"Team Philippines" assured of 2M votes
By Mai Gevera
Davao City (8 May) -- Davao's Pastor Apollo Quiboloy gathered yesterday his 13 chosen senatoriables composed of fixtures from the Team Unity, the Genuine Opposition, and independents. He later tagged them as the "Team Philippines" whom he assured the 2 million votes of his kingdom members.
Despite the bad weather, 10 of the 13 senatoriables who got his endorsement flew in to join last night's activity attended by an estimated crowd of 30,000 at the Jesus Christ Open Field inside the sprawling Kingdom of Jesus Christ complex.
Instead of 12 slots, Quiboloy made it 13 thus giving his members the option to drop one according to their own judgment.
Team Unity's Prospero Pichay tops Quiboloy's list as he had shown sincere and commendable loyalty in defending President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Pichay was also joined by two other Mindanaoans Miguel Zubiri and Koko Pimentel.
Eight slots were taken by the Team Unity, three by the Genuine Opposition, and two came from independent candidates.
Among the chosen 13 are Manny Villar, Edgardo Angara, Mike Defensor, Joker Arroyo, Chavit Singson, Ralph Recto, Loren Legarda, Francis Pangilinan, Tessie Oreta, and Francis Escudero.
"I would want to come up with 24 slots because I don't want to disappoint anybody but we certainly knew that we only need to cast 12 slots for the senatorial posts." he said.
Quiboloy felt bad for not being able to endorse senatoriable Nikki Coseteng who was around during the endorsement ceremony. He said that Coseteng may not have been included in his list but his prayers are with her in the coming May 14 elections.
Coseteng, on the other hand, dropped speculations that she forced her way just to get Quiboloy's nod. "I am here not expecting for his endorsement but only to attend the last day of the Youth Camp activity of Pastor's kingdom."
A week before the endorsement ceremony, Quiboloy's media network held a mock election open to everyone especially kingdom members thru phone call and text voting, participated initially by about 70,000 respondents all over the globe.
"This is the first time that we conducted this to get the pulse of the people." ACQ admitted that the survey results influenced a big percentage of his final list although he also relied on his personal choices through careful study of the candidate's track record.
Candidates who attended his birthday celebration last April 25 at Mt. Apo Tamayong were prioritized as he deemed it best to get to know these candidates personally. Present during his birthday were Loren Legarda, Chavit Singson, Ralph Recto, Manny Villar, and Francis Escudero.
Some of the candidates whose names did not surface in the survey's top were Cesar Montano and Tito Sotto.
President Arroyo learned about his 13 choices three days ago when he visited her in Malacaņang. "There's been no problem with the President about by choices." He also clarified that Davao city mayor Rodrigo Duterte did not in any way influence his decision. He admired the mayor for not meddling with his decision.
After the endorsement ceremony, Pastor admitted to have personally talked with his chosen candidates. He left the GO senatariables a favor of avoiding divisive issues and dwell more on constructive criticisms.
"This is what I call Team Philippines. I don't care whether they came from opposing parties. What I am after for is unity among the leaders and the people."
He expects at least 10 of his chosen candidates will get a seat in the senate. "Okey na sa akin kung may manalong sampo, that is already 85 percent," Quiboloy said. (PIA XI) [top]