More religious groups — Christians and Muslims — have declared their support for presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo and her running mate, Senator Kiko Pangilinan.
Among the latest “endorsers” are the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, known as the ICM sisters, and its affiliates, the United Imams of the Philippines in Zamboanga peninsula, and indigenous peoples groups in Mindanao.
The ICM nuns said they wanted “transformative change” in backing the Robredo-Pangilinan slate.
“We do not want to slide back to authoritarianism, repression of freedom of expression, historical revisionism, and human rights violations resulting in massive persecution, suffering, and deaths,” read the nun’s statement.
It said that “consistent with the values and principles of the congregation,” they are looking for a leader who, among other characteristics, is compassionate to those on the fringes of society.”
They said they wanted someone who “has a clear vision and concrete programs for different sectors, who respects religious, cultural, and gender diversity, who is honest and transparent in using public funds, who champions truth, peace, justice, freedom, and sovereignty.”
They said they wanted “a leader who lives a simple life.”
“We, the ICM Sisters and ICM affiliates, affirm that the person who embodies all of the abovementioned qualities is VP Leni Robredo,” read the nuns’ statement.
Earlier, members of the Order of the Carmelites in the Philippines have also expressed their support for Robredo and Pangilinan for their “laudable backgrounds and track records, clear directions and platforms of governance.”
In the southern Philippines, the Pinagkaisang Mamamayan Para Kay Leni at Kiko also released a joint statement expressing support for the Robredo-Pangilinan team.
“Kami, na miyembro ng mga katutubo at Bangsamoro dito sa Zamboanga Peninsula, ay kapit-bisig na sinusuportahan ang kanditatura ni VP Leni Robredo … at ni senador Kiko Pangilinan,” read the statement.
The group said the upcoming elections “are a big threat to our freedom due to the possibility of the return of the Marcos family.” The tribal people said they don’t want the dark years of martial law to return.
“Libo libo na mga kababayan natin ang hindi pa nabigyan ng hustisya,” added the statement. “Ang mga nawawala, ang mga na-torture, ang mga namatay na hanggang ngayon naghihintay ng compensation.”
Sheikh Loderson Mahir Gustaham, chairman of the United Imams of the Philippines in the Zamboanga peninsula, said many of the Bangsamoro people were marked as rebels and were killed under the dictatorship of former president Ferdinand Marcos.
“Kami na bagong henerasyon ay alam ang kasaysayan ng martial law na paulit0ulit kinukwento ng mga nakatanda sa amin,” he said.
Other religious groups that have already expressed support for the Robredo-Pangilinan slate include the Missionary Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica’s Priory, the Vincentian Family Philippines, the De La Salle Brothers of the Taft community, over 100 Jesuits, the Lipa Archdiocesan Council of the Laity and the Couples for Christ International Council.
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