A "glorious presidency" and a love life.
These were among the blessings that Bro. Eddie Villanueva had enjoined his followers at the Jesus is Lord Movement to ask God to grant President Benigno Aquino III who had joined the evangelical group during its 36th founding anniversary on Friday.
"Oh God, grant the desires of the heart of President Aquino. Bless him in all areas in his life and make his presidency a glorious presidency that will be recorded in the pages of history," Villanueva prayed.
"…If I may ask you Father, bless also his love life so that he can experience the complete blessings from the throne of heaven," the JIL leader added, to lusty cheers and applause from the crowd.
At the mention of his love life, the President, who had his head bowed, chuckled and glanced at Secretary Joel Villanueva, the evangelist's son, who heads the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda).
At 54, Mr. Aquino remains a bachelor despite being linked to several women in the first two years of his administration.
Mr. Aquino delivered a speech and prayer for the nation during the occasion held at Quirino Grandstand in Manila that, according to the JIL, was attended by nearly a million members.
Villanueva, who sought the presidency but lost to Mr. Aquino in 2010, said that the Lord had "mandated [President Aquino] to be the head of this nation… in such a time like this."
The JIL leader also asked that President Aquino be blessed with a healthy body, mind and soul, as well as "longevity with maximum productivity."
Villanueva told his flock that the JIL's support for the President was not because of the latter's close friendship with his son Joel, but that the support was "directed" by God.
In his speech, President Aquino lauded the Villanueva family for leading the JIL flock. He also acknowledged how the elder Villanueva had been jailed during martial law in his fight for what was right.
He also praised the younger Villanueva for his leadership at Tesda and said that under his helm, the employment rate of Tesda's technical vocational graduates rose to 96 per cent.
The President also led a prayer for "real peace" in the country.