March 23, Covenants to ensure fair, peaceful, and honest election were signed in North Cotabato by local candidates under the auspices of the Asia Foundation (TAF) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).
The signing ceremonies were witnessed by the COMELEC, PNP, PA, local election monitoring groups, the BIR-North Cotabato, PPCRV, and the Cotabato Coalition for Conflict Mitigation and Meaningful Election (CC-COMME).
“The security state sector such as the police and military is our partners in monitoring the election. We want to monitor local conflicts that may arise before, during and after the election has taken place,” said Ms. Junalyn Sumlay, CC-COMME President, during the covenant signing in North Cotabato.
She appealed to the candidates to help each other by assuring the public that there will be zero election related violence in the March 2013 election.
All the municipalities in North Cotabato joined the peace covenant signing except for few local candidates who failed to attend.
During the signing ceremonies of the covenants by the local candidates of North Cotabato, message of appeal for a peaceful, fair and honest March 2013 election were made by various representatives. The teachers who are serving in the Board of Election Inspectors were oriented on the nature of their authority as members of the BEIs.
Ms. Sumlay said further that “the covenants are undertaken in order to ensure Clean, Honest, Accurate, Meaningful and Peaaceful (CHAMP) and Secure and Fair Election (SAFE)” in the coming political exercise this May.
The CC-COME spearheaded the activity whose members are Magungaya Center for PPALMA (MCP), Rock Power Peace and Justice Organization (RPPJO), Mindanao Action for Peace and Development (MAPAD), United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD), Bangsamoro Center for Just Peace (BCJP), Moro Women Development and Cultural Center (MWDECC), Local Initiatives for Peace and Development (LIPAD), Cotabato Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CCPDI), Philippine National Police Provincial Office (PPO-Cot.), Armed Forces of the Philippines, 7IB and 40IB, PA (AFP), and PPCRV.