Rival candidates pledge for peaceful election

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Monday, January 14, 2013


CALBAYOG CITY – Election hotspot Samar saw again Sunday the peace covenant signing among rival candidates in the province to ensure a clean, honest and safe election, with Department of Local and Interior Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas leading the pledge.

Samar is among the 15 ‘priority’ areas in the coming election.

Roxas urged the people of Samar to “trust the government that your voice will prevail in the election,” adding that “government officials and government forces will not be used by anybody.”

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He added that the efforts are there to show candidates’ willingness to the pact.

As to election-related violence, he said mechanisms are already in place such as checkpoints, monitoring of expired licenses, and going after private armed groups (PAGS) to ensure a safe election.

“There are groups identified in the area...and we are monitoring them to make sure that they are immobilized and not used by politicians,” he said.

He added that, according to Chief Superintendent Elmer Soria, a PAGS member died in an encounter the other day.

The runners for the midterm election are studded with the Tan family of Catbalogan aiming for the top positions in the province, including mayoral posts in Catbalogan and Calbayog City.

In gubernatorial post, the daughter of the late Calbayog City Mayor Reynaldo Uy, Aika Uy-Delgado, is running against Sharee Ann Tan, the daughter of former governor Milagros Tan who is a congresswoman candidate.

For mayoral post in Calbayog City, Angelie Tan is running against homegrown candidates’ incumbent mayor Ronald Aquino and incumbent vice-mayor Rey James Uy.

Calbayog City Bishop Isabelo Abarquez, who celebrated the solemn mass, called upon candidates and voters “to prevent the many wrongdoings in our province, in our city and to bring about a meaningful choice of candidates.”

“Some people are a bit skeptical about this peace covenant. They say it’s only in paper, in reality it’s not true. Even then let’s do it again. Let’s give peace a chance,” Abarquez said.

He added that he does not endorse any particular party or candidate or dictate the voters because “I respect [your] freedom in voting.
Other signatories to the peace pact were the church, police and military. This covenant was initiated by the Philippine National Police and Commission on Elections. (Gerwin Babon/Sunnex)

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