Church Leaders, Poll Watchdog Warn Military vs. Electioneering

April 11, 2010

DAVAO CITY – After receiving reports that the military is conducting partisan electoral campaigning from among college students–campaigning directed against members of the progressive partylists, the Pagbabago, People’s Movement for Change – a People’s watchdog and leaders of different church groups urged the Commission on Election to investigate and bar the AFP from further committing such acts.

“Just recently, we learned from Makabayan Coalition that the 69th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army conducted a forum among the students of a college in Davao City where a powerpoint presentation was shown linking the progressive partylist to the communists groups, and campaigning against these partylist ” said Sr. Diane Cabasagan convenor of Pagbabago, and a member of the Sisters’ Association in Mindanao.

Military elements have been categorially telling students and community-based residents not to vote for Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Anakpawis, ACT Teachers, Kabataan and KATRIBU.

“It is a clear violation of the Omnibus Election Code as well as the democratic essence of the whole electoral process,” said Cabasagan.

Reports reaching Pagbabago state that the group is also receiving complaints from Tagum City, where the campaign posters of progressive partylists were spray-painted with the “Kampon ng Komunista.”

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“These blatantly electioneering activities may also instigate election-related violence, hence we urge the members of the police and the military to abide by its non-partisan status during the elections,” said Cabasagan.

For his part, Reverend Sarly Templado of the United Church of Christ of the Philippines, enjoined the electorate and concerned civilians to monitor similar election-related violations which disrupt the conduct of a peaceful and credible elections.

“If we want credible and meaningful elections, we should not sleep on our rights and conscienticize the military, police and oher government agencies to refrain from abusing their authority during this election period. Let us report cases of election-related violence and do our part in protecting our sacred rights,” said Templado.

Sr. Diane Cabasagan, RGS
Rev. Sarly Templado, UCCP

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