Multi-sectoral groups sign covenant for honest, orderly and peaceful May elections

January 31, 2010 12:24 am 

MANILA, Jan. 30 –A multi-sectoral covenant for honest, orderly and peaceful elections in May was forged on Saturday among police, military, clergy and youth.

PNP Chief, Director General Jesus A. Verzosa and AFP Chief of Staff, General Victor Ibrado, led their respective contingents of some 2,000 PNP and AFP runners in a unity run to muster public support for honest, orderly and peaceful elections in May.

In a simple ceremony in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City culminating the multi-sectoral unity run dubbed "Takbo Para sa Malinis, Maayos at Mapayapang Halalan 2010", representatives from various sectors and stakeholders signed a covenant calling on all sectors for vigilance and involvement to ensure clean and honest elections in May.

"This is the initiative of religious leaders, they organized it and we in the PNP and AFP fully support this popular initiative for peace", Verzosa said.

Participation of the religious sector in the unity run was spearheaded by the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines with the support of the Catholic Bishops Conferencve of the Philippines (CBCP-0, Muslim Imams, and other religious leaders.

A large representation from the youth sector also signed the covenant on behalf of youth and student organizations. Similar localized covenants will be replicated in the regional level very soon, Verzosa said.

A CBCP pastoral statement called for vigilance and involvement of all sectors for clean and honest national elections in May.

In a statement, CBCP president Nereo Ochimar, Bishop of Tandag, during the 100th CBCP general assembly in Manila, said: "To peacekeepers: We call on our soldiers & the police to be extra-vigilant so as to bring about peaceful elections. They should not allow themselves to be used by politicians or ideological groups. Rather, they should be vigorous in disarming illegally armed elements."

At the culmination of the unity run for HOPE 2010, Fr. Carmelo Diola, president of Dilaab, a church-based faith-impelled advocacy group, proposed a space in which various sectors can come together to champion honest and orderly elections. (PNA) RMA/PR/rsm

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