DIFFERENT Catholic and civil society groups urged voters to choose leaders who set a good example in the community—those who have integrity and the ability to serve the people.
During the People Choice Movement’s event at the Archbishop’s Palace on Friday, May 3, Ricky Xavier, the movement’s chairperson, said it is important for the public to know who the candidates in the coming elections are.
Xavier introduced during the event the senatorial candidates whom they consider to be qualified based on their own evaluation.
Otso Diretso candidates, Sen. Grace Poe (independent), and Neri Colmenares (Makabayan) topped the group’s choice.
Xavier clarified they are not siding with the Liberal Party.
“It just so happens that they (Otso diretso) are the most qualified,” explained Xavier.
The Otso Diretso candidates are human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, reelectionist Sen. Bam Aquino, Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay and former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada.
Xavier said before they started visiting different areas for the forum, they had a selection convention where they evaluated all the senatorial candidates.
The group, according to Xavier, used the criteria they called Gabay Kristo, by which they graded the senatorial candidates based on their background and their platforms.
He said they made sure that the candidate is a good member of the Catholic Church and respects the Constitution.
Xavier said another factor that affected their choice is the candidate’s stand on federalism, which the group opposes.
“There are many provisions that are contrary to the good of the country,” said Xavier.
The Senate, according to Xavier, must be an independent body, and not just a government body that follows what the executive department says.
The group also expressed its disagreement with the revolutionary government.
“The president has always been talking about it and we’re afraid Martial Law will come back,” said Xavier.
Xavier encouraged voters to be united in choosing Senate leaders who respect God’s commandment and the country’s Constitution.
“Magtulungan tayo na maihalal natin ang mga kandidato na nararapat na maihalal na representative natin sa gobyerno,” said Xavier.
The forum on Friday was the first leg of the People Choice Movement’s educational campaign. Similar events will be held in other parts of the country before the May 13 election. (JJL)