political Moralist, Lawyer, but too young and could have a weak leadership. Most of all, farther in winning having a lower SWS Surveys than Bro.Eddie.|
|Erap Estrada||Good Mayor, adored by the poor, but immoral, gambler, drunkard, and convicted plunderer.|
|Manuel Villar||Good political leader, Businessman, the richest man in the senate, but was involved in manipulation of government projects for self interest.|
|Gibbo Teodoro||Good political leader, probably one of the geniuses of Philippine political arena, lawyer, pilot and former defense secretary. But, a close ally of the administration has a primary agenda for Charter Change which can put GMA to become the Prime Minister. This means, if he wins, it is as if, we will still be in the mercy of GMA.|
|Jambi Madrigal||Whistle blower of many scandals in the senate, probably a good one. But, woman again???|
Can Bro. Eddie Win?
There is hope for winning. I would rather focus on the possibilities than the impossibilities. This can definitely be achieved if Christians will come together to their senses in voting for the most God-fearing man among all the candidates.
The bigger challenge however for the Bangon Pilipinas is how to unite Christian groups when it comes to his candidacy. Some Evangelical Christian supporters are even pulling out their support for him especially when the video taken from the church of Apollo Quiboloy exploded. Evangelical Christian groups does not accept and never considered Ptr. Apollo Quiboloy to be a brother in the faith because of his claims to be the “Son” of God which has a literal meaning that he is the “New Messiah” or the “New Jesus” of our time.
Disappointments against Bro. Eddie become stronger when Bro. Eddie say, “Amen” to what the church of Apollo Quiboloy is doing, and when Bro. Eddie stated that Quiboloy is a brother. A Filipino-Theologian friend considered this as a “spiritual suicidal for political survival.” Another one said, “I relegate Bro.Eddie to be the least among the candidates. He is a pastor and he should know better.”
In a forum, some of these Evangelical Christians are demanding an explanation and apology from Bro.Eddie concerning the Quiboloy church incident. We all know that Quiboloy has been respected by all presidential politicians especially that he could bring about 6 million votes for the chosen candidate. But how this matter can be reconciled? How can this be changed? We can only hope that Bro. Eddie will address a letter to the Evangelical Christians concerning his actions.
One friend asked me, “Hindi po ba kayo nababahala sa pagcocompromise ni Bro.Eddie?”, I answered him, “Nababahala. Pero nababahala din ako na mapunta na naman tayo sa mga kamay ng mga kurakot na mga pulitiko, sa mga idolaters, sa mga immorals at sa mga pulitikong walang takot sa Diyos.”
As for me, I will still support Bro. Eddie. Even if we say that he had compromised in that incident, I still believe that he still remains to be the best candidate among the presidentiables.