By Yusoph S. Lumambas
COTABATO City (September 30, 2013) – The Cotabato City Coalition for Change (4C’s), 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, was successfully launched last Thursday, 26 September, at the Alnor Convention Center, Sinsuat Avenue, RH 9, Cotabato City.
“Unified Cotabateños Towards Peaceful 2013 Barangay Election” was the theme of the launching ceremony.
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).
The Commission on Elections (Comelec), Department of Education (DepEd), Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), Nonviolent Peaceforce Philippines (NPP) and other civil society organizations engaged in election monitoring graced the said event.
The part one of the launching program was a motorcade that started at around 7am in the morning in Cotabato City Plaza and moved towards Alnor Hotel.
The proper program started at 9am in which Police Superintendent Angelyn S. Masigon, co-chair for security sector of the 4C’s, warmly welcomed the guests and participants.
Masigon, also a Chief of Police Community Relations (PCR) of Cotabato City Police Office (CCPO), disclosed that the Security Sector and Civil Society Organizations in Cotabato City converged, for the first time, with a common purpose of bringing about multi-dimensional change in the city and fostering peaceful community through preventing election related violence that may take place in the forthcoming 2013 Barangay election, among others, with support from the The Asia Foundation (TAF) and Australian Aid (AusAid).
Rahib L. kudto, Chairman of the 4C’s, gave the rationale of the coalition. He started from a short history of Cotabato City. He said that the City of Cotabato was second to Davao City in terms of economic stability in 1950s.
“To regain the positive image of Cotabato City economically and politically is a great challenge to all of us here,” Kudto, also a National President of UNYPAD, said.
“Through cooperation and coordination with all stakeholders, the City is capable of recovering its lost economic strength,” he added.
“We must just continue our collective efforts even beyond this 2013 barangay election.” He furthered.
Atty. Udtog Tago, Maguindanao Election Supervisor, spoke about election guidelines and principles. He discussed the vision and mission of Comelec, some usual problems in the election such as vote buying, multiple registration of voters, among others.
He concluded his message by quoting verses from the holy Qur-an: “Verily, Allah will not change the (good) condition of a people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves (Ra’ad-13:11).”
Abdul Maguid Andong, Kabalikat Civicom Cotabato City Chapter President and a co-Chairman of the 4C’s, presented the elected officers of the 4C’s for oath taking, which was led by PSSUPT Rollen Balquin, Cotabato City PNP Director.
The representatives from Philippine Marines MBLT 1, Philippine Army, Philippine National Police, The Asia Foundation (TAF), PPCRV and DepEd, Cotabato City delivered their messages of support to the aims of the coalition.