Saturday, February 06, 2010

Campaign for peaceful polls launched in Sulu

SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 6, 2010) – A multi-sector task force launched a radio program in Jolo, Sulu to help educate the local electorate and other stakeholders on ways and means of fostering peaceful, orderly, and credible elections in the May 2010 elections in the province.

The regular advocacy program kicked off over state-run Radyo ng Bayan-Jolo on February 3, a day after various local sectors formed Task Force Kahanungan which literally means "peace", in a two-day orientation and organizational workshop sponsored by the Ulangig Mindanao in coordination with the Asia Foundation, organizers said.

The Ulangig Mindanao, a nongovernmental organization campaigning against election-related violence, is also assisted by the Bureau of Public Information of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Dr. Amildasa Annil, group president and BPI-Sulu coordinator, said.

The members of the task force include representatives of the local media, business, religious, and academic sectors and other stakeholders assisted by the Commission on Elections, the military and police, whose local top brasses staged a seminar-workshop on preventing election-related violence from January 16 to 17 in Jolo, Annil said.

“Our campaign is a concerted effort against election violence. We are very glad that ARMM acting Governor Ansaruddin Adiong, the provincial government under Sulu Governor Sakur Tan, and the Comelec, military and police hierarchies are rallying behind us,” Annil said.

The task force formed committees on security, grievance, and reconciliation; information, education, and monitoring; and ways and means with defined functions in an action plan aimed at helping prevent election- related problems and achieving peaceful, orderly, and credible elections in Sulu, he said.

Asia Foundation representative Hyro Nomado had graced the radio program launching ceremony, affirming their full concern and support for the Ulangig Mindanao and its local partners like the ARMM and Sulu governments.

Earlier, Marines Brig. Gen. Rustico Guerrero, Task Force Comet commander, and the local Comelec officials, said they would exert efforts for the forging of peace covenants among candidates for local posts in the province to gain their commitments for peaceful, orderly, and credible elections. (Ali Macabalang and Mark Navales contributed to this report)

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