The camp of Liberal Party presidential candidate Mar Roxas rolled out this week the endorsement of popular on-screen couple Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo aka “KathNiel.” Roxas’ wife, broadcast journalist Korina Sanchez, posted a photo featuring four of them all clad in yellow in her Instagram account.
While web ads featuring Padilla having a conversation with Roxas has appeared since early November, a lot of people were surprised by Bernardo’s decision to enter the scene. Apart from the fact that a lot of KathNiel fans doesn’t seem to be happy to see their idol endorsing Roxas (or perhaps making political endorsements at all), some pointed out the awkward situation behind Bernardo’s support for the former Interior secretary.
Members of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), where Bernardo and her family belongs, are expected to wait until their church leaders have released their “tagubilin” which will indicate who among the candidates for national and local positions they are going to support.
Candidates from all political parties do their best to win the endorsement of the powerful sect because they are known for bloc voting during Election Day. Now, what if INC’s leadership council (“sanggunian“) decides to reject Roxas and endorse one of his rivals instead, like Vice President Jejomar Binay? Will Bernardo defy her Church’s doctrine and stick it out with Roxas or will she vote for whoever the INC endorses?
Quoting INC’s official magazine Pasugo, one website explained that it is important for the Church to maintain a united stand not just in elections but in all endeavors. “Apostle Paul urged the Christians to be perfectly united in one mind and judgment. Since voting is an expression of the judgment, the Church is united in voting those who are to lead the nation.”
The on-screen couple’s endorsement of Roxas is also being intrigued in another aspect: How much were they paid? Showbiz columnist Cristy Fermin wrote in Bulgar that Bernardo was paid millions in talent fee in exchange for her support.