Groups push for conduct of May 2022 polls

By Ferdinand Patinio

September 14, 2020, 4:41 pm

MANILA – Concerned individuals and groups are pushing for the conduct of the May 2022 national and local elections amid calls to lift term limits and change the Constitution.

According to the organizations headed by Kontra Daya, all attempts and excuses to postpone the elections as scheduled are unacceptable.

As the country adjusts to the effects of the global pandemic, they said the people should vigilantly protect and uphold their basic rights, including the right of suffrage.

“We, therefore, declare our commitment to preserve our democratic institutions and constitutional rights which freedom-loving Filipinos have fought so hard to restore, even at the cost of their own lives. Let not their struggles and deaths be in vain,” it said in a unity statement.

Among the individuals who signed the unity statement are Manila Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo, former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioners Luie Tito Guia and Gus Lagman, and former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

“Let us resist and denounce all efforts to dispense with the elections by insidious means such as the proposed extension of the term limits of incumbent officials and the amendment of the Constitution,” they added.

At the same time, they urged the people in government and lawmakers to also sign the Covenant for the 2022 Elections (C-22) for them to also declare their desire to push through with the elections.

“We ask the President and Congress, as well as all political parties, party-list groups, the Commission on Elections and all Filipinos who value democracy, to similarly declare their commitment to holding the elections on May 9, 2022,” they added.

The groups also called on the public to register.

“May this serve as proof that we want elections to push through," they said. “We appeal to those in power to categorically disown and dismiss speculations about a "no-elections" (no-el) scenario which was created by the push for charter change and the proposed shift from presidential to parliamentary system."

“The right of suffrage should never be compromised. All of us should remain committed in promoting and upholding safe, free, fair, credible and transparent elections,” the group added.

Other groups supporting the campaign are Legal Network for Truthful Elections, National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections, National Secretariat for Social Action/Caritas Philippines, among others. (PNA)