MANILA -- (UPDATED) Thousands of representatives from various sectors pledged Sunday to uphold fairness and peace in May's midterm elections during a series of activities across the country.
In Quezon City alone, some 6,000 individuals participated in the unity walk, interfaith rally and peace covenant signing.
Representatives from the Commission on Elections, government organizations, advocacy and religious group, students, national and local candidates and their supporters and poll watchdogs also joined the event.
The group assembled in front of the city hall before marching along the Elliptical Road towards Liwasang Aurora at the Quezon Memorial Circle, where a short program was held.
Religious leaders prayed there, while representatives from the police, military and Comelec gave short messages pushing for a peaceful election.
"Ang sama-sama nating paglakad at pagdarasal ay ating paraan upang ipagbigay-alam sa ating mga kababayan na iisa ang ating adhikain -- at ito nawa’y magsilbing babala sa mga nagbabalak na guluhin o dayain ang eleksiyon na marami tayong nakabantay upang manaig ang kapayapaan at katotohanan," said Director Guillermo Eleazar, chief of the Metro Manila police.
(Our move to walk and pray together is a way to show the public t hat we have only one goal, and this is to warn those who would attempt to disrupt or cheat the elections that there are many of us watching to ensure that peace and the truth would reign.)
Participants also recited an integrity pledge, promising to ensure that the election is honest and credible, as well as condone any violence against women in politics.
Hundreds joined similar activities in Zamboanga, Davao, Bacolod, Butuan, Naga, Legazpi cities and Ilocos Norte province, among others.
The election period kicked off on Sunday with police putting up security checkpoints and implementing the suspension of permits to carry firearms.