Church moves to post-poll monitoring of winners
WITH the elections nearly over, the humanitarian and advocacy arm of the Catholic Church is preparing to roll out its program of working closely with the public to hold winning candidates to account on their campaign promises.
“Now the real work begins, and we are serious about our commitment to holding our elected officials accountable to their election promises,” said Caritas Philippines National Director, Bishop Jose Collin Bagaforo.
“We will start asking for a receipt,” he added.
Bagaforo said Caritas’ post-election accountability program aims to support the increased participation of lay worshipers in “principled politics”.
He said it is also designed to counter misinformation and disinformation, assess and improve the Church’s engagement in social transformation, and establish community movements of good governance and responsible citizenship.
“Government accountability will only happen if people at the grassroots are empowered and equipped to ask questions and claim their inherent right to government information, quality public service and better governance,” Bagaforo explained. .
He said details of the program will be presented at the 40th National Social Action General Assembly in the city of General Santos next month.
Executive Secretary of Caritas Philippines Fr. Antonio Labiao, meanwhile, pointed out that good governance, alongside ecology, are the priority programs of Caritas Philippines and the Social Action Network starting this year.
“How the church responds to the urgent need to organize, train and support community leaders and organizations will determine the level of maturity of our upcoming political exercises,” said Labiao, who is one of the pioneers of ‘Ugnayan ng Barangay in Simbahan, a strategic partnership between villages (barangay), faith-based organizations and the Ministry of Interior and Local Government, initiated in 2011 for good governance and the common good.
PPCRV terminates UST operations
The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) has officially closed its command center at the University of Santo Tomas (UST)
Meanwhile, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) has officially closed its command center at the University of Santo Tomas (UST).
In a statement read by PPCRV board of trustees William Yu on Friday, he thanked UST for allowing them to use the university’s facilities.
“As we wrap up our final day here at the Command Center, we would like to thank our hosts, the University of Santo Tomas, who have so generally allowed us to use this Quadricentennial Pavilion,” Yu said. “Of our number initially planned for just 2,000 volunteers, we are able to accommodate over 10,000 volunteers for this election cycle.”
Yu said the volunteers came from different Catholic schools and parishes as well as meet-and-greets, with the farthest coming from Palawan.
“The arena has received more than 93,347 election returns from different parts of the country and overseas as well,” Yu added, citing that the election returns from overseas postal voting (OVA) are arrived Thursday. “This arena is where the sacrifices of more than 500,000 volunteers nationwide have converged.”
The PPCRV official said the group will continue the unofficial parallel count at the Pope Pius 12th Catholic Center along UN Avenue in Ermita, Manila.
“As for us in the PPCRV, our work continues, even if we leave the UST, as planned, we will return to our original command center at the Pius Center, where we will continue to wait and receive the most 16,000 remaining election returns,” Yu concluded. “We will continue to do our manual verification of election results to ensure that there has been no fraud in the electronic transmission of election results. PPCRV will be clear, first to report any irregularities, as we continue to work.”
The unofficial parallel PPCRV count will continue Monday at the Pope Pius 12th Catholic Center.
As of 5:00 p.m. Friday, the PPCRV received a total of 93,347 election reports from 107,785 constituencies, or 86.6 percent of the election reports received.
WITH ARIC JOHN SY CUA