LIBERAL Party presidential bet Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd, Vice President Jejomar Binay and 16 senatorial aspirants signed a covenant for Truthful, Responsible, Upright, Transparent and Honest (TRUTH) elections on Monday, a week before the country goes to the polls.
The two presidential candidates and the other bets vowed to avoid using violence, deceit, fraud and other unfair and dishonest practices.
They also pledged to refrain from using guns, goons and gold.
The senatorial candidates who signed the pact were Sen. Vicente Sotto 3rd, former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, former Interior Secretary Rafael Alunan 3rd, Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino, former Special Action Force chief Leo Napeñas, Susan Ople, Cresencio Paez, Pasig City (Metro Manila) Rep. Roman Romulo, Princess Jacel Kiram, former party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros, former Moro Islamic Liberation Front spokesman Eid Kabalu, broadcaster Rey Langit, Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez and Diosdado Valeroso.
The candidates promised to support and promote the right of Filipinos to vote and advocate truthful, responsible, upright, transparent and honest elections.
The agreement was signed after a Holy Mass officiated by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
Tagle called on voters to be discerning and to “choose the candidates who will be a representative for the common good.”
The cardinal clarified that the Catholic Church will not endorse any candidate.
“We won’t impose on who you should vote [for]because we want the flock to participate based on their intellect and conscience. We cannot preach participation and curtail the people’s right to act according to their intellect, rationally and with conscience,” he said.
Tagle noted that the right to vote is a blessing that should not be wasted.
“Kaya kung tutuusin ang pagboto ay isang tungkulin na hindi lamang makabayan, kundi makadiyos dahil sa aking pagboto ako ay nakikilahok sa biyaya na binibigay sa atin na maging bahagi at magkaroon ng boses para sa ikabububuti ng ating lipunan [it could be said that voting is not just a patriotic duty, but a godly one, since by doing so, we participate in the grace given us to play a part in, and have a voice, in the betterment of our society],” the cardinal added.
According to Tagle, voters have the responsibility to be discerning and analytical of the candidates.
“Mag-aral, kumilatis, kumawala sa pagkakulong sa sarili at isipin ang kabutihan pangkahalatan [Study, discern and liberate yourself from your preoccupation with oneself, and think of the common good],” he said.
WITH LLANESCA T. PANTI