CAGAYAN de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma said on Thursday that local candidates for this year's elections will enter into a covenant to help ensure a Clean Honest Accurate Meaning Peaceful Election (Champ).
Ledesma said the peace covenant will include barangay, city, and provincial candidates vying for a seat in government in May.
"We would like to do that with the interfaith and multi-sectoral group, not only the church but all civil society groups because we are all stakeholders," Ledesma said.
Ledesma urged residents to study each of the candidates, taking into consideration their qualification, track record, and platforms.
He said a good candidate must be willing to set side self-interest to give way for the common good.
"The yardstick to use to pinpoint candidates people should look at are the qualification, the track record, the platforms of candidates, and that will not be an easy job for people but it will be worth it," Ledesma said.
"We appeal to the candidates to focus on what are our problems and see what is the common good for everyone, they should also listen to Pope Francis in his message that we will make this a year of Jubilee Year of Mercy," he added.
The Champ advocacy is a key aspect of the Church's campaign against vote-buying and political dynasties.
Meanwhile, Ledesma said he is hopeful that resumption of peace talks between the government and National Democratic Front (NDF) will finally push through later this year.
To show their commitment to peace talks, he said, Church leaders went to the Lumbia City Jail to visit political prisoners there.
"After that, we had dinner with the military so that we can really become a bridge between the two parties in conflict and hope that we can come together in the objective of peace and development," Ledesma said.