Vice President Maria Leonora “Leni” Robredo, who is currently running for the presidency in the upcoming national polls, has been endorsed by over 500 Catholic brothers, deacons, priests and religious sisters. They also endorsed her running mate, vice presidential candidate Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.
This is a deviation from the longstanding tradition of Catholic leaders being discouraged from showing support to particular candidates.
“Pari Madre Misyonaryo Para Kay Leni” (Priests Nuns Missionaries For Leni) is a group that plays a key role in the growing movement amidst the Philippine Catholic Church to endorse the tandem of Robredo and Pangilinan.
“All things considered, among the candidates who have laid out their political platforms and applied for the highest and the second highest posts of the land, we adjudge that it is Vice President Maria Leonor ‘Leni’ G. Robredo and Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan who best fit the job,” the statement published last February 12 read, “to be the next president and vice president of the Philippines.”
Other Catholic groups that have already openly endorsed Robredo-Pangilinan for president and vice-president include the De La Salle Brothers of the Taft Community, founders of one of the leading universities in the Philippines, as well as leaders from the popular group Ligaya ng Panginoon.
This is the first time in nearly 50 years that the latter has thrown their support behind any candidate.
As the leader of the Diocese of Kalookan, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David had given his blessing beforehand to efforts by lay groups in Navotas, Malabon and south Caloocan to endorse the pair.
David is also president of the CBCP (Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines). The body has not released a statement about any particular 2022 candidates.