Lay leaders endorse Senate bets based on belief in God, charter change stand
MANILA -- The senatorial candidates endorsed by an inter-faith group of lay leaders were chosen based on their faith in God and opposition to charter change, the group's chairman said on Sunday.
The People's Choice Movement (PCM) presented earlier this month the names of 10 senatorial candidates it would endorse in the midterm polls, which included all of the members of the Otso Diretso opposition slate, former lawmaker Neri Colmenares and Sen. Grace Poe.
"One of the criterias that we used was first, the candidates that we were going to ask the leaders and members to select -- one, they believe in God and of course, they respect God," said PCM Chairman Ricky Xavier.
"Secondly, they do not favor charter change. We believe charter change is not going to be good for our country at this time, we belive that it's going to be further divisive," said Xavier.
Melba Maggay, PCM member, added that the selection of all Otso Diretso candidates was just a coincidence and "independent of any kind of grouping."
Maggay added that the candidates were chosen based on their advocacy and platforms.
"[Gary] Alejano, for instance, will fight for the fishermen that are being shooed off the West Philippine Sea and you have [Erin] Tañada who is actually for farmers," she said.
"If we are thinking in terms of pro-poor, pro-Filipino, pro-independent Senate, these candidates actually stand for them," Maggay added.
The PCM is a group of leaders from faith-based organizations from the Catholic, evangelical and protestant communities.