Marañon, Alvarez lead signing of peace pact-A A +A
Saturday, March 2, 2013
GUBERNATORIAL candidates Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Vice Governor Genaro "Lim-ao" Alvarez led the other candidates in Negros Occidental in the signing of a peace covenant at the San Sebastian Cathedral on Friday.
Marañon is running under the United Negros Alliance, while Alvarez is under the Nationalist People's Coalition.
The peace covenant has turned to be a solemn rite, as it was done inside the church, unlike the one conducted for Bacolod candidates that was held at the city's public plaza recently.
Only reelectionist RepresentativeS Jules Ledesma (1st district), Alejandro Mirasol (5th district) and Albee Benitez (3rd district) were not able to come.
Benitez is still abroad, but he promised that when he gets back, he will sign the peace covenant.
Prior to the peace pact, Fr. Ernie Larida, director of the Diocese of Bacolod Social Action Center, officiated a Mass.
Fr. Larida relayed the message of Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra that candidates should faithfully follow what they signed, just like God who never abandoned His covenant with His people.
The priest asked the candidates to uphold the peaceful, honest, accurate and meaningful election.
"We expect that all candidates will faithfully follow the rules on the conduct of the elections. Candidates run for public office because their ultimate goal is to win. But their win will depend on the people and on how they present their agenda to the people. The Church also expects the winners to also do their duty and responsibility after election," Fr. Larida said.
Police Chief Superintendent Manuel Felix, deputy regional director for administration, has represented Police Regional Office (PRO)-Western Visayas Director Agrimero Cruz during the peace pact signing.
Felix, on behalf of Cruz, said the election is a gift of democracy and this process manifests the basic principle that power resides in the people.
"We remind our candidates to obey the Constitution, laws and ordinances, including Comelec resolutions," he said.
He challenged the candidates to condemn any act that threatens, forces, or intimidates the public.
Signing the covenant shows the candidates' commitment to help in the realization of a peaceful and fair conduct of election, Cruz said.
"We will not let up in our protective police operations. We in the PNP and AFP, as deputized agencies of the Comelec, will always be on our toes to ensure that the candidates and voters are secured as they exercise their right to vote or be voted upon," he said.
Marañon said that he signed the peace covenant to show his sincerity to the people that he is for a clean, honest, peaceful and orderly election.
Not all have signed the peace covenant but the governor said he believes that majority of the candidates have shown a semblance of unity by showing their sincere effort to make the election clean, honest, peaceful and orderly election.
Alvarez, for his pary, said there is nothing to worry about because he has no "guns, goons and gold."
He came to sign the peace covenant on Friday and even hugged Marañon, his political rival and friend.
Other provincial candidates who signed the covenant were congressional candidates Nehemias dela Cruz (1st district), Leo Rafael Cueva (2nd district), and Jose Carlos "Kako" Lacson (3rd district), reelectionist Representative Jeffrey Ferrer and his challenger Ike Barredo, fifth district congressional candidate Dino Yulo, and sixth district reelectionist Representative Mercedes Alvarez and her rival Philip Arles.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 02, 2013.