The Iglesia ni Cristo on Monday denied that they have endorsed the presidential candidacy of Davao City Rodrigo Duterte.
In a text message to GMA News, Iglesia ni Cristo spokesman Ka Edwil Zabala said they have not circulated a letter showing the religious group's support for Duterte.
“The letter is not from Brother Eduardo Manalo,” Zabala said, after being shown the supposed “tagubilin” that has since gone viral over the social media.
“The moment we identify the person/s responsible for this fraudulent letter containing the forged signature of Brother Eduardo Manalo, we will charge them in court,” he added.
Although it is unclear where the letter was originally posted, one of the prominent pages that shared the photo was “Bisaya Republic.”
Its post about the supposed Iglesia Ni Cristo endorsement gained over 3,800 likes and 7,400 shares as of 4:45 p.m. on Monday.
However, a Facebook page of Duterte’s volunteers with over 52,000 likes posted the photo in question and labeled it as “fake news.”
Duterte met Manalo two weeks ago to present his program against crime, illegal drugs and corruption to the religious leader.
“Kung nanaisin ng Banal na Panginoon at ako ay mahalal sa darating na eleksyon, makakaasa ang milyun-milyong miyembro ng Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) na ipaglalaban ko ang kanilang karapatan at kapakanan bilang mamamayan at mananampalataya,” Duterte said in a statement.
He said they did not discuss support of the block voting religious group.
The influential group has also denied last week that it has already endorsed a candidate for vice president.
The statement came out after Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos was reported to have claimed that his vice presidential bid had been endorsed by the Iglesia ni Cristo.
“Basta sa ngayon ay wala pa kaming opisyal na ine-endorso. Maaring mayroon nang napili ang pamunuan pero wala pa kaming ina-announce,” Zabala said then.
He added, “Hindi ko alam saan nanggaling ang balita na may ine-endorso na. Kung mayroon na, ako dapat ang una makakaalam at magbabalita sainyo niyan.”
Source Credit: GMA News