Cotabato City Coalition for Change conducts Post-Election Assessment Forum

By Baisanie J. Macabuat

COTABATO City (December 4, 2013) – Some 100 participants coming from different member-organizations of the Cotabato City Coalition for Change (4C’s) attended the one-day Post Election Assessment Forum conducted last November 27, 2013 at the D & M Restaurant, Gonzalo Javier St., RH-7, Cotabato City.

In his Opening Remarks, the Chairman of the coalition, Rahib L. Kudto, said that the 4C’s did its best to have made the past Barangay election peaceful.

“It’s contributions to have made the last barangay election peaceful and prevented the election related violence is just because you all cooperated and did your assignments seriously,” he stressed.

“The Post-Election Assessment Forum is going to be the last activity that the 4C’s is conducting under this project”, Kudto added.

Representatives from the different partner agencies of the 4C’s expressed their messages of support to the aims of the coalition. The security sector (AFP and PNP) shared their assessments in the past 2013 Barangay Election.

“Generally, the Barangay Election conducted last October 28, 2013 in Cotabato City was peaceful, there were no casualties reported”, said Major Tante D. Angagao (INF), PA,Batallion EX-O, 6th CMO Batallion, 6ID.

“It was a successful election because all the 37 barangays of Cotabato City had been able to conduct the election in their respective barangays”, Police Superintendent Angelyn S. Masigon, co-chair for security sector of the 4C’s, said.

The Secretary to the Mayor Anecito V. Rasalan, who represented Honorable Mayor Jojo Guiani, said that the education must be first consideration for selecting leaders.

“The development depends to the leadership of our elected leaders but sad to say our constitution provides that the candidates are at least can read and write”, he said “We cannot impose law if political leaders are not knowledgeable”, he added.

Mr. Secretary suggested that the coalition and other participating agencies must do something to drumbeat the issue. “Put some changes in the system so that we can move forward”, he stressed.

The Department of Education (Dep-Ed) had also shared their observations and experienced during the election, as being one of the main actors in the election.

“We organized Task Force to help us monitor the Election”, said Mr. Rasul Ali, PF Coordinator, City Division-Dep-Ed.

“The Task Force which was composed of the staff of the Dep-Ed was organized to help in the fast dissemination of information in the grassroots level”, Mr. Rasul Ali explained.

According to Mr Ali, the Task Force that had been organized had coordinated with the School Principals of different schools and was linked to the PNP and AFP.

Nadine S. Rajonjan, Project Officer from The Asia Foundation extended her thanks to the coalition for letting the TAF be involved in the effort or multi-sectoral initiatives.

An open forum was held to address some issues and concerns of the participants after the input of the invited guest.

In the afternoon, a workshop was done to assess the output of the different activities conducted by the coalition. The group was divided into their own respective agencies and discussed the observations and experiences they had. After awhile, they reported it to the big group.

From the report of the group, it was concluded that the participation of the Comelec in all the undertakings of the coalition must be strengthen.

The 4C’s is composed of the Security Sector that includes Philippine National Police (PNP),  Philippine Army and Philippine Marines, 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).