El Shaddai, INC, Muslim group back Atienza for mayor
By Sandy Araneta (The Philippine Star) Updated May 06, 2010 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines – Former environment secretary Lito Atienza has been endorsed by the religious group Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) and El Shaddai, the former mayor’s camp said yesterday in a statement. Atienza was also endorsed by the Muslim community and got the unanimous support of the Parish Councils of Manila, as well as the solid backing of majority of the barangay chairmen, kagawads and tanods and pro-poor organizations.
The camp of Atienza also cited a gain of five percent of the votes. “It is widely known that the Iglesia ni Cristo has a wide follower in the city. With the endorsement of the group, Atienza gains another five percent solid votes,” the statement read.
The Atienza camp, quoting El Shaddai leader Mike Velarde, said that “Manila needs a pro-life mayor. Atienza is not only pro-life, but also pro-good government.” Msgr. Mel David, one of the spiritual advisers of Atienza, said the former mayor is pro-God.
PMAP president Ronald Lumbao said they endorsed Atienza because they believe that only Atienza has the genuine heart to help the poor. “His programs answer the needs of the poor community of Manila,” Lumbao said.
The Muslim community had also rallied behind the candidacy of Atienza as he has and will always keep Manila friendly to all regardless of religion and belief.
Meanwhile, a total of 650 out of the 897 barangay chairmen, and most of the kagawads and tanods said they have seen the difference on how the former mayor and the present mayor handled the city.
They said it is Atienza who has a genuine heart to help the people, specially the poor.
Former Manila Assemblyman, General Manager of the National Housing Authority, Manila Vice-Mayor for 6 years, Mayor of Manila for 9 years, and Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources