Press Release
February 14, 2010


On Valentine's Day, vice presidential candidate Loren Legarda attends a gathering of El Shaddai followers in Hong Kong.

Loren, together with running mate Manny Villar, spoke to members of the charismatic movement. Founded by Brother Mike Velarde, the El Shaddai Movement has grown rapidly in the last decade and, as of 2005, has a reported 8 million followers worldwide.

The gathering was also an opportunity for the presidential-vice presidential tandem to meet thousands of overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong.

"I came here for two reasons: first, I want to express my solidarity with the El Shaddai under the able leadership of Brother Mike Velarde. Second, since it's Valentine's Day, I want to bring a message of love to all the Filipinos here in Hong Kong. But more than any other kind of love, I want to emphasize love of country," she said.

Loren's 7-point agenda includes the empowerment of OFWs through broader pre-employment at pre-departure support, skills training, social, gender and labor rights protection in their countries of destination, safe remittance channels, and psychological support when they re-integrate with their communities upon return.

"I am pushing for stronger efforts to protect the rights and welfare of overseas Filipino workers migrant workers. This is the best reward we can give them for their sacrifices and hard work," she said.

There are approximately 150,000 Filipinos in Hong Kong, most of whom are working as domestic helpers or workers in the service and entertainment industries.

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