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MANILA, Philippines – Bro Eddie Villanueva in politics? He’s going to try again for the third time.
Although best known as an evangelist, the senatorial candidate hopes his background in activism and the academe will win over voters.
Devon Wong reports.
Brother Eddie has been many things in his life.
Running for senator, he’s hoping his third run will be the charm.
Most voters will recognize him as an evangelist campaigning for the third time, after his two failed attempts in previous elections.
But Brother Eddie prefers to describe himself in different terms.
BROTHER EDDIE, SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Brother Eddie is a full-blooded democrat.
Brother Eddie is a man of several reinventions, and he’s not shy to remind you of his colorful past.
BROTHER EDDIE, SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: If you know my life, I’ve been to prison twice and fighting for the democratic freedom of our people. I used to be a radical student activist, atheist, and I can say intellectually communist.
Brother Eddie isn’t bothered by concerns that his religion will affect his duties as a senator.
He says it’s the demolition job of opposing candidates that ‘demonized’ his religious background.
According to Brother Eddie, there should be less concern over religious leaders running for public office.
BROTHER EDDIE, SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: You have a better position because you have moral values. Why Brother Eddie, who is an economist, a professor and an academic scholar before, and now an evangelist should be questioned to run for public office? It seems that they’re afraid that corruption might be wiped out when people with Christian values would enter politics.
Once seen as a potential dark horse when he ran for President in 2004, Brother Eddie’s star is waning.
A month away from the May elections, his ratings are trailing.
Will he have enough ‘mass’ appeal to win him a Senatorial seat?
And how will this master in reinvention, pull off a last-minute turnaround?
Devon Wong, Rappler, Manila.