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Ricky Reyes, Filhair back Villar

Ricky Reyes, Couples faction back Villar

Fascinating discussion of which Presidential candidate is really "progay" and the influence of Ang Ladlad and gay political movements.



By Jerome Aning, Michael Lim Ubac
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Posted date: April 29, 2010


MANILA, Philippines—For their pro-life and pro-family stand, presidential candidates Manny Villar of the Nacionalista Party and John Carlos “JC” de los Reyes of Ang Kapatiran Party have received the indirect endorsement of a faction of Couples for Christ (CFC), a Catholic charismatic and renewal group.

Villar also got the endorsement of a group of hairdressers, but not the Ang Ladlad, a party-list group of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender, which is supporting his main rival, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. Asked by reporters about Ang Ladlad supporting Aquino, well-known hair stylist Ricky Reyes, said: “Kaya ngayon, nilaladlad ko na si Manny Villar (So now I’m disclosing my support for Manny Villar). Should I endorse someone else? That’s it, he is the one.”
Villar got the endorsement of Reyes and his army of haircutters and hairdressers belonging to Filipino Hairdressers Cooperative (Filhair) when the senator served as guest speaker at the 26th Hair and Make-up Trend Competition at the Philippine Trade Center in Pasay City.

Letter to CBCP

In an April 26 letter to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines president, Bishop Nereo Odchimar of Tandag, the Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life said: “For the sake of family and life, we ask that these two (Villar and De Los Reyes) be supported.”

Frank Padilla, the foundation’s leader, and other officials of the group cited Villar and De los Reyes’ stand against the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill.

Villar and Ang Kapatiran president Eric Manalang are members of the CFC community.

“Let the Church speak out clearly and boldly in defense of family and life. Let her denounce those who are pro-choice and pro-RH. Let her educate her clerics and religious who may be making emotional changes but endangering family and life,” they said in the letter.

Individual bishops and Papal Nuncio Joseph Adams were also furnished copies of the letter.

Elated

Sought for his reaction, De los Reyes said he was elated by the support.

“It is but expected that they support those who oppose the RH bill if they are to be steadfast in their apostolate, which is marriage and family life. They are supposedly our natural allies and I am elated they made a stand. Better late than never,” De los Reyes said.

CFC Global

He said he was also soliciting endorsements from the other CFC faction, the CFC Global, and the lay groups founded by his father Antonio, namely the Bukas Loob sa Diyos and Serviam.

The elder De los Reyes was president of the National Council of the Laity of the Philippines, a CBCP arm.

In their letter, the CFC leaders said they were dismayed that Catholic lay and clergy openly and aggressively endorsing the candidacy of Aquino, who, they said, was “pro-choice, pro-RH, pro-population control [and] not against divorce.”

Aquino progay

The CFC leaders added that Aquino himself could be “pro-gay” because he was endorsed by Ang Ladlad party-list.

De los Reyes earlier said he supported homosexuals forming their own party-list group to combat discrimination and hate crimes, but he said he was against same-sex marriage, which Ang Ladlad does not advocate.

The CFC leaders said the Catholic hierarchy in the Philippines should remember what happened in the United States, when American bishops did not speak out against Catholic leaders such as President John F. Kennedy Jr. who was “eroding the truth and fullness of Catholic life.”

Under President Barack Obama, who has many Catholic supporters, the Catholic church was again weakened because of his administration’s support for abortion and homosexual rights, the CFC leaders said.

“The coming elections are crucial for the culture of life in our nation. We are into spiritual warfare, for the very soul of our nation. If we fail to defend family and life now, we will have no one else to blame but ourselves,” they said.

Rags-to-riches story

At the Philippine Trade Center, Reyes said: “I always say that the hardships experienced by Filipinos will be solved by having jobs.”

Reyes, fondly called “Mother” by his wards as a show of respect and admiration for the founder of Filhair Coop., gave birth to the successful privately run community livelihood project, “Isang Gunting, Isang Suklay.”

Reyes, whose rags-to-riches story inspired fellow beauticians like him to dream big, noted that he and Villar succeeded in business by starting as entrepreneurs.

“I’m one of his fans because of his work for the poor and we both came from the ranks of the poor,” Villar told reporters after his speech.

Hard work

He said both of them succeeded through “Sipag at Tyaga,” his campaign slogan which means hard work and patience.

Reyes said Filhair had chapters all over the country.

“For me, my sector, the beauty sector—the most beautiful sector in this country—you will not see us in the streets rallying. But what we do is go to our shop. We will cut hair. We will make our own money and we will feed our families,” he said.

Asked about the nationwide membership of the Filhair Coop, he said: “I don’t count people … but when I call [them], I can fill the whole ballroom.”

Big deal

His endorsement was music to the ears of Villar.

“The endorsement of Ricky is a big deal for me because I really admire him. I am one of his fans. He is one of the Filipinos who should be emulated. He is helping our society and he really pushed for his profession and industry in the field of entrepreneurship. He is indeed a good example of success through hard work and patience,” Villar said.

In his speech, Villar said he had been advocating entrepreneurship as a way out poverty.

“We should encourage … hairdressers to go on, to excel, to compete,” said Villar, again harping on his campaign platform to end poverty if elected president.

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