Impassioned with these words, Bro. Eddie Villanueva blazed a new trail for Philippine politics when he launched his bid for the presidency in 2004. Being a Christian evangelist and a government outsider, he ran an anti-corruption campaign that sent tremors to the traditional political establishment at that time. And although he did not win the highly contested elections, Bro. Eddie’s poll results were instrumental in unmasking the depth of corruption entrenched in the electoral process.
Corruption has always been Bro. Eddie’s sworn enemy.
During the Martial Law era, he was imprisoned twice for protesting alongside the poor and for fighting for human rights. In his hometown of Bocaue, Bulacan, he first rose to prominence as the man who led the charge against a wealthy land-grabbing syndicate that forcibly dispossessed Bocaueños of vast swaths of land and properties. The well-connected organization had a network of local lawyers and judges working behind the scenes that ensured the success of their crimes. At that time, Bro. Eddie was still simply known as “Eddie”—an economics professor at the Philippine College of Commerce, who was a disciple of the teachings and philosophies of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Mao Zedong. Devout adherence to Communist ideals made him see God as mere fiction, spirituality an illusion, and salvation an end achievable only through armed revolution.
But the land-grabbing operation brought the fierce atheist to his knees. Pressed against the wall and desperate for answers, he prayed one solitary night and asked God to intervene if He were truly God.
Miraculously, God did intervene. Justice prevailed. The syndicate leaders and their powerful conspirators were sent to jail. The people of Bocaue fully regained their land and properties.
Bro. Eddie believed, and he committed his life to God. Blessed with a newfound purpose, he and his wife Sis. Dory established the Jesus Is Lord (JIL) Church Worldwide from a handful of 15 students in 1978. Today, JIL is one of the largest Christian churches in Asia and in the world with its thousands of local churches and millions of members nationwide and in over 60 countries and territories globally.
Since JIL’s founding, Bro. Eddie had expanded his view on the upliftment of humanity. Whereas in the past, his advocacy solely focused on fighting political corruption, his pastoral call now embraces a more holistic approach to responding to the needs of society, encompassing the total dimension of the human condition—spiritual and physical. He began to recognize that the punishing scourge of corruption was not a monolithic evil exclusively existing within political institutions. Instead, it is an evil deeply embedded in human nature and merely spills over to families, communities, governments, and nations. Therefore, a truly effective and long-lasting fight against the corruption of society and of the human soul best starts not with governmental reforms but with personal renewal and regeneration. Bro. Eddie carries this principle all throughout his legislative career and agenda.
That’s why as one of the Representatives of the Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) Party-List in the 18th Congress House of Representatives, Bro. Eddie brings special focus to measures that would not only curtail the spread of moral corruption in the country, but would also transform Filipinos’ individual lives for the better. One of the most prominent of these measures is the GMRC and Values Education Law or Republic Act No. 11476, which CIBAC headlined in the House of Representatives and was signed into law in June 2020.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Philippines, CIBAC pushed hard for measures that would immediately respond to the needs of Filipinos grappling for survival amid the state of national health emergency. Among these pandemic response measures were:
House Bill 6953 – enacted into Republic Act No. 11494 or the ‘Bayanihan To Recover as One Act’ (Bayanihan 2 law)
House Bill 9411 – Bayanihan 3
House Bill 3219 – An Act providing protection to freelancers
House Bill 8606 – An act establishing in the Municipality of Bocaue, Province of Bulacan, a general hospital to be known as the Joni Villanueva General Hospital, and appropriating funds therefor
House Bill 6004 – An Act strengthening access to credit of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs)
House Bill 6660 – An Act granting hazard pay to workers in critical industries during a state of calamity or emergency or public health emergency
Bro. Eddie also co-authored Republic Act No. 11509 or the Doktor para sa Bayan law for which he is one of the bicameral conference committee conferees together with his son Senator Joel Villanueva who sponsored the measure in the Senate.
Because of Bro. Eddie’s untarnished track record as a man of uncompromising integrity and as a champion of the oppressed, he had already earned the respect of fellow Congressmen even before officially joining the 18th Congress. And when he joined in 2019, he was appointed Deputy Speaker for Good Governance and Moral Uprightness.
As Bro. Eddie takes on this sacred role with utmost sincerity, he became known as the “conscience” of the House of Representatives. He openly makes himself available whenever any of his fellow congressmen expresses their need to be prayed over. And although they may hold differing views and opinions on issues confronting the nation, Bro. Eddie makes it a point to lovingly exhort his House colleagues with enlightening precepts and perspectives from the Good Book.
With Deputy Speaker Bro. Eddie Villanueva taking a stand in Congress as CIBAC’s voice of reason in matters of morality and positive values, the Filipino people can rest assured that their families and children do have a representative whose convictions for good governance can never be bought or swayed amid strong tides of moral relativism, anti-Filipino secularism, and diverse political pressures.