Profiling the Candidates for the 2010 Presidential Elections: Eddie Villanueva

Full Name: Eduardo Villanueva
Born: October 6, 1946
Parents: Joaquin T. Villanueva and Maria Cruz Villanueva
Religion: Filipino Christian (Jesus is Lord Church)

Current Position: Chairman, Bagong Pilipinas, Bagong Pilipino Movement

Political Party: Bangon Pilipinas
Running Mate: Perfecto Yasay
Senators:

  • Zafrulla Alonto
  • Kata Inocencio
  • Adz Nikabulin
  • Ramon Ocampo
  • Reynaldo Princesa
  • Alex Tinsay
  • Israel Virgines

Brief History

In 1969, Villanueva graduated with a degree in commerce, majoring in economics, from the Philippine College of Commerce (PCC), since renamed the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. He was immersed in both student and labor movements in the 1970’s, joining the progressive segments of society which opposed military dictatorship. Villanueva also took up law at the University of the Philippines but was already into so much activism that he never had time to take the bar  [examination]. During Martial law, he fought local landgrabbers in Bulacan and ended up being jailed twice for his political beliefs and participation in various mass actions.

He worked as a full-time faculty member in the Economics and Finance Department of PCC until 1972. He then worked as the export manager of Maran Export Industries in 1973 and from 1976 to 1977, he was the general manager of the Agape Trading Co. He returned to PCC, now renamed, in 1978 as a part-time professor.

According to their church’s website, Villanueva claimed to have “had a life-changing encounter with the Lord in 1973 while at the forefront of a leftist movement”. At that time, he was also leading his family (and other families) in his home province of Bulacan in an uphill, protracted legal battle as he himself became a victim of a notorious land-grabbing syndicate. Five days after that “dramatic encounter with God”, Bro. Eddie was brought face to face with a miracle he could never forget: the land-grabbers were arrested and detained.

In 1978, Villanueva founded the Jesus Is Lord Church formerly named Jesus is Lord Fellowship, “which started with just 15 members from his Bible studies”. In 2007, “JIL said it has over three million members today in 36 countries. Most members abroad are overseas Filipino workers and their families.”

Brother Eddie received the Gintong Ama (Golden Father) award for Socio-Civic/Religious Sector from the Golden Mother and Father Foundation in June 1996. He was also voted Pastor of the Year in a 1998 worldwide search conducted by Dr. George Otis’ High Adventure Ministries. The Ministries broadcasts the Voice of Hope program in 72 countries.

Villanueva was ordained Minister of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979 by the California-based Victory in Christ Church|Victory in Christ Church and International Ministries. He has also been conferred the office of Episcopacy by the Sectarian Body of Christ in the Philippines in April 1996.

In February 2001, Brother Eddie received the EDSA People Power Freedom Award for ZOE TV 11 for its fair coverage of the People Power II movement. He founded and owns ZOE Broadcasting Network Inc. and operates Channel 11 on Filipino television. Bro. Eddie hosts three ZOE programs, Diyos at Bayan, PJM (Philippines for Jesus Movement) Forum and Jesus The Healer.

Life in Politics

Villanueva has not really had much of a presence in politics as he is best known for being the founder of the Jesus is Lord Church. However, he had his presidential bid during the 2004 Presidential Elections. But this didn’t turn out well as he placed last in the field of 5 candidates.

A former supporter of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, he has turned into one of her most rabid critics after the election. Until now, he remains to be one of the visible figures of the opposition side, who calls for the resignation of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for alleged election fraud and corruption.

Politics

This world is too poor to buy my convictions and principles.

Platform

We are Filipinos who believe in God and in the Philippines, that it is capable of transforming itself into a productive, prosperous and respectable nation.

We stand for good governance, and good governance can be achieved only when like-minded Filipinos bind themselves together and provide a moral force to bring this about.

We support a Filipino economy that is built on a highly-educated, creative and productive citizenry; one that is driven by sustainable growth for at least 100 years and beyond with optimum investment in infrastructure as well as in modern technology for agriculture, industry and services; one that aims to strengthen and depend on domestic demand while completely taking advantage of what the rest of the world can offer; and one where families can enjoy to the fullest the fruits of their labor right in their own land.

We aspire for a Filipino society that promotes justice for all regardless of their status in life; one where all Filipinos can live in peace and harmony; and one where our integrity and sovereignty as a nation are meaningful because Filipinos are aware and proud of their cultural heritage and they are supported by strong air, land and sea defenses.

My 2cents on Bro. Eddie

I would’ve said that the results of the 2004 Presidential Elections can say a lot but we all know that it is marred by various controversies including the Hello Garci scandal. However, if any part of it is believable, we can very well say that even his entire church can’t support him.

The most questionable part, for me, about is candidacy is his candidacy itself. Why would a founder and leader of a very strong church, with over 6 million members, choose to declare a leave of absence from leading his church and bid for presidency of the Republic of the Philippines?

I wouldn’t know how to answer that mainly because I am not him. But it is really very intriguing.

Though, I know, I am not the very first to ask this as he has been accused of running for presidency because of religious interests.

As for his chances in this 2010 elections, I believe that the population of his church wouldn’t be enough to win this race. He would’ve to learn how to reach the people who are not in his religion. And he should be able to do that before this race goes against his favor.

Sources: Wikipedia (Eddie Villanueva), PoliticalArena, BroEddie.ph, Wikipedia (Jesus is Lord Church)

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