In Philippines election, priests opposed to Marcos turn pink_freckle removal healing

Karen Lema·4 min readIn this article:
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  • Bongbong MarcosFilipino politician
  • Ferdinand MarcosFerdinand MarcosFORMER PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
  • Leni RobredoLeni Robredo14th Vice President of the Philippines
  • Rodrigo DuterteRodrigo DuterteFilipino politician and the 16th President of the Philippines

By Karen Lema

MANILA (Reuters) - When Philippine Catholic priest Father Nap Baltazar raised his hands to bless the people attending mass, the sleeves on his white vestment slid back to reveal a pink bracelet inscribed with the words "Let Leni Lead".

Baltazar, 47, belongs to a group of like-minded priests in Asia's biggest Catholic nation who have abandoned their neutrality to oppose the presidential bid of Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the late dictator's son and namesake, and openly endorse his closest rival Leni Robredo, whose team colour is pink.

The presidential election is set for May 9, and latest opinion polls show Marcos, also known as "Bongbong", holds a double-digit lead over closest rival Robredo, while his running mate, Sara Duterte-Carpio, daughter of incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte, remained the top choice for the vice presidency.

"I will do everything I can to make sure he does not sit as president," Baltazar said of the 64-year old Marcos.

The priest, who says he has never before campaigned publicly for a politician since being ordained, drives a van adorned with an image of Robredo and the words "Pray and Choose Wisely. Your future depends on it" written in pink.

Back in 1986, the Catholic Church championed a "People Power" uprising that overthrew Marcos's father and drove his family to exile.

But now, Marcos Jr, a former congressman and senator, appears poised to clinch the presidency, following a decades-long political fight back by a family accused of leading one of Asia's most notorious kleptocracies.

The elder Marcos ruled for two decades, almost half of it under martial law during which thousands of his opponents were beaten and tortured, and disappeared or were killed.

UNTHINKABLE

Robredo, 56, narrowly defeated Marcos in the 2016 vice presidential contest. She is the leader of the opposition and the only female candidate in this year's presidential race.

(editor:)

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