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PIA Press Release

PPCRV, Couples for Christ plan candidates' forum

By Bong Pedalino

MAASIN CITY (24 April) -- The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) in coordination with Saint Thomas Moore and Associates (STMA), a social ministry of the Couples for Christ (CFC) involved in socio-political renewal, has scheduled a public forum for local bets next week.

In an organizational meeting, it was agreed that local candidates from the Congressman, Governor, Vice-Governor to City Mayor, Vice-Mayor, and one representative for every group's Councilor slate, will face each other, discuss their platforms and programs, and answer legitimate issues, all in one setting.

Independent candidates for Congressman, Vice-Governor, and Councilor will also be included.

But unlike in the usual format for candidates' forum, this one will have an added twist, as a part of the program calls for honoring each other's political rival, where every opponent's good points will be highlighted, said CFC Elder Dr. Jerome Paler.

The proposed activity is also sanctioned by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), it was learned.

Venue of the forum was agreed to be held in the open stage in front of the city hall, but the specific date was not yet certain as of this writing, either May 1 or May 2.

Paler said the invitation letters for the concerned candidates have yet to be sent yesterday, and the letter included a rider suggestion which of the two dates the candidates would prefer.

Majority of the choices would be the one decided, Paler said, hoping that by this afternoon, April 24, a final date can be fixed.

Both the CFC and the PPCRV have been advocating for a higher level of awareness among the electorate during political season by educating the voters on the need to assess candidates based on their qualifications and capacity, not on who gives money.

The two organizations have also been campaigning against vote selling and vote-buying, obviously with less encouraging results, but despite this sad reality they were not letting their guards down.

They believed that holding a candidates' forum is one way of educating the audience on who among the candidates are best qualified for their aspired positions. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]

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