Lanao Sur CSOs join hands to ensure clean, honest and orderly Barangay and SK polls

July 22, 2013 11:02 am 

COTABATO CITY, July 22 –- Civil society organizations in Lanao del Sur have joined hands in advancing the conduct of clean and honest barangay elections in October by forming "Bantay Barangay," an advocacy group composed of civil society and other poll stakeholders.

Assemblywoman Samira Gutoc-Tomawis of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) said a covenant signing was held on July 18 to ensure that the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections slated in October will be peaceful, honest, clean, fair and credible.

Representatives from the CSOs, non government organizations, military, police, political leaders, Commission on Elections, Department of Education, and election watchdogs signed the "Covenant not to cheat."

"All eyes are on barangays this 10 days as they start registration today. A barangay is the smallest political unit closest to homes as they are stationed in villages," Gutoc-Tomawis said.

"In this Holy Month of Ramadhan, we take note of the incoming barangay registration to be held on July 22-31," she added.

The covenant calls for all stakeholders in Lanao del Sur who are conscious in preserving the gains of re-registration in ARMM with a cleansed voters list and historic synchronized May 2013 elections that no failure was declared.

"We commit to comply with regulations set forth by the COMELEC by directing our group members/ground personnel to guard against any and all forms of fraudulent act that may be committed by any person during the duration of the registration," the covenant said.

The group also vowed to make the registration transparent and urged the Comelec to institute mechanisms to inform the public of the progress of the registration and facilitate easy accounting and report of the registration through having an audit log of registrants per day per barangay.

Gutoc-Tomawis said the covenant also aimed to erase the impression that Lanao del Sur is the country's cheating capital during electoral exercises. (PNA)

PTR/NYP/EOF

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