The leaders of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) are having difficulty convincing their members to vote for President Arroyo on May 10, according to Dagupan-Lingayen Archbishop Oscar Cruz.
Cruz said some of his friends at the INC told him that INC head Eraño Manalo and some of the sect’s high-ranking officials are seeking ways to convince and get the full cooperation of the INC flock in supporting the candidacy of Arroyo.
“I was informed by some of my friends that there are problems in the INC now because some of their members are not in favor of Arroyo as some want to support another candidate,” Cruz said in a telephone interview.
The INC has reportedly decided to support Arroyo. The INC reportedly has over 10 million members nationwide.
Sources at the INC said the official announcement of President Arroyo’s “anointment” will be on Wednesday.
The Arroyo camp, on the other hand, has kept mum on the INC’s endorsement.
Presidential campaign spokesman Michael Defensor and Presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye preferred not to comment on the reported endorsement by the INC.
“We will await the final and official decision and we will wait for the official relaying of the message,” said Defensor, adding “we would just have to respect the process and the decision.”
“You cannot go around and openly talk about it, we are advised to just continue campaigning and just to continue with our routine in the campaign,” he added.
Defensor added that they remain hopeful that they would get the nod of the INC, which he said would make Arroyo invincible.
He added that with an INC endorsement, even a unified opposition ticket would not lessen Arroyo’s chances.
Defensor said the administration coalition Koalisyon ng Katapatan at Karansan sa Kinabukasan (K4) would focus the last week of the campaign in Luzon concentrating on the promotion of their perceived “weak” candidates.
Defensor said they are hoping that majority, if not all of their senatorial bets would make it on the elections.
Meanwhile, the Catholic charismatic group El Shaddai is also set to announce their choice this week.
“We will announce it this week but I cannot say it because only Bro. Mike has the authority,” said El Shaddai spokesman Mel Robles.