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PIA Press Release
2007/04/13

Candidates forum in Negros Oriental set

By Jennifer Catan-Tilos

Dumaguete City (13 April) -- A series of candidates forum will be conducted in the three districts of Oriental Negros from April 18 to May 9, 2007 by the Diocesan Electoral Board (DEB). The forum aims to provide a non-partisan and free venue for candidates to present their qualifications/ platforms/ programs of government and give local candidates and residents a chance to discuss the various issues affecting their communities.

On April 18, Wednesday at 7 o’clock in the evening, the 2nd district candidates for congressman (3), governor (2), vice-governor (1), and provincial board members (4) will present themselves to the public/voters at Quezon Park, this city.

Dumaguete City mayoral (3) and vice-mayoral (3) candidates will be on the 20th of April to make themselves available and take the opportunity to speak on their programs.

DEB Convenor Rev. Fr. Julius Heruela said the candidates’ forum will also provide local residents ample opportunity to know their candidates better and raise the level of consciousness of voters towards a clean, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful elections (CHAMP).

For his part, Sec. Ignacio Bunye said the start of the local campaigns is a signal of Philippine democracy in full bloom, as all parties, persuasions and ideas come into play to crystallize a vibrant nation moving forward to a brighter future.

The Executive Department through the Philippine National Police will continue to stand beside the Commission on Elections to ensure that law and order will prevail before, during and after the electoral process.

On the 27th and 25th of April, this year, the 3rd and 1st districts candidates are expected to show up in Bayawan City and Guihulngan, respectively. The fora will be highlighted by the covenant signing of the candidates’ manifesto, which will be witnessed by the public.

The Diocesan Electoral Board (DEB) is composed of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

The candidates are expected to deliver a five-minute speech about their qualifications/ platform/ program of government after which an open forum will immediately follow through a multi-sectoral panel of reactors. The forum will be covered live over radio station DYWC-AM.

Moreover, Press Sec. Bunye urge all candidates to keep the issues at a high level and focus on the interest of the people in a platform-led campaign—and employ the media as a means of enlightenment rather than insidious attack.

This country is on the verge of an economic takeoff that can be accelerated by a collective show of force for Philippine democracy in all its positive aspects, untainted by guns, goons and gold. We urge political leaders from all sides at all levels to adhere to the democratic process and follow the road of sobriety, prudence and restraint. (PIA) [top]

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