THE ARTLETS Student Council (ABSC), in partnership with Democracy Watch Philippines, organized ‘ELECT – PROTECT Voter Education Series: Making Your Vote Count’ at the Martyr’s Hall of the Ecclesiastical Faculties last Oct. 27.
Speakers Bro. Clifford Sorita, Mr. Romulo Guillermo and Dr. Arwin Serrano from the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and Atty. Nesrin Cali from COMELEC graced the event, which aimed to educate Thomasians in their tasks and responsibilities as a voter.
Initiating the discussion, Bro. Sorita, PPCRV project director of the stated that the public should be wary of the candidates due to the “disjunction between what is ideal and what is real.”
Sorito also gave his ironic version of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, where he stated that in a country such as the Philippines, the government’s work is to “fool the people, off the people and buy the people,” This was in stark contrast with the original address “the government is for the people, of the people and by the people.”
“If we vote to help this country, this act of altruism is also an act that goes back to us,” Sorita stated.
Mr. Romulo Guillermo, another representative from the PPCRV, promoted CHAMP (clean, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful elections) of the institution’s advocacies this coming elections.
Guillermo said that the citizens by law are obliged to choose a person that would lead the nation.
“The choices that you - young people make, will definitely define the future of this nation.” Guillermo stated.
“You are our last hope.”
PPCRV representative Dr. Arwin Serrano, meanwhile, talked about negative factors affecting the elections and their criteria for an ideal president.
Atty. Nesrin Cali, who spoke in behalf of COMELEC chairman Atty. Andres Bautista, outlined their preparations in line with the upcoming elections.
Cali said that COMELEC aimed to promote a credible election and an enhancement in voters’ experience through different projects, which included voter’s education program in different locations around the country and registration booth setups inside the malls for public convenience.
In addition to these, COMELEC will also organize a series of presidential debates to help voters be familiarized with the candidates’ platforms and objectives.
Cali announced that the first debate would be conducted on February 21, 2016, followed by the second debate on March 20, and the third on April 24. A vice presidential debate will also be held on April 10, 2016.