Aspirants sign covenant for honest, orderly polls
Iloilo City (16 March) -- Aspirants for various positions in Iloilo City recently pledged and signed a covenant to ensure honest, orderly and peaceful elections in the first automated national and local polls this May.
The candidates took their oaths before Iloilo City Elections Officer G?Bert Arbis as well as signed the covenant in a simple ceremony held at the Archbishop Palace on Saturday, March 13, 2010 which was witnessed by Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo.
Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) National Chair Ambassador Henrietta de Villa, Jaro Auxilliary Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, PRO 6 Assistant Regional Director for Administration S/Supt. Manuel Fajardo, and ICPO acting director, Supt, Eugenio Espejo also witnessed both events.
Fifteen candidates participated in the activity including former Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales, Mayor Jerry Trenas, Councilor Jose Espinosa, Councilor Antonio Pesina, Councilor Eldrid Antiquera, Councilor Lex Tupas and Councilor Ely Estante.
In the prepared covenant, candidates vowed to conduct themselves in a gentle manly manner in all their dealings with their fellow candidates and will only discuss legitimate political issues and lay down their platforms of government through free and friendly manner.
Among others, the covenant binds the candidates to renounce the use of threat, violence, force, intimidation, partisan/private armed group and other illegal means in furtherance of their political interest.
In his message, Archdiocesan PPCRV Co-Coordinator Rev. Fr. Mark Lester Senina reminded candidates that "we trust and we know that you will uphold whatever is written in the document, in the piece of paper".
"Yes, this is just a piece of paper but it means a lot to us all, to all the Ilonggos, your signing of the document is something important. We trust your sincerity, our dear candidates. We ask you to make this covenant indi lamang magapabilin sa papel but I ask you to sign the covenant in your heart," said Fr. Senina.
He further urged candidates to promote and support clean, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful elections.
It was also learned that other candidates have signed the covenant earlier that day during a recollection initiated by the Jaro Parish Pastoral Office for the aspiring candidates.
The covenant signing was spearheaded by the Philippine National Police, COMELEC-Iloilo City and PPCRV. (PIA) [top]