Diocesan Electoral Board is non-partisan, says priest

April 11, 2013 11:33 pm 

DUMAGUETE CITY, April 11 -– The convenor of the Diocesan Electoral Board (DEB) of the Diocese of Dumaguete, Msgr. Julius Perpetuo Heruela, has reiterated that the board is non-partisan, contrary to allegations by some quarters that it is biased and favors certain political candidates.

“While we exhort voters to vote responsibly and wisely, carefully scrutinizing the candidates they will vote for and examining closely their track record – personal and public, we do not tell the voters who to vote for or who not to vote for,” said Msgr. Heruela, in his message during Wednesday’s DEB-sponsored Candidates’ Forum for those contesting the gubernatorial and vice-gubernatorial seats of Negros Oriental.

“The voters are encouraged to come to a decision in his/her choice of candidates based on the above scrutiny we promote”, he added.

The electoral board convenor was reiterating the statement of Ambassador Henrietta de Villa who heads the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) who said that the PPCRV is a “Church-based movement that works for the renewal of politics through CHAMP (elections)”.

CHAMP stands for Clean, Honest, Accountable, Meaningful and Peaceful elections.

The involvement of the PPCRC as an accredited Citizens’ Arm of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has a two-fold task, namely, voters’ education and poll watching.

De Villa also said the PPCRV has also been tasked lately to conduct the Unofficial Parallel Count of the Automated Election Results.

The PPCRV’s voters’ education, meanwhile, has two aspects. These are to promote a value-based, informed conscience driven selection of candidates and a practical information drive about the Automated Election System that will familiarize the voters in the use of the PCOS (Precinct Count Optical Scan) machine, she said.

“The PPCRV, while Church-based is open to all – Christians, non-Christians, including our Muslim brothers and sisters. There is but one requirement: We are non-partisan,” De Villa stressed.

Meanwhile, Msgr. Heruela has lauded the local candidates for various positions who have been professional in participating in the Candidates’ Forum spearheaded by the Diocesan Electoral Board.

The DEB has stressed that the forum is not a debate but a venue by which the candidates can present to the electorate their respective platforms of government and for the incumbents seeking re-election to inform their constituents of their accomplishments.

Already, two forums had been held, one for the congressional candidates and the other, held Wednesday evening, for those vying for the gubernatorial and vice gubernatorial seats.

The forum is aired live on Fil Products Service Television, Inc. with simulcast by some radio stations as well as live stream feed on the Internet. (PNA)

LAP/JFP

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