BUHAY Party-list board member and legal counsel Melchor Monsod on Saturday, Nov. 6 decried false allegations that the party has abandoned Deputy Speaker and BUHAY Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza who is seeking the vice presidency.
Atienza, founder of the pro-Life partylist organization, said ‘legitimate’ board members fully support the House official in pursuing the advocacies of the partylist organization as well as Atienza and Sen. Manny Pacquiao who have partnered for the 2022 national elections as candidates for vice president and vice president, respectively.
“We were hoping not to discuss this matter publicly. But since the fake news and unsigned poison letter keep coming out as allegedly coming from people identifying themselves as the sons of Bro. Mike Velarde, it is now time to tell the truth so the public may know exactly what happened. Obviousy, these are destructive accusations which we are now forced to clarify,” Monsod said.
It was reported that the El Shaddai Catholic charismatic organization headed by its ‘servant leader’ Bro. Mike Velarde has severed ties with BUHAY partylist allegedly due to Atienza’s alleged refusal to honor an agreement that the evangelist will have the option of choosing the first nominee of the partylist organization whenever there is a partylist election.
Monsod slammed the claim as untrue, saying that there had never been “an assurance or guarantee that the number 1 nominee of BUHAY partylist would always be Bro. Mike’s choice.”
He explained that giving Velarde’s two sons , former Reps. Rene Velarde and his younger brother, former Rep. Michael Velarde, ‘three full terms each’ was merely out of Atienza’s “goodwill as the founder.”
“But what exactly turned off the Board today not to allow the two Velarde sons to be the party nominees for the 2022 elections, is the fact that – number 1, they got involved with the Napoles pork barrel scandal. Number 2 is that during the critical vote on the RH Bill, Michael Velarde was absent and abstained from voting,” Monsod argued.
He pointed out that BUHAY was primarily organized to protect the country from the disastrous impact of the RH law.
“When Congress voted on this critical bill, BUHAY was not represented at all! We were so angry. We wanted to disband then, as well as disown this treacherous act of Michael Velarde,’ said Monsod.
“ They do not represent what BUHAY is fighting for. But Cong. Atienza exercised prudence and decency by not making an issue out of it anymore. But if the Board had its way, we would have wanted them kicked out. The Board decides on the nominees, and not Cong. Atienza,” Monsod said.
“My advice to them is – Don’t anger the Lord. May God forgive you for what you are doing. If there is anything that angers the Lord, it is two things – arrogance and telling lies,” he added.
Monsod stated: “Congressman Atienza has been BUHAY’s torchbearer for the past three Congresses. He founded BUHAY Party-list and BUHAY Party-list is Atienza.”