WITH the backdrop of the worldwide Christian celebration of Easter, we have highlighted here the historic balance of hope against the threats of socioeconomic and political challenges with the expected results of the coming Philippine elections. As such, we have sustained our hopes for a brighter future for our country. We have realistically considered the various possibilities of the negative events arising from the widespread current events worldwide bringing about the contrary impacts on the lives of people in different countries suffering from the various crises of poverty and violence.

We have also pointed out that from the earliest time until the present, the historic struggle between good and evil has continued despite the efforts of people of goodwill to demonstrate the better side of human nature. Nevertheless, today, the worldwide commemoration of Easter also continues to give hope that even with the darkest historical aspects of socio-economic and political life, the forces of good can still prevail. Particularly notable in contemporary history is the continuing threats of violence and terrorism in various areas of the world where tragic events call for stronger hopes and vigilance from various positive sectors in different nations.

Thus, we reiterate today the all-important requirements for concerned government entities, especially for political candidates, local and national, who should be held accountable as they campaign for the support of the electorate. As in the past, these various major requirements for candidates include firstly the vital qualifications of personal character, especially integrity and honesty. Secondly, we have also noted the factor of relevant capabilities and eligibility needed in public governance. Thirdly, we have stressed the proven record of candidates, including those in public office or related civil society experience. Fourthly, we are also emphasizing the necessity of appropriate leadership and management capabilities for all public servants concerned to efficiently and effectively deliver needed public services.

As the nation awaits the coming elections just more than a month away and with this sense of urgency for our citizenry, we strongly call on the electorate and other citizens concerned to seriously prepare to select their candidates based on the crucial factors of their relevant qualifications needed to bring about the successful conduct of the coming elections.

As we had earlier also highlighted, the above stated requirements for candidates should be followed by all concerned sectors if our country hopes to help bring about a brighter future for our people. Thus, we reiterate today other essential issues which the electorate must also carefully study to be properly guided in their electoral duties.

Among these issues, which we will describe more essentially, are the issues of popularity, valid programs versus political propaganda, the historic problems of widespread vote buying, graft and corruption, the socioeconomic roots of political patronage, the proper role of media, and other guidelines for all voters as they prepare to vote in the May elections. We will further augment these specific issues to help enable the electorate to exercise their political duties and thus help bring about brighter hopes for the future of our country.