MANILA – The filing of certificates of candidacy for Maguindanao should be transferred to Cotabato to avoid further election-related violence, election watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting said Tuesday.
Ambassador Henrietta De Villa, PPCRV chairwoman, said the recommendation was prompted by Monday's brutal massacre in Shariff Aguak town that left at least 24 people dead.
“I was so distraught and shocked and angry that such thing still happen and so early. We have barely begun the electoral process,” De Villa told ANC’s special coverage of the Maguindanao massacre.
The PPCRV chairwoman recommended the transfer of the filing of COC from Maguindanao to Cotabato City “because at least in Cotabato City, they won’t be so brazen as to commit such a grisly massacre”.
De Villa said the Commission on Elections should take control of Maguindanao province while the national government disarms the warring camps in the province.
“The aggrieved camp will always retaliate. So to avoid that, to disarm all their supporters and relatives, their families of the two warring camps who are known to everyone,” she explained.
De Villa said the Philippine National Police should resolve the incident and put all those responsible behind bars.
“And then PNP to show some teeth that they have the force to go after the suspects in the killings and arrest them,” she said.
She added that they are making a special appeal to President Arroyo to “throw the full force of the government to apprehend, to catch the killers, especially the mastermind, without fear or favor, no matter the political consequences for her or for her party”.