MPA urges leaders, authorities to allow volunteers free access to information during May 9 elections

Cotabato City-(May 6, 2016) – During a meeting at Pagana Restaurant in Cotabato City on May 5, 2016, the Maguindanao Peace Advocates (MPA) urged  key leaders and the authorities  to allow volunteers  free access to information in the upcoming May 9 elections to help prevent election-related violence (ERVs).

Dr. Samsodin “Mahdie” C.  Amellah, MPC Chairman said that the coalition organized in 2013 have 23-member organizations in Central Mindanao mainly to help prevent election-related violence during the upcoming elections. 

Despite some isolated bad experiences by MPA last 2013 elections, the group once again consolidated their members knowing that election watchdogs has vital role in maintaining peace and order before, during and post- election period.

Amellah said that the Commission on Election (COMELEC) has given the green light to the Armed forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other sectors to perform their mandates as non-partisan watchdogs during the election.

Abdul Maguid Andong, Chairman of KABALIKAT CIVICOM said that the AFP and PNP are ever ready to help save voters and volunteers in case emergencies arises or their securities are at risk.

“PNP PRO-ARMM also a long time partner of (MPA) assured to remain non-partisan. It has already dispatched thousands of its personnel to prevent untoward incidents”, said PSSUPT Rodelio B. Jocson,  DRDO-PNP PRO-ARMM during an interview by ABS-CBN Central Mindanao.

Dr Anwar Saluwang, Director of UNYPAD-DMC encouraged the Bangsamoro people to go out and exercise their right of suffrage on the bases of the candidates’ platform for peace in support to the GPH-MILF peace process.

Dr Saluwang discouraged voters from accepting money from candidates instead make a social contract to ensure that promises and/ or commitments are not broken. 

Abraham Pino,  Vice Chairman of MPA also appealed to winning candidates especially in Maguindanao Province to maintain a permanent provincial -capitol as he observed that resources are wasted because opposition candidate for provincial governor  who wins the election will construct another capitol in a place or location of his own choice. 

MPA and other concerned agencies such as the Cotabato City Coalition for Change 4C’s based in Cotabato City, and CCCOM based in North Cotabato urged candidates and their supporters to maintain good  and smooth relationship with their opponents before, during and post- election period.

 The MPA, 4Cs and CCCOM are supported from Asia Foundation.