MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) gets a 3rd citizens’ arm for the upcoming mid-term elections.
Comelec earlier approved the citizens' arm accreditations of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel).
In an en banc resolution, the poll body approved Protestant group One Vote’s application for accreditation.
The application was filed on October 22.
One Vote, in its petition, said it has a mass-based constituency composed of various national organizations such as:
the Lighthouse Bible Baptist Church, Balikatan People's Alliance headed by its National Chairman Louie Baylosis-Balbago with 64 organizations under it and around 600,000 members nationwide;
VoteNet Philippines and its members e.g., Alliance of Christian Development Agencies (ACDA);
Ating Siyasatin Ihalal Natin;
Christian Convergence for Good Governance (CCGG);
Community of Independent Churches of the Philippines (CICP);
Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC);
Heal Our Land Movement;
Institute for Studies in Asian Churches and Culture (ISACC);
Master Lighthouse Foundation;
National Movement for Righteousness and Transformation (N-MRT);
Philippine Bible Society;
Philippine Campus Crusade for Christ (PCCC);
Philippine Council for Evangelical Churches (PCEC); Philippine Ministerial Fellowship Network (PhilMiFen);
Fellowship of Christians in Government (FOCIG); and, Capitol Christian Fellowship (CCL).
The group said they were later joined by:
Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) headed by Dante Jimenez;
Citizen's Crime Watch (CCW);
members of National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP);
members of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of the Philippines (GAPCP);
Active Chaplains for Moral Recovery Philippines (ACTMORE);
Athletes in Actions (AIC);
Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC);
Philippine Christian Church Leaders Inter-fellowship (PCCLI);
Philippine Council for Evangelical Churches (PCEC), and other organizations.
The group said that for the May 13, 2013 elections, together with Athletes in Action (AIA), members of the Lighthouse Bible Church, and other stakeholders, among others, it will hold a series of activities throughout the nation dubbed as “I Run for H.O.P.E.” and “I Bike for H.O.P.E.”, which will start on January 26, 2013 in Metro Manila.
The activities are intended for voters' education of the youth and their active participation at the polls.
One Vote commits that:
(a) It shall not support any candidate, political party, organization or coalition of political parties involved in the May 13, 2013 National and Local Elections;
(b) It shall remain strictly non-partisan and impartial during the entire electoral exercise;
(c) It is not supported by or under the influence of any foreign government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities, or from any foreign, whether natural or juridical, in its monitoring of the conduct of elections;
(d) It does not seek to achieve its objections, goals or programs through violence or other unlawful means, nor aim to propagate any ideology opposed to the principles of republican and democratic government, and that it will undertake to police its ranks and prevent infiltration by persons or groups of persons who may, directly or indirectly, destroy its character of non-partisanship and impartially."
In the Comelec’s ruling, it said that One Vote shall be subject to the direct and immediate control and supervision and shall comply with all the lawful orders of the Commission in the performance of its specific functions and activities provided by law, and such other functions;
1. That it is not supporting any candidate, political party, organization, or coalition of political parties;
2. That it shall strictly remain non-partisan and impartial during the registration and election periods;
3. That it is not supported by or under the influence of any foreign government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities, or from any foreigner, whether natural or juridical person;
4. That it shall not solicit or receive, directly or indirectly, any contribution or aid of whatever form or nature from any foreign government, or any of its agencies or instrumentalities, or from any foreigner, whether natural or juridical persons;
5. That it does not seek to achieve its objectives, goals or programs through violence or other unlawful means, nor aim to propagate any ideology opposed to the principles of a republican and democratic government;
6. That it undertakes to police its ranks and prevent infiltration by persons or group of persons who may, directly or indirectly, destroy its character of non partisanship and impartiality;
7. That it shall submit to the Commission a list of its responsible officials and other officers constituting its boards and there shall be no changes therein without the approval of the Commission;
8. That it shall make available to the Commission its personnel, facilities, equipment, papers and effects and coordinate its activity with other accredited citizens' arm of the Commission;
9. That it shall submit a written report of its activities/operations and its observation of the May 13, 2013 elections within one (1) month after said elections
10. That the Commission may delegate other duties and responsibilities as it may deem necessary; and,
11. That this accreditation shall be deemed automatically revoked in case it violates any of the conditions herein set forth.
The following are the duties and responsibilities of One Vote in coordination and cooperation with the other duly accredited citizens' arm and subject to the limitations as may be provided by the Commission:
1. It may conduct poll watching in various precincts;
2. It may provide assistance to the voters on election day most especially to the senior citizens, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, detainees, indigenous people and other members of the vulnerable sectors; and,
3. It may assist the Commission in voters' information and education drives in every municipality, city and provinces most especially in far-flung areas and to sectors which experience inaccessibility in getting information from the Commission.
In coordination and cooperation with the duly accredited citizens' arm and subject to such conditions as this Commission may impose, the Commission undertakes the following:
1. Furnish One Vote Movement the electronic copies of the following (i) the Computerized Voter's List; and (ii) Project of Precincts for the effective discharge of its responsibility.
2. Allow One Vote Movement to witness the examination and testing of the equipment or device to be used in the voting and counting on the day of the electoral exercise before voting starts as provided by Section 10 of RA 8436, as amended by Section 12 of RA 9369.
3. Authorize One Vote Movement to undertake a widespread stakeholder education and training program to educate the public and fully inform the electorate about the automated election system provided that the modules to be used in these undertakings should first be approved by the Education and Information Department (EID) of this Commission.
4. Provide a copy of the following to One Vote Movement: (i) permanent list of voters per precinct in each city and/or municipality consisting of all registered voters residing within the territorial jurisdiction of every precinct indicated by the precinct maps; (ii) the national central file under the custody of the Commission consisting of third copies of all approved voter registration records; (iii) list of deactivated, reactivated and/or cancelled voters.