MANILA, April 11, 2013—Regardless of issues questioning the credibility of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) in the national level, the local levels have not been affected and still continue their operations in planning and voter’s education.
In the diocese of Kidapawan, around 30 members of PPCRV together with some members of the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) conducted their organizational planning and meeting last April 9, to discuss preparations for the upcoming midterm poll.
Fr. Rogelio Nim, director of the Parish Pastoral Council in the diocese said the meeting is just part of the initial steps in ensuring a clean, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful (CHAMP) elections n the diocese.
Kidapawan diocese covers 11 towns of North Cotabato and 1 town in the province of Sultan Kudarat which comprises a total of 448,962 Catholics.
“True to its advocacy in achieving CHAMP elections, there will be two volunteers present in every clustered precinct in the diocese plus they will establish an assistance center which will be present in every voting center and will assist possible election problems that includes disenfranchisement of voters and other related scenario,” Nim added.
He also calls for additional volunteers with the requirements of being a registered voter, a legitimate resident of his/her parish and should be non-partisan.
Unlike other archdioceses and dioceses which earlier this month cut ties with PPCRV, Kidapawan remains solid in its support to PPCRV and sees no conflict with the stand of the Catholic hierarchy in coming up with a Catholic Vote for the upcoming polls.
“It is very clear that PPCRV will not endorse any candidate but will help in the education campaign of voters to discern the right candidate to be voted. We also have Catholic solidarity movements here in the diocese that are active with the Catholic Vote, so we asked them to stick with their movement and not anymore join PPCRV to avoid issues,” Nim furthered.
Meanwhile, in the diocese of Imus, around 160 people gathered for the Pinoy Big Voter’s Seminar at the De La Salle University-Dasmariñas (DLSU-Dasma) Alumni Building last April 6.
The seminar aimed to educate parish coordinators to be facilitators of voter’s education in their respective parishes.
PPCRV’s executive director Ginny de Villa talked about “Engaged Citizenship” for national and local situations while Ramil Remulla, a faculty of Social Sciences Department of DLSU-Dasma talked about “Empowerment” and the right of suffrage of every Filipino together with Catholic Social Teachings and Filipino Social Values.
Romulo Guillermo, PPCRV voter’s education deputy coordinator discussed about the automated elections, how to be a volunteer and poll watching. Meanwhile, (Ret.) Commodore Amado Sanglay, the PPCRV Cavite lay coordinator gave the participants an idea about the PPCRV task force in the diocese for the midterm polls.
In a related development, the diocesan youth ministry gathered some 150 young people in the diocese for voter’s education at the St John Nepomucene Parish in Alfonso, Cavite on the same day.
Aside from the activity last April 6, the diocese also conducted a recollection for PPCRV and local candidates in Cavite province at the Holy Rosary Chapel of DLSU-Dasma last April 9.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, the former bishop of Imus was the recollection master and guest of the event.
This coming April 20, the diocese will organize a Walk for Peace at around 6 a.m. to 12 noon at the Cathedral of the Our Lady of the Pillar. (Jandel Posion with reports from Christopher Maitem and Esteve Mata)