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Elect three Ks not four Gs

MANILA (Agencies) : Before there were only three Gs feared most by honest citizens during the election season—guns, goons and gold—but the head of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, Henrietta de Villa, is lamenting that now there are four, with the addition of another G for greed.

“Looking back, there used to be only three Gs making their presence felt come election time. It is sad that now we have four. You know what the fourth G is? It is greed,” de Villa was reported by CBCP News as saying on July 22.

“For the past 34 years we at Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting have never failed to monitor elections. We have witnessed the vote counting system switching from manual to automated. But one thing remains, and in fact, is getting worse and worse: the buying and selling of votes,” the former Philippine ambassador to the Holy See said.

In an effort to help end this culture of vote trading, as well as to lessen the probability of greedy politicians getting elected to office, de Villa stressed that her council will continue to do its part in educating Filipino voters on the responsible and intelligent exercise of their electoral rights.

“We have to bring to the attention of people that this has to stop,” CBCP News quoted her as saying.

De Villa is urging Filipinos to elect people who possess what she calls the three Ks, karakter, kakayahan, katapatan (character, competence, integrity) to ensure that The Philippines will have its first CHAMP Election in May next year.

CHAMP is a “clean, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful election” that the Church-backed, volunteer-run, non-partisan poll watchdog aspires to.

“We want a CHAMP election, because it is an election that has Christ at its centre… The Lord should be our only champion during election,” de Villa said.

As her motto for clean elections, she quoted the prophet Micah 6:8, “You have been told, O mortal, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.”

However, it not only electoral candidates that are under scrutiny. The Smartmatic automated computer system is also receiving its share of criticism.

On June 21, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, together with Commission on Elections chairperson, Andres Bautista, took part in a lotto-style technology experiment.

They reported good results, saying that it is more transparent than the current system, but still leaves an auditable information trail.

Bishop Pabillo said that to continue with the current Smartmatic system, The Philippines would have to begin making legislation to suit the company, rather than devise laws that are beneficial to Filipino people.

“If we create laws tailor-made only for them, eventually in the long run these rules will accommodate only them and neglect other groups of people,” Bishop Pabillo concluded.

 

De Villa is urging Filipinos to elect people who possess what she calls the three Ks, karakter, kakayahan,
katapatan