Zambales politicians sign peace covenant
IBA, Zambales—About 300 local candidates in this province expressed their commitment to peaceful elections on May 9 by signing an integrity pledge on Friday.
Lawyer Elaiza Sabile-David, provincial election officer, said the event was meant to develop a “harmonious and amicable relationship” among the candidates and their supporters.
The signing was held at St. Augustine Cathedral here and was initiated by the provincial Comelec and Catholic Church leaders. The covenant requires the candidates to disclose to the Commission on Elections accurate information related to their campaign expenses.
Local leaders who are also seeking posts in the May 9 elections vowed to stop offering or giving out bribes and gifts that would “corrupt the integrity of our democratic process.”
“We all gather here today to manifest… our support and cooperation to attain one common objective that is to have peaceful, honest, clean and credible elections,” David said.
Lt. Col. Roderick Balbanero, commander of the Army’s 24th Infantry Battalion, said he was hoping that the covenant signing would encourage candidates to adhere to election rules to avoid violence.
Senior Supt. Eli Gayoba Depra, provincial police director, said the agency’s top concern during the election period is the security of the towns.
“We are urging candidates to do their part in keeping the elections in the province as peaceful as possible,” he said.
David said the Comelec would rely on the local police and military personnel to make the elections peaceful and orderly. Allan Macatuno, Inquirer Central Luzon
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