The ‘parties of God’

    DAVAO’S Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, who claims to be the “appointed” son of God himself — meaning a brother of Jesus Christ, and can perform miracles and can see the future (he predicted that ABS-CBN will lose its franchise and Vice Ganda his/her job!) — has thrown his hat in the presidential derby.

    The news is that Quiboloy is thinking of running for president. He said he would be forced to run for president if there would be nobody strong enough to replace President Duterte.

    Quiboloy, leader of the religious sect “Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Name Above Every Name,” multi-millionaire, kingmaker, media mogul with several private fixed-wing planes and helicopters, is the biggest financier of Duterte when the Davao City mayor started his campaign in 2016. Quiboloy was somewhat eased out and relegated to the sidelines when billionaires from Luzon led by Manny Villar came in with their bags of cash (Digong himself said this in a public speech). When Duterte was almost sure of winning, the bandwagon was joined by other moneyed individuals: the Arroyos of Pampanga, the Remullas of Cavite, businessmen-politicians from Cebu and Makati, etc.)

    ‘Quiboloy, Pacquiao, Villanueva, Duterte, Allan Peter Cayetano, Donald Trump… and other
    so-called leaders who involve
    God in their campaign will have
    to contend with various political questions that will embarrass them and compel them to recant.’

    Religious leaders who think they have enough numbers are naturally tempted to increase their power and influence by seeking public office. Some of them lost, but many others were victorious. Scan the local list: Bro. Rep. Eddie Villanueva, Sen. Joel Villanueva, Bro. Mike Velarde and Lito Atienza (party-list), pastor Benny Abante, Among Ed Panlilio of Pampanga, Ruben Ecleo of Dinagat island, etc.

    Not only in the Philippines, but especially abroad, are the “parties of God” most active. Seventeen countries maintain that their heads of state must be a Muslim, such as Malaysia, Pakistan, Mauritania, Jordan and Tunisia. Bhutan and Thailand require that the heads of their monarchies be Buddhist. Ebrahim Raisi is the incumbent president of Iran, which has been under strict Muslim rule since Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini seized power in 1979. The most religious among states is North Korea, according to Christopher Hitchens, where the Kim grandfather, father, and son jointly rule as the “Holy Trinity.”

    Back in Davao, Pastor Quiboloy said he wanted to run to engage Sen. Manny Pacquiao in a debate, both on politics and the Christian faith. Quiboloy also warned all “CPP-NPA lovers” whom he would target and expose. He said he would be very capable of running even if he did not have a political party. “Partido ko ang Dios (God is my political party),” he declared.

    Now that he mentioned it, the “parties of god” is in itself an interesting subject. On the long-running Israeli-Palestinian crisis, Hitchens has this quote:

    “Everyone in the civilized world has roughly agreed, including the majority of Arabs and Jews and the international community, that there should be enough room for two states for two peoples in the same land. I think we have a rough agreement on that. Why can’t we get it? The UN can’t get it, the US can’t get it, the Quartet can’t get it, the PLO can’t get it, the Israeli parliament can’t get it, why can’t they get it? Because the parties of God have a veto on it, and everybody knows that this is true. Because of the divine promises made about this territory, there will never be peace, there will never be compromise. There will instead be misery, shame and tyranny and people will kill each others’ children for ancient books and caves and relics, and who is going to say this is good for the world?”

    Quiboloy, Pacquiao, Villanueva, Duterte, Allan Peter Cayetano, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Abante, Ecleo and other so-called leaders who involve God in their campaign will have to contend with various political questions that will embarrass them and compel them to recant. Like the one who believes that lesbians and gays are “masahol pa sa hayop” and now, courting the LGBT votes, had to eat his own vomit and say, “Who am I to judge the gays and lesbians?”