A group of priests of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente declare support for presidential candidate Leni Robredo and her running mate Kiko Pangilinan, saying the two embody ideals consistent with their religious values.
Forming a discernment group called Faith Initiative for Democratic Elections (FIDES), the priests said in a statement on April 25 that they sought candidates to national positions who could “champion social justice, human dignity, common good, genuine democracy and national sovereignty.”
They hope to onboard other faith-based individuals and groups as Election Day nears.
Aside from Robredo and Pangilinan, FIDES also endorses the following senatorial candidates: Neri Colmenares, Sonny Matula, Elmer Labog, Chel Diokno, Leila De Lima, Alex Lacson, Luke Espiritu, Teodoro Baguilat, Risa Hontiveros, and Loren Legarda.
“We believe [these] individuals can represent the interest of the Filipino people during their tenure in the executive and legislative branches of the government,” the group said in their statement. They can look after the welfare of all, including the underprivileged and underserved whom Jesus loves.”
FIDES believes that church leaders should assert a more active role in supporting candidates whose political platforms are genuinely reflective of the people’s welfare and interest.
“We must cast our trust, our votes on leaders grounded in moral integrity and a sense of stewardship to the people. We must support candidates who can contribute to our Christian vision of Shalom — a world where justice and peace is achieved through respect for human dignity and rights,” its statement reads.
FIDES’ endorsement came after several faith-based communities earlier expressed support to Robredo and Pangilinan.
On April 23, the Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF) — a fellowship of Catholic and Protestant bishops — named Robredo and Pangilinan as their choice for president and vice president.
The bishops’ group also named 12 senatorial candidates, including militant leaders Colmenares, Labog and Matula.
At the heart of EBF’s endorsement is their strong preference for the candidates’ track record of “public service, moral ascendancy, upright character, advocacy for just peace, compassion for the poor and the needy, defense for human rights and environmental/ecological justice, honesty and integrity, and upholding political and economic sovereignty are qualifications of good shepherd-leader.”
A number of priests from the Catholic Diocese of Kalookan also declared their support for the Robredo-Pangilinan tandem.
In a statement, also released on April 25, the priests said they saw the two candidates’ “competence, capabilities and good characters” that would render a government which genuinely “serves the nation, cares for the poor and treasures genuine democracy.”
A group of 184 evangelical leaders and ministers also declared support to Robredo and Pangilinan. In a public statement of support the group said that they found the“vital traits for national leadership” in the two candidates.
“We are deeply convinced that with Leni and Kiko at the helm of our government, our nation will move forward towards a much brighter path and promising future,” the group said in its statement on April 12.
FIDES clarified that their endorsements were not a declaration of allegiance to any political group but rather a part of their crusade to bring to the frontlines the “Filipino people’s desire for good governance.”