Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Pinoys abroad plead for platform-based polls


Filipinos abroad are circulating a petition letter asking their fellowmen in the Philippine voters to base their choices for the May mid-term polls on the candidates' platforms of government and not on personalities.

“We, the overseas Filipinos worldwide, urge each and everyone in the coming May electoral contest to implore all political parties, emerging parties and their respective candidates to bring forth a platform-based campaign so that the electorate can choose credible persons who are worthy to lead the nation,” the petiton said.

The letter was signed by Leila Rispens-Noel and Doris Alfafara who in the Netherlands; Basco Fernandez, Joy Puyat, Filipino-Americans Ren Arrieta, Johnny Pecayo and Cesar Torres; Dennis Yaun based in Luxembourg; and former expatriates Idelfonso Bagasao and James Zamora who are now in Manila.

The proponents of the petition said: “The proposed platform-based campaign is envisioned to change this bad practice [of having] a personality and patronage-based electoral contest.”

“We are encouraging everyone to endorse this manifesto by signing it. We have to be involved in the coming election and we feel this is the way – if not the only way - we can show our concerns and exercise our right as overseas Filipinos to participate in the decision-making process,” Noel said on behalf of the group.

The group said it is calling for robust, transparent, internally democratic and accountable political parties in order to develop a stronger democratic culture in the Philippines.

It also dared those who want to become legitimate servants and leaders to articulate a concrete and doable developmental plan aimed at the Filipino migrant workers around the world.

“We pledge to support legitimate servants of the people running for any public position that aggressively promote the interest of our sector,” the group said.

These are issues revolving around electoral reforms as contained in the Oversease Absente Voting Act, the creation of an office with a Cabinet status such as the ministry of migration and development that will truly work for the interests of migrant workers, among other proposals.

- Julie Javella-Santos, abs-cbnNEWS.com


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