NEWS: DavNor candidates sign PNP-initiated covenant for honest, peaceful, credible polls

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

march 22

Davao del Norte candidates, friends and foes alike, trooped to the gigantic New Christ the King Cathedral Sunday morning to hear a mass celebrated by Bishop Wilfredo Manlapaz and signed the peace covenant swearing them in to work for a fair, honest, peaceful and credible May 10 elections.

In his homily, five days before the start of the campaign period of local candidates, Bishop Manlapaz doubly called on all candidates in the province as well as the people to work for the success of the incoming elections.

He said that “there is a need of help from everybody” considering the great task of making the election free from mudslinging, violence, vote-buying, cheating, manipulation and other dirty tactics that had characterized the country’s past elections.

“Even those in the Comelec and poll inspectors are suspect (in the past elections),” he added.

“But the Comelec and accredited citizens watchdogs cannot do it alone but by everybody so that once and for all we can have an honest, peaceful and credible elections this time,” Bishop Manlapaz said.

As he prayed for the safety of the candidates, their families and followers, he reminded them that “public service is service to God, country and people. Politics in itself is good, it’s a service to God.”

After the mass, the covenant signing followed after they collectively pledged for the peace covenant in the presence of a huge crowd of church goers. The pledge was read by Governor Rodolfo del Rosario.

Manlapaz hoped that those who signed the covenant would make true their pledge.

Almost all of the Davao del Norte candidates attended the gathering which was jointly convened by Philippine National Police regional commander Police Chief Supt. Pedro Tanggo with the support of PNP provincial director Police Senior Supt. Jose Pante, and Bishop Manlapaz.

PSSupt. Pante thanked the candidates who attended the covenant signing.

He said that the activity only send a message that the PNP including the Armed Forces of the Philippines is “a non-political and non-partisan organization” committed to safeguard the constitutional right of the people to freely choose their leaders.

Also seen to have led in the attendance of candidates from the seven towns and three cities in the province were mayoralty rivals District 1 Congressman Arrel Olano, Tagum City Mayor Rey Chiong Uy and former Gov. Gelacio “Yayong” Gementiza, unopposed District 2 Congressman Anton Lagdameo beside former Vice Governor and District 1 congressional candidate Anthony Rafael del Rosario, and his rival ex-boardmember Emily Alvarez, reelectionist Vice Gov. Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr and rival boardmember Roger “Dangpanan” Israel, most of the candidates for mayors, vice mayors and councilors in varying political parties dominated by Liberal Party and Lakas-Kampi-CMD.

Many sported attire and wristbands with signature color of their political parties and presidential candidates, while others chose to just wear just casual attire sans a political message. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

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