AFP chief cites importance of multi-sectoral partnership to ensure fair, orderly polls
by Apipa P. Bagumbaran
Islamic City of Marawi (25 February) -- Western Mindanao Command Chief Lt.Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) underscored the importance of multi-sectoral partnership and collaboration to ensure the honest, orderly, and peaceful conduct of the coming 2010 national and local elections.
In his inspirational message during the Covenant for HOPE and Covenant of Peace signing ceremony, he urged all to support the advocacy for clean and orderly elections.
He said it is important to have credible polls in order to have a political stability.
"We will do everything to achieve HOPE and in pursuit of that mission we have teamed up with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and created the Joint Security Control Center (JSCC)," Dolorfino cited.
The JSCC, he said, will ensure that the 2010 elections will be conducted in an orderly and peaceful manner.
Dolorfino stressed that the AFP and PNP serve as the operating arms of the JSCC. However, other partners such as the civil society organizations (CSOs), the media, electoral candidates, and voters also play a crucial role in ensuring the success of the elections.
He said CSOs can help the COMELEC in voters' education campaign. They can also serve as watchdogs and report irregularities in the electoral process.
He further urged the candidates to avoid election-related violence and respect the sanctity of the votes.
"I am also requesting the media for a truthful dissemination of information. False information can create animosity among the candidates which may lead to election-related violence," Dolorfino added.
In addition, the WesMinCom chief also advised the voters to vote wisely.
Instead of painting dark scenarios, let us make a way to make this political exercise a success, he appealed.
The signing ceremony of the Covenant for HOPE for the stakeholders and Covenant of Peace for the electoral candidates was held Tuesday, February 23, at the Mindanao State University Gym, this city. It is a joint initiative of the AFP, PNP and COMELEC in Lanao del Sur. (PIA-Marawi City) [top]