In a Church forum held in Intramuros on Tuesday, Atty. Aurora Santiago of the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipina, the movement’s convenor, read a statement in behalf of the movement’s spokesperson Bro. Mike Velarde.
“There are men and women who show great potential as pro-family, pro-life, pro-poor Senators. Some are young but they are competent. Some have checkered pasts but they have proven to be passionate for life, the poor and the Filipino family. As always, we humbly defer to everyone’s better judgment. We list some of them and present them to the Filipino people,” Santiago said reading the statement.
The additional senatorial bets of the movement are from the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA)—Nancy Binay, Richard Gordon and Juan Miguel Zubiri.
When asked about the stand of their newly endorsed candidates, Santiago clarified that they are clear on their stand as pro-lifers.
“Formerly, they were pro-Reproductive health (RH) but when we asked them what changed their mind, Migs Zubiri shared his story as well as Gordon. For Zubiri, his first hand experience made him changed his stand on the issue and other issues concerning DEATH (Divorce, Euthanasia, Abortion, Total Population Control, and Homosexuality) bills,” she said.
Santiago shared the story of Zubiri and his wife before the conception of their first child.
“When they were married, it was long before they had a child. They already tried doing everything like medical aspects, etc., but nothing happened. And then someone suggested that why don’t they pray and ask the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. So there they realized to pray and went to pilgrimages, to different Churches until they reached the Our Lady of Lourdes in France. After the constant prayer and pilgrimages, his wife became pregnant,” said Santiago.
“Then Zubiri added that it is not easy to have a baby. So why then will I join those who are saying that we need to control the population? To have a child is God given. If God wants you to have many children, then God will provide. So why do we need to intercede with condoms and contraceptives,” Santiago said quoting Zubiri.
In the case of Gordon, according to Santiago, his is what you may call conversion like in the case of Zubiri.
“He was saying that he is against RH and instead of spending billions of money buying contraceptives and teaching sex education to children, why not spend it [to buy] medicines for the rural areas and in baranggay health centers. When you go to health centers, there are no available medicines, or they will be giving you just enough for one day prescription,” Santiago shared.
Binay on the other hand is an amateur in politics.
“We asked her if her father might be pro-RH but she said that the Vice President Jojo Binay is anti-RH. So we asked her again about her platforms, she replied that it is about family, the protection of children and she is doing this in Makati,” Santiago confirmed.
Binay is committing that her father is anti-RH and so is she. She is also for the rejection of death bills.
Santiago pointed out that Zubiri, Binay and Gordon promised that they will do their best that these death bills and any anti-family bill will not see passage in Senate.
Three weeks ago, White Vote Movement endorsed re-electionists and senatorial candidates JV Ejercito, Gregorio Honasan II, Mitos Magsaysay, Koko Pimentel III, Antonio Trillanes IV, and Cynthia Villar.
Kapatiran Party senatorial candidate Atty. Marwil Llasos is also part of the list, according to an announcement made last Saturday evening in AMVEL during the El Shaddai prayer vigil.
“So he was contacted but he cannot attend that day. His name is included in the list but it doesn’t mean that due to his non-attendance is we are not endorsing him. Unless he will say that he doesn’t want to be endorsed by the movement. White Vote Movement has not heard anything from him since Saturday evening,” Santiago shared to reporters.
When asked about the specific date on when the movement will stop endorsing candidates, Santiago said that so far, the movement is discerning if when will be the last day that they will endorse a senatorial candidate.
“We will still meet to talk about it,” she added.
Santiago stressed that before endorsing the 9 candidates, they were asked to sign a covenant assuring that they will really fight against any DEATH bills introduced in the Senate.
“There are no sanctions or punishment for them if ever they will not be true to what they have committed. But, we want an assurance from them that’s why we asked them to sign a covenant about it,” Santiago said.
Santiago clarified that the movement is not endorsing a particular party-list but asks voters to vote for a pro-life party-list.
“White Vote Movement is promoting candidates for the national level. But because there is only one party-list allowed per voter, we are not particularly endorsing one. In such, our voters can choose from any of the four pro-life party-lists which are Ang Pamilya, Ang Prolife, Buhay, and Pacyaw,” Santiago furthered. (Jandel Posion)