Lexa, Cyberoid et al. battle corrupt politicos
MANILA, Philippines—Forget Iron Man or Thor in the meantime. There’s a new batch of superheroes in the Philippines out to fight villains seeking to disrupt and hijack the May elections.
The superheroes are collectively called “The Champ” and their adventures challenging corrupt politicians and their henchmen are presented in a comic book.
The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), in partnership with the Communication Foundation for Asia (CFA), is circulating copies of the comic book.
PPCRV chairperson Henrietta de Villa said the 40-page comic book, a first of a series, was one way of engaging and educating young voters on how they could vote wisely and safeguard their ballots in the automated midterm elections.
De Villa said the idea of coming out with a comic book for voters’ education occurred to her after watching “The Avengers,” a film based on a team of superheroes appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics.
“When I saw the ‘The Avengers,’ I was really excited,” De Villa told reporters in an interview.
She said the PPCRV tapped the CFA, a Manila-based nonprofit multimedia center set up in 1968 for spiritual and social empowerment of the people, to create the comic book based on the poll watchdog’s campaign for clean, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful (CHAMP) elections.
The CFA specializes in the production of development video documentaries, education comic books and magazines for elementary and high schools students in the country.
De Villa said the two groups had started circulating copies of the comic book in the provinces so that volunteers could start using them in educating voters. The PPCRV will formally launch it later this month in Metro Manila.
The comic book will complement the establishment of “CHAMP” chapters on various campuses, including St. Scholastica’s College, Far Eastern University, De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University, she added.
The comic book follows the exploits of four young heroes—Rex Guerrero aka “Nemesis,” captain of a varsity taekwondo squad; Marianna Reyes or “Lexa,” a senior law student; Jessica Catapang, a political science student and college paper editor; and Carlito Montes or “Cyberoid,” a wheelchair-bound computer whiz.
“Their secret weapon to dislodge corrupt politicians and expose anomalies in the elections is the ballot,” De Villa said.
The plot is centered on the fictitious small agricultural city in the north, Pook Digawa, which has been identified by the Commission on Elections as an election hot spot because of intense political rivalry and violence.
Under the guidance of history professor Benedicto Ocampo, the four young superheroes band together to save their hometown from Governor Ratdago and expose his crooked ways.
In the comic book, Ratdago is a corrupt politician involved in illegal logging, the profits of which were used to bribe voters.
The comic book also features an educational board game called “Voters Tsunami” and a “diary tracker,” which encourages voters to monitor whether winning candidates have fulfilled their campaign promises.
In addition, it has dedicated three pages to the precinct count optical scan machines and how voters, particularly first-timers, should cast their ballots in automated elections.
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