A social media post claims candidates for president endorsed by the Iglesia ni Cristo always win. It does not say that some INC-backed candidates lost.

CLAIM:  Candidates for president endorsed by the INC win in the election

Cebu Flash Report, a Facebook page that describes itself as the “#1 Citizen News page, updated 24/7 from the people,” shared a post showing the names of presidential candidates and how an Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) endorsement helped them win the presidency. It provided links to reputable news websites to back up its claim.

So does that mean that the INC endorsement ensures a win? Not always. Cebu Flash Report’s claim needs more context.

While Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Benigno S. Aquino III and Rodrigo Duterte were endorsed by the INC and eventually won the presidency, the post did not take into account other candidates that the religious group had endorsed but lost in the election.

In 1949, the INC endorsed Jose Avelino for president, but he lost to President Elpidio Quirino.

In 1992, the INC endorsed Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, Jr. for president, but he lost to eventual winner Fidel V. Ramos. 

The INC’s endorsement did not help its vice-presidential bets win their respective races.

In 2010, the INC endorsed vice president Manuel “Mar” Roxas III for vice president. He lost to Jejomar Binay. 

In 2016, the church endorsed Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for vice president, but he lost to Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo.

Public opinion researcher Oscar Lagman Jr., in an Inquirer opinion piece titled “The INC Endorsement Myth,” said the INC endorses only those candidates leading in the polls.

“The candidates it endorsed in 2019 would have won with or without its endorsement as they were really the people’s choice as the surveys indicated. Jinggoy Estrada was among the 12 senatorial candidates it endorsed but he lost. Koko Pimentel was re-elected senator even without the vaunted INC endorsement,” he wrote. 

Lagman Jr.’s conclusion to his article may well likely be our conclusion to Cebu Flash Report’s misleading post:  The Iglesia Ni Cristo’s endorsement as the deciding factor in a candidate’s success is a myth. — Rommel F. Lopez

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