Philippines: NCCP Urges Voters to Vote for ‘Champions of the Poor’

Apr. 26, 2007

Statement on the May 2007 Elections

The May 2007 elections is a crucial event in our country. It is held at a time of intensifying economic, political, cultural and spiritual crises. It comes at a time when there are more than 800 victims of extrajudicial killings and other forms of human rights violations happening in our midst. It also takes place at a time when serious questions about the legitimacy of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyos rule still hound her.

While our experiences with elections leave much to be desired, and with the Hello Garci scandal still fresh in our minds, we must remember that the May 2007 elections was almost derailed a few months ago were it not through the peoples collective outrage against the moves for Charter Change or cha-cha. If the moves to amend our Constitution were successful, our rights to suffrage would have been suspended until the year 2010. We would then have to bear more years of the same set of leaders who, as proven by their acts during the height of the cha-cha issue, were more beholden to their personal rather than the peoples interests.

The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), the largest aggrupation of mainline Protestant and non-Roman Catholic churches and service institutions in the country, therefore exhorts its members and the general public anew to look beyond surface frills in the coming elections and concentrate on platforms and how they relate to issues engulfing the nation. We urge everyone to study these issues in groups and with friends and neighbors. Let us treat the exercise of suffrage as a sacred obligation and the ballot as an instrument for improving the lives of our people. We are not to be bribed and our vote is not for sale.

Let us vote for political parties, party list groups and candidates: who have track records as champions of the cause of poor farmers, workers, urban poor, indigenous people, youth, women and all marginalized sectors; who will truly stand for national sovereignty and genuine national development; who will work for the positive transformation of our society. Placed in the hands of honest men and women, elections can be an instrument for transformation.

By taking these things to heart, we can truly make a difference. On May 14, 2007, the NCCP calls on the people to participate in the elections as responsible citizens of our country. Let us work and pray with other churches and groups to ensure that the results of this electoral exercise will truly reflect the choices of the people and will not be manipulated for self-serving interests. Let us remember that righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a disgrace to any people (Proverbs 14:34).


General Secretary

National Council of Churches in the Philippines

879 EDSA, West Triangle, Quezon City 1104, Philippines

Phone: 9293745

Fax: 926 7076



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