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JIL backs Loren, Noynoy, Koko, Kiko in Senate race

(Updated 1:56 p.m.) The charismatic Jesus Is Lord (JIL) Movement on Thursday endorsed a fresh batch of opposition and independent candidates for the upcoming polls, but still kept out of its list all 12 candidates of the administration Team Unity ticket. Radio station dzBB said JIL spiritual leader Bro. Eddie Villanueva has given his nod to the candidacies of Genuine Opposition (GO) bets former Sen. Loren Legarda, Tarlac Rep. Benigno Simeon Aquino III and Aquilino Pimentel III and independent candidate Sen. Francis Pangilinan. Villanueva made the announcement during a press briefing at the Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan. His Bangon Pilipinas party, the Philippines for Jesus Movement, and the Intercessors of the Philippines will also back the candidacies of the senatorial bets. The religious group claims to have a membership of three million around the Philippines, excluding its chapters among overseas Filipino workers in other countries. Other GO bets Senators Panfilo Lacson and Manuel Villar as well as Congressmen Alan Peter Cayetano and Francis Escudero have also gained the JIL's endorsement. Villanueva earlier said the endorsed candidates lived up to JIL principles, namely: God-fearing, competent, integrity, courage, patriotism and lives a principled existence. He had also asked the four candidates to sign a covenant wherein they commit to push for JIL's advocacies in the Senate. Their commitments under the covenant include: God before others, upliftment of the poor and repressed, fight corruption in government, and fulfilling responsibilities under their constitutional mandate. Also in the covenant is the candidates' commitment to block the gambling mega-center along Roxas Boulevard planned by Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor). Villanueva has remained a key critic of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's rule since losing to her in the 2004 presidential race. Other candidates earlier reported to have sought an audience with Villanueva are Team Unity candidates Sen. Edgardo Angara and former Senators Vicente Sotto III, and Tessie Aquino-Oreta. - GMANews.TV