Lunes, Marso 18, 2013

Anti-vote buying mass held at Q.C. church to promote electoral honesty and integrity

The St. Peter’s Parish Church in Commonwealth, Quezon City held an Anti-Vote Buying Mass Sunday, March 17. 

Organized by the Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership in partnership with the Diocese of Novaliches, Diocese of Cubao, Ateneo School of Government, and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV); the mass is in promotion of transparency, accountability, and good governance in the coming May election by shunning vote buying. 

The mass, which was held at 12 noon, was officiated by Most Reverend Bishop Antonio Tobias of the diocese of Novaliches and Most Reverend Honesto Ongtiangco of the diocese of Cubao. 

In his homily, Bishop Tobias challenged the candidates not to resort to vote buying just to hold position in government. He said that such act is a sign of hunger for power, and a candidate who buys vote can never lead his/her constituency to progress. 

He further said that any official who spends money or any form of service just to be voted to office is a person with questionable intent because once voted to office, this official might “Just try to redeem all their expenses during the elections, one way or another.” 

Tobias reiterated that people are just waiting for candidates who will pay or shoulder various services (education, health, etc.) in exchange of their votes. 

Instead of vote buying, candidates should communicate with the people and discuss their real needs. Once elected, the officials should give their all and do what they could to provide for long-term solutions to the problems of their community. 

In support of the advocacy against vote-buying, Tobias assured the mass attenders the church is in full support of the campaigns for honest and ethical elections. 

Election candidates present during the mass also pledged their commitment to reject vote buying. The candidate’s pledge was led by QC Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte. 

After the pledge, the candidates signed the Anti-Vote Buying Covenant, which binds them to observe the values of integrity, honesty, and justice in the coming elections. 

After the candidate’s pledge, the mass goers and the church officials also took their pledge in shunning vote buying and other forms of dishonesty. 

Harvey Keh of the Kaya Natin Movement and the Ateneo School of Government said that similar masses will be conducted in different parishes to further spread the message of subscribing to good governance and electoral integrity. 

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