By: Baisanie J. Macabuat
COTABATO City (October 20, 2013) – “This is a very nice activity. It is also good that most of the officials were here because, through this activity, we will be able to learn and be reminded of things about election”, said Barangay Tamontaka 4 Barangay Captain Dumugkaw Mangelen in his welcome address during the half-day Community Orientation on Voters’ Education organized by the Cotabato City Coalition for Change last October 13, 2013 that started at 9 o’clock in the morning and ended at 12 noon held at the Mokamadali Elementary School, Tamonataka 4, Cotabato City.
Yusoph S. Lumambas, Secretary General of the UNYPAD, disclosed that the Cotabato City Coalition for Change (4C’s) is a newly established network organization here in Cotabato City aimed at advancing collective efforts and strengthen community participation towards fostering peaceful communities through addressing election fraud and clan feuds in the city.
He also said that the coalition is composed of the Security Sector that includes Cotabato City Police Office; 6 Infantry Division of the Philippine Army represented by Civil-Military Relation Office, and the Philippine Marines assigned in Cotabato City; and Civil Society Organizations which include United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD); Mindanao Action for Peace and Development Initiatives (MAPAD); SEED Foundation; Kabalikat Civicom, and Moro Women Development and Cultural Center (MWDECC).
“We will be represented by those we will vote”, said P/Insp. Arnel P. Legada, Deputy Station Command of Police Station 3 at Tamontaka 4.
Legada stressed that voting is a right of every individual.
“We should be careful in choosing candidates because our future and the future of our children and our community lies on them”, he furthered.
In his input, he mentioned the ten (10) guidelines in choosing the candidates to vote such as: 1)Vote according to the dictates of your conscience, 2) Respect the decision of others in choosing their candidates, 3) Do not sell your vote, 4) Do not vote for candidates living an immoral life, 5) Seek to know the moral integrity, capabilities, and other personal qualities of the candidates you will vote for, 6) Strive to understand the issues, platform, and programs of candidates and parties campaigning for your vote, 7) Do not vote for candidates using guns, goons, gold, and gutter, 8) Do not vote for candidates tainted with graft and corruption, 9) Do not vote for candidates simply because of “utang na loob”, popularity, good looks, or pakikisama and 10) Always put the welfare of the country as top priority in choosing the candidate you will vote for.
Legada explained that the Police and the Marines will be around during the election to safeguard the people and maintain peace and order in the area.
“We are allowed to stay in the polling precinct if the BEIs will request us”, Legada added.
“I, together with my co-teachers of this school, am very supportive of the initiatives of the coalition. It is an honor for us to help maintain the peace and order not just in this barangay but also in the City of Cotabato”, said Kedsa Ukas, Principal of Mokamadali Elementary School, Tamontaka-4, in his closing message.
Meanwhile, the same activity was conducted at the Tamontaka 3 Barangay Hall in the afternoon.
In his message, Thoks S. Salik, Barangay Captain of Tamontaka 3, thanked the 4C’s for the initiative.
“The development of this barangay will be achieved through our joint effort”, he said
The Cotabato City Coalition for Changed was launched last September 26, 2013 at the Alnor Convention Center.