By Eden Eve Lacea


After Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) had previously backed a “Duterte-Marcos” duo for the country’s top two positions last 2016, they once again renewed their endorsement less than a week before national elections, this time with Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as president and Sara Duterte-Carpio as vice-president. 

In a televised broadcast aired on Net 25 last May 3, the religious group had announced their official endorsement lineup for the positions of president, vice-president, and 12 senatorial slate.

“The most fortunate candidate that the INC will support in their candidacy for president is Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., and for vice president, Sara Duterte Carpio,” a news anchor from Net 25’s news channel “Mata ng Agila” announced.

Their official senatorial lineup consisted of Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, Alan Peter Cayetano, Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, Guillermo Eleazar, Francis Joseph “Chiz” Escudero, Jinggoy Estrada, Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian, Lorna Regina “Loren” Legarda, Robin Padilla, Joel Villanueva, Mark Villar, and Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, half of which are also a part of the Uniteam’s magic 12. 

Several other presidential aspirants also visited INC head Eduardo V. Manalo prior to their official endorsement, including Vice President Leni Robredo, Senators Ping Lacson and Manny Pacquiao, and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, but the religious group had still decided to give their votes for the Marcos-Duterte Uniteam.

Right after the said public announcement, a pre-recorded message from Bongbong Marcos and Sara Duterte was aired, expressing their gratitude for the INC’s support. 

“My family and I, as well as all the members that consist of the Uniteam, are really happy and grateful for the support of the members of the Iglesia ni Cristo through the leadership of Eduardo V. Manalo,” Bongbong Marcos said on the taped message.

His vice-presidential running mate, Sara Duterte, who was beside him on the video, also added that the endorsement is not only a big honor, but also a challenge to realize their famous tagline throughout the campaign, which is “unity”. 

“Your choice in choosing Bongbong Marcos and I for president and vice president this coming elections is a big honor that holds a challenge to unite the country,” the vice-presidential candidate shared.

Additionally, Marcos Jr.’s spokesperson, Atty. Vic Rodriguez, also released an official statement regarding the new endorsement, quoting that the trust imparted by the said religious group shall serve as a guide for the Uniteam’s presidential and vice-presidential bets if ever they win the May 9 elections.

“We highly value the support that the INC has given to us, just like how the majority of Filipinos show their support,” said Atty. Rodriguez.

“This type of trust will serve as a guide for presidential frontrunner Bongbong Marcos and vice-presidential leader Sara Duterte in leading our country if they are given the opportunity to win in the upcoming elections this May 9,” he added. 

During the 2016 elections, the INC had chosen to endorse Rodrigo Duterte of PDP-Laban and Bongbong Marcos who ran as an independent. 

As of now, the Marcos-Duterte duo has sustained their lead on the recent Pulse Asia surveys from April 16-21, with Bongbong Marcos at 56% and Sara Duterte at 55%. 

Edited by: Quian Vencel Galut