Some reminders before we cast our votes
posted 7 days ago  ·  
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     With just five days to go before the May 13, 2019 polls, the nation expects concerned government agencies tasked with ensuring honest, orderly and peaceful elections to be ready for any contingency.

     Both the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army (PA) have already deployed personnel necessary for providing security to the polling places as well as vital installations.

     For their part, the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FICELCO) and its suppliers, Sunwest Water & Electric Co. (SUWECO) and National Power Corporation (NPC), have assured that there will be adequate supply of electricity on Election Day and the canvassing.

     The cooperative’s power outlook for the grid as of May 3, 2019 shows that the system capacity is now 16.84 megawatts, compared to the system peak load of 11.50 mW, for a power reserve of 5.34 mW.

     Indeed, if the numbers are real, FICELCO’s 54,000 member-consumer-owners can rest easy beginning this week until the dry season ends in September. However, the intermittent brownouts, three of them occurring on Saturday night alone, do not inspire confidence that FICELCO and its suppliers can deliver on their promise.

     Volunteers manning the voting precincts and canvassing venues should therefore take the precaution of bringing flashlights and rechargeable emergency lights in case brownouts occur at any time.

     As early as the last week of April, vote-buying has already began, with candidates hoping to exchange packs of noodles, instant coffee, shampoo sachets, as well as old reliable cash for their votes come May 13.

     A word of caution, though, to both candidate and voter: the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor has launched a campaign to catch those who violate the Omnibus Election Code by distributing sample complaint forms.

     Vote-buyers are also warned not to accept bills which have stickers of candidates on them. Banks nationwide have been instructed by the Bangko Sentral not to accept bills with stickers, writing, or stapled paper on them. 

     As the clock ticks down to the day we exercise our right of suffrage, our only option is to pray to the Almighty that nothing hinders this power of the people to choose their leaders.

     Let us keep in mind the following reminders from Archbishop Socrates Villegas of the Archdiocese of Dagupan-Lingayen:

     “Be critical voters. Be Godly voters. Bring your faith as you choose. Do not leave God when you vote.

     This right to vote is not absolute. It has limits. The power to vote must be based on truth. The right to vote must be based on the right understanding of human dignity.

     The kind of leaders we elect reveals the kind of people we are. The winners in elections are mirrors of the values and aspirations, dreams, and hopes of the people who voted for them. It can also show our backward moving society.

     In the exercise of the right to vote, as recent history shows, values and convictions can be easily manipulated by people who seek brute power.

     When we vote as if God did not exist, the nation suffers. Democracy is at risk.

     When we demand that religion be purely a private matter that it should not touch political choices, society suffers. Democracy is hurt.

     And if we continue to keep ethics out of public service, democracy will be killed quietly unnoticed. And we die deprived of our freedoms.

     God will judge us for the way we vote. Our children will judge us for the way we vote. This election is important for them. Think of them.

     Be careful. Be critical. Be courageous. How would Christ vote? Vote like Christ. Do not leave God at the altar. Bring your Christian faith when you vote.”


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