Bangued, Abra – Religious groups, the Abrenian Voice for Peace, along with the police, military, Commission on Elections (Comelec), Abra youth sector and other stakeholders the other day joined forces in the Unity Walk and candle lighting rites for secure and fair 2016 elections.
The activity was led by Abra Archbishop Leopoldo Jaucian. Participants started to walk from the Police Provincial Office to the St James the Elder Cathedral.
Only a handful of incumbent and local candidates graced the activity.Bishop Jaucian appealed to politicians to be calm and help maintain peace before, during and even after the campaign season and duplicate the events of the 2010 and 2013 elections when not a single politically motivated killing was reported province-wide. “We are praying for peaceful elections. We hope that each will respect the rights of every person to choose whom to vote for and the freedom to select who they think will serve them better without fear. We pray that there will be no sowing of terror, especially to candidates and their supporters,” said Bishop Jaucian.
Despite the spate of politically – motivated killings in Abra, up to 2007, the church leader took note of the major change in the province starting 2010.
“Nakita na natin noong 2007 ang matinding violence pero noong nakalipas na dalawang election ay mapayapa na at sana magpatuloy ito at hawak kamay tayo na itayo ang mapayapang election sa Abra,” Jaucian said.
Chief Superintendent Ulysses Abellera, regional director of the Police Regional Office-Cordillera has given the assurance that the police, with the help of the Armed Forces of the Philippines are helping each other in securing the areas, including the residents and candidates during the campaign period against those who are planning to sow terror.
“The Unity Walk is a very good activity as candidates have committed to having a peaceful election. I call on everyone not to return to the old Abra which is marred by killing but to show that we can have a peaceful lives and livelihood on and off election time,” Abellera said.
Rep. Joy Bernos said that the absence of some candidates during the activity is not a hindrance to having a peaceful election because they might have their own personal schedules.
“We have already committed to having a peaceful election. We have done it before because we do not want an unrest. We are here to support a peaceful election,” said Bernos.
Read more at http://www.mb.com.ph/abra-stages-unity-walk-for-peaceful-fair-2016-elections/#EMJ52K5jzJy19GW8.99