Eastern Samar bets ink peace pact

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013


BORONGAN CITY -- The highest official of the Catholic Church in Eastern Samar reiterated his call to all candidates in the province running for various posts in the May 2013 elections to follow strictly the commitment they made as they signed a peace covenant.

Bishop Crispin Varquez said he is hoping that with the candidates affixing their signatures to the peace covenant, they would really do their part to ensure that the balloting in the province would turn out to be credible and peaceful.

“We expect that all the candidates will cooperate with the call of the Church and other government agencies like the Comelec (Commission on Elections), the PNP (Philippine National Police), and the Philippine Army to have an clean, honest, accurate, and peaceful elections,” Varquez said after the signing of the covenant held inside the Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady last Sunday.

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The bishop of the diocese of Borongan said that the Church has no other call relative to the conduct of the balloting this May 13, 2013, but to make it orderly and peaceful.

And with the candidates themselves signing the covenant, he is expecting them to follow the pact accordingly, without any reservations.

“We presume and believe that they will do it...that they will commit themselves to what they have signed,” Varquez said.

Provincial elections supervisor Ma. Corazon Montallana echoed the call of Varquez.

“As always, we hope that the conduct of elections here in Eastern Samar will be peaceful and meaningful. We expect them to follow the guidelines (relative to the elections),” Montallana said, referring to the candidates who are in running for various positions in the province.

Major candidates seeking for governor and congressional posts and elective positions for Borongan were around with a major candidate, former congressman Teodulo “Doloy” Coquilla and Borongan City Mayor Ma. Fe Abunda among those absent during the covenant which was preceded by a Holy Mass officiated by Varquez.

Representative Ben Evardone, who is seeking for another term as the lone congressional representative of the province, said that he welcome the signing of the peace covenant.

“We welcome this initiative of our government agencies to make sure that the elections will be clean, fair, just and peaceful,” Evadone said.

His rival for the post he has held for six years now, outgoing Guiuan Mayor Annaliza Gonzales-Kwan, said that she was “touched” that such an initiative was made.

“It’s my first time to attend this kind of initiative. And I was touched and moved as even candidates coming from far areas of the province were here,” Gonzales-Kwan said.

The congressional candidate swore that she would follow the terms of the covenant.

“I hope everybody will do the same (and) those who were there will follow it to the letter,” she said.

Her political ally, reelectionist Governor Conrado Nicart, Jr., said that since he entered politics, he has been following its regulations.

“I am very serious with what I have signed,” Nicart said, referring to the covenant.

Former Mayor Javier Zacate, Nicart’s rival, said that he was glad that such peace covenant was held.

He also said that he hope that during the start of the campaign period, all candidates would stick to their platforms and what they intend to do once elected and would not resort to mudslinging.

“The candidates should all discuss their platforms and not to malign each other,” Zacate said.

The signing of the peace covenant ended with the release of white balloons outside the Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady.

Also present were Police Director Senior Supt. Allan Cuevillas and Colonel Romeo Labador, commanding officer of the 801st Infantry Brigade. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)

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