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Voters must learn from the lessons of the past

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 30, 2007

As the election heat is starting to be felt once more, it is about time the Filipino voters learn from the lessons of the past and repel the use of force and money which is the root of all evil, to get their way.

Voters must not allow the use of money to blind them in choosing their leaders. They must make their choices not according to popularity, more so, not according to the money given them, but according to credibility, sincerity and performance.

The Government enjoins the voting public to be vigilant and cooperate with the authorities to help check unwarranted use of money by the candidates and to help check private armies or insurgent groups out to sow fear or trample upon the peoplesí democratic rights.

Law enforcement authorities will always stay in the middle and continue to hold the line against ferocious partisanship or ideologically-motivated violence. Meanwhile, the Comelec has reiterated its policy not to allow barangay officials to become poll watchers because these officials often disrupt the voting process.

It is high time the political leaders and candidates realize that using money to win the votes of the electorate, is an insult to the intelligence of the God-fearing Filipino voters. It is exploitation of the weak and the poor; taking advantage of their weakness and poverty, in order to mislead them into voting for them.

Voters must give these candidates who are trying to bring back the threat of the three gís, the gun, goons and gold.

The country is on the way to continuous economic growth, voters must help in sustaining this rising trend by not allowing bad politics to rule the forthcoming elections.

President Arroyo, by signing into law the poll automation bill, has brought the country one step closer towards the dawn of political maturity, and paved the way for a stronger Philippine democracy founded on the sanctity of the ballot.

Electoral reforms have been always been a part of the Presidentís agenda and her Administration is optimistic that the pilot testing of the automated election system in the forthcoming mid-year pools, will clear the road for the full modernization of the electoral processes by 2010.

R.A. 9369 was signed into law amending R.A. 8436 otherwise known as the Election Automation Bill. The law will enable the Comelec to used automated machines in the counting and canvassing of votes. Twelve highly-urbanized cities were designated as pilot testing areas while the rest of the country will use the traditional election procedures.

The electorate must be vigilant and see to it that the comprehensive security measures being implemented by the law enforcement agencies will ensure that the voters are not insulted by excessive use of money and will reduce cases of election-related violence.

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