Davao Religious Groups Intensity Elections Info Drive

Apr. 12, 2007

DAVAO CITY — Three religious groups are joining forces to institutionalize political education which they hope would result in a clean, orderly and peaceful elections.

Imams, pastors, priests in Davao city recently convened to organize a forum among Muslims, Protestants and Catholic Christians and set up a citizens Information, Consultation and Action Center (ICAC).

During the launching of the IPPF activities held yesterday, Archbishop Fernando Capalla barred that the electorate these days need adequate education on the electoral process.

We have seen that the voters really lack education and so the religious sector decided to come in and guide the voters for a clean and peaceful elections, he said.

Capalla stressed the need for an exact distance between the government and the church. We should not be too close in intervening in this elections but we should also not be too far as we have the responsibility to inform and guide the electorate.

It was revealed that the catholic church have observed that some politicians and political candidates are anti-democratic and anti-human.

The IPPF-Davao adopted the Ten Commandments for Responsible Voting of the CBCP, Sampung Katangian Ng Matuwid Na Pinuno from the Philippine Bible Society and Islamic guiding principles which were distributed to the three churches and mosques that will serve as a guide to the faithful.

The ten commandments include the voting according to the dictate of the conscience, knowing the moral integrity, capabilities and personal qualities of the candidates, most especially the issues, platforms, and their programs.

The group also stresses the need to thrash out candidates who use guns, goons, and gold, those with records of graft and corruption, and those living an immoral life.

Reverend Dr. Mariano Apilado of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) clarified that the religious groups should not determine as to who among the candidates are worth voting. We simply tell the people to really study and know the candidates that they are to vote for.

The IPPF-ICAC is linking and interworking with organized church institutions and religious groups like the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), NASSA VOTE CARE, Simbahang Lingkod of Ateneo de Manila University and the Social Action Networks of National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP).

Moreover, the IPPF also taps the local media practitioners through the print, radio, television, and public for to assist them in pursuing the task of free, honest, and orderly elections. (PIA XI/Mai Gevera)

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