The campaign period for local election has started last 26 March 2010, In today’s local politics, the only way by which candidates will assure victory is to engage in wholesale vote-buying or any act of bribing voters, ”umpisa ng mamulat ako sa isyung pulitika, ay wala akong natatandaan na halalan na walang nagaganap na bilihan ng mga boto. As always, the victors and the losers are guilty of vote-buying or bribing voters, an election offense, but nobody has been charged nor punished for such offense. Now, it’s time to change this culture and state of mind of the “Kandidatos” in bribing the “Botantes”, On the other hand, the Botantes would look up to the Kandidatos as an instant charitable institution/s, the giver of money to the deprived people in the community.
To change this culture, I would encourage all the Kandidatos in Sorsogon to be the catalyst of change for clean, peace, fair and honest elections, by signing in the proposed COVENANT herein below. The signing of the peace covenant will assure our constituents in Sorsogon to have an honest and peaceful election this May 10, 2010, san vote-buying, etc.
The covenant enjoins all the candidates to uphold the fundamental principle of democracy that sovereignty resides on the people and all government authority emanates from them.
It also enjoins the candidates not to resort to vote-buying or intimidation in any manner and destroy the voters’ power and freedom of choice.
Furthermore, the covenant enjoins all of the candidates from Governor down to municipal/city councilors to campaign in accordance by the law and rules in the spirit of good grace and friendly rivalry.
Finally, the candidates will be answerable to the public if and when they will violate the covenant they have signed by voluntary withdrawing their certificate of candidacy. /
Atty. Benjamin Gaspi
COVENANT FOR AN HONEST, PEACE, FAIR
AND CLEAN LOCAL ELECTIONS IN SORSOGON
This Covenant made and entered by and among:
ALL CANDIDATES IN THE FORTHCOMING MAY 10, 2010 LOCAL ELECTIONS IN THE PROVINCE OF SORSOGON
– WITNESSETH –
WHEREAS, Undersigned signatories are Candidates in the May 10, 2010 local elections vying for the position of Governors, Vice Governors, Board Members, House Representatives, Mayors, Vice Mayors and Councilors in the Province of Sorsogon
WHEREAS, the Constitution declares that the Philippine is a democratic and republican state. Sovereignty resides in the people (the electorates/voters) and all government authority emanates from them. And, the same charter guarantees every citizen of the state (of competent age) to have equal access to public service (and prohibit political dynasties as maybe defined by law), regardless of the status in the society.
WHEREAS, in order to ensure a fair, honest, peace and clean elections in the Province of Sorsogon as well as to prevent electoral fraud, bribery, unnecessary spending, vote buying/selling and that every bonafide candidate/s be free from any form of harassment and discrimination in the upcoming local elections, the undersigned candidates have entered into this covenant in the spirit of peace and order electoral exercise regardless of political party affiliation, principle and belief.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the parties hereby agreed and covenanted, as follows:
COVENANTS AND STIPULATIONS
The following are prohibited acts during the start of campaign period or election.
As candidates, undersigned signatories are duty bound to abide by and comply with, in conscience and in principle, the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code (BP Blg. 881) specifically ARTICLE XI (Re, Electoral Contributions and Expenditures) under Section 96, (Soliciting and Receiving Contributions from Foreign Funds), Section 97 (Prohibited Raising of Funds), Section 99 (Report of Contributions), Section 100 (Limitations upon Expenses of Candidates), Section 101 (Limitations upon Expenses of Political Parties), Section 102 (Lawful Expenditures), Section 103 (Person Authorized to Incur Elections Expenditures), Section 104 (Prohibited Donations by Candidates) and to also observe religiously the mandates as stated in the following provisions ARTICLE XXII (Re, Election Offense), particularly Section 261 and all sub-paragraphs as provided in the said Code.
Furthermore, the candidates who joined the peace accord have agreed not to engage in either vote buying or vote selling, not to bribe voters with money, directly or indirectly nor to intimidate them through violence or threat.
They have also agreed to abide by the COMELEC rules and regulations not to carry or transport firearms and other deadly weapons as well as to hire security aides and bodyguards more than the allowable limit prescribed by the COMELEC.
They have also agreed to a friendly rivalry and to observe the rules and regulations on prohibited propaganda such as the posting of posters, billboards, streamers and other propaganda materials outside the COMELEC poster areas.
Any of the undersigned candidate who violates, or attempt to violate the afore-quoted stipulation, re, engaging in vote-buying, and giving money or material consideration to influence, induce or corrupt the voters or public officials performing electoral functions, committed acts of terrorism to enhance his/her candidacy, spending election campaign an amount in excess of that allowed by the Code and among other acts constituting election offenses, shall motu proprio voluntarily withdraw his/her certificate of candidacy from the COMELEC. No court action is necessary, but in conscience, she/he must tender and withdraw his/her from the political race for committing such violations.
Undersigned commit themselves to be catalysts of reformation and transformation for a better society, insulated from the old system of traditional politics or politics of patronage and promise not resort to vote-buying to enhance the chances of winning in the election.
BINDING EFFECT OF THE COVENANT
This covenant shall remain in force and effect until May 10, 2010 local election, and shall be binding between and among the undersigned candidates, who are law-abiding citizens.
This Agreement shall be effective immediately upon signing by the parties hereof.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties, hereto signed this _____ day of April 2010 in Bulan, Sorsogon, Philippines.
(To sign online, please use the reply or comment box with your name, official e-mail and relevant candidate’s profile information. Or the candidates may print out this covenant and sign it among themselves.)