Last January 2010, I attended a bloggers meet w/ Presidential Candidate Brother Eddie Villanueva. To be honest, I’ve always wondered how a religious leader would plan to lead the Philippines considering the dirty politics that we continue to witness. Before the meeting started, Brother Eddie’s staff apologized. We were informed that Brother Eddie Villanueva was sick & was still not feeling well. Brother Eddie in spite of showing signs of being sick, was more than willing to meet with us.
A few minutes later, Brother Eddie Villanueva arrived. He was very warm in welcoming us. He joined us for lunch & we had a great casual conversation. After lunch, we started the interview. Let me share with you a very detailed account of our interview with Brother Eddie Villanueva to give you a feel of the discussion that took place. I suggest you also read the article written by co-blogwatch writer, Sonnie. His article was titled “The Strong Conviction to Rescue the Philippines.”
I also suggest you to go to this link if you want to watch the full interview of Blogwatch team with Presidentiable Brother Eddie Villanueva of Bangon Pilipinas Party. The following are the questions given to Brother Eddie, and the answers that were provided by him.
This is your 2nd time to run for the presidency. Did you change the platform you created last 2004? And can you share quickly your platform?
We improved, updated & upgraded the platform. We realized during 2004, 10 points were given. Based on our studies since last year with volunteers practicing economics, we decided to simplify our platform.
The platform is known as the blueprint for the new Philippines with emphasis on the 7 E’s.
- 1st e – empower the people,
- 2nd e – emancipate the people
- 3rd e – educate the people.
- 4th e – elevate the living standards of people.
- 5th e – energize the economy.
- 6th e – eradicate bad governance including corruption.
- 7th e – establish peace in the land.
Some people asked why the emphasize on the 7 e’s, is it because your name is Eddie? It is just because we are emphasizing the word “excellence” in this platform of government of the Bangon Pilipinas party.
If ever you win, will you appoint people from JIL (Jesus is Lord) into your government?
I believe in meritocracy. I have been fighting for good government & righteous leadership, therefore all kinds of appointments must be based on merits. I’m determined that the Filipino people will cooperate with the aspiration of many people to have many changes and reforms. I will surely appoint only people that are qualified in the position they are aspiring for irregardless of position or religious connections.
I emphasize the importance of 4 c’s for a leader:
- good character – integrity & honesty.
- competence- without competence, still “inutil”
- courage – backbone to implement what is right or what is best for the country,
- compassion – a leader who doesn’t have a compassionate heart can just be a leader in the Eiffel tower. A leader cannot be insensitive to the feelings and sufferings of millions of our people.
Irregardless of political & religious persuasion, as long as they pass the standard which I believe should be the basis for right qualifications, then no problem with me. I hate “palakasan” system. I believe this is the major reason why the Philippines has deteriorated to such a miserable condition today.
If ever you win the presidency, who will take over JIL?
JIL movement is different from other churches. JIL movement is not personality-centered, it is Christ- centered, bible-based centered & not partisan-based centered. Last Feb 7, in a leadership conference at the Astrodome, I was surprised by the council of leaders nationwide & worldwide. Suddenly, they called me up on the stage and they enlisted me to the nation. They understand fully my passion for the country. I then finally officially accepted the proposal of multisectoral groups that approached me 3 years ago headed by national chairman of south Christian businessmen of the Philippines to again consider the decision to continue the fight for genuine change in the country. There will be no problem with ministry leadership. We have 10,000 churches all over the world and we have pastors & an executive management board. The leadership structure of JIL movement is not predicated on personality, so with or without brother Eddie Villanueva, it will continue to grow everyday because it’s Christ-centered & it’s a bible-centered ministry.
Thoughts on separation of church & state.
There is a perception that religious leaders should be prohibited to run for public office. As a matter of fact, Joaquin Bernas, a highly-skilled constitutionalist said there is no provision in the constitution that prohibits righteous Godly religious people to run for public office. No religious test should be made in testing the so-called social and political rights of the citizens. Moreover, I would like to explain that separation of church and state is not designed to prevent Godly people from offering their public service to the people.
Thomas Jefferson being a unitarian wrote a letter to the congregation of the baptist assuring them that the state will never interfere in the ecclesiastical duty of the church. He emphasized that religious freedom & freedom of workshop will be observed and protected. In our Philippine constitution, the state is prohibited to establish a state religion. The state is absolutely prohibited to spend public funds in promoting a particular religion. The state should observe and protect religious freedom and freedom of worship. That is very clear in our constitution. No religious test is required in the exercise of political rights of the Filipino people as always quoted by Joaquin Bernas, a respected constitutionalist.
If our political system has been allowing any person whether a lawyer, engineer, housewife, basketball player, actor/actress or even smuggling lords [to run for] public office, why prohibit Godly people to run for public office and fulfill God’s mandate? God’s mandate is very clear. In Proverbs 25:5, remove the wicked away from the king’s throne so the government will be based on righteousness.
In Proverbs 29:2 – when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice — when the wicked rule, the people mourn. In other words, I believe in my heart that Godly Filipinos must be encouraged as long as they are competent, as long as they are qualified to run for any public office so that we can have a righteous government which is a key for the genuine development and progress and prosperity of our beloved country.
Read the rest of the article at Blogwatch.PH.
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- Pictures – http://www.flickr.com/photos/rochellesychua/sets/72157623047343017/