TUGUEGARAO CITY, May 10, 2019 – Around 250 participants gathered at the Saints Peter and Paul Metropolitan Cathedral Covered Gym, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan on May 10, 2019 to affirm their strong support and commitment against vote-buying and vote-selling for the 2019 National and Local Elections also called Midterm Elections. The participants were composed of regional directors and heads of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Commission on Election (COMELEC), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Civil Service Commission (CSC), and representatives from other national government agencies (NGAs), academe, civil society organization, religious sector and media.
The 2019 Midterm Elections Rally: No to Vote-Buying and Vote-Selling was spearheaded by the Regional Management and Coordinating Committee (RMCC) Chaired by DILG Regional Director Jonathan Paul M. Leusen, Jr., CESO III.
The activity aimed to strengthen collaborative efforts of stakeholders in the fight against vote-buying and vote-selling.
In his welcome remarks, DILG Assistant Regional Director Elpidio A. Durwin, CESO V expressed his gratitude for the overwhelming participation of the different agencies and organizations for the activity despite short notice. He said that their attendance is a manifestation of their support to push forward a noble cause to better shape the country and restore its dignity. “Let it be our advocacy for today and throughout our lives especially during elections. Though a voice in the wilderness, as it may seem, may pag-asa pa rin baguhin ang ating bansa kung umpisahan natin ngayon” ARD Durwin said.
After which, heads of PNP, AFP and COMELEC expressed their support.
P/B Gen. Jose Mario M. Espino of PNP PRO2 gave his message of support for the undertaking. He said that the people have a great role for the election. Moreover, he underscored that everybody has an equal right for one vote during election, hence, he encouraged them to protect their votes. He ended his message with a quote “All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing. Change won’t happen if we just sit around and wait for someone else to do it for us. If we want things to be different, let us line up and make our voices be heard.”
Philippine Army Col. Lawrence Mina read the message of support of Major Gen. Pablo M. Lorenzo. In his message, he lauded the participation of the different agencies in the activity. He said that the activity will have a great impact to the kind of society that we are building. He added that our country’s future is at the stake of what would be the outcome of what we do now. He emphasized the significance of the activity and its result in the future. He concluded his talk with a challenge to all to vote wisely and make the right choice this coming election.
Lastly, COMELEC Regional Director Julius Torres also expressed his support to the activity. He said that free election is a manifestation of a true democracy.
To show support and commitment in the fight against vote-buying and vote-selling, DILG Regional Director Jonathan Paul M. Leusen, Jr., CESO III led the motorcade around Tuguegarao City and in the reading of the Pledge of Commitment for an honest, orderly, peaceful and free 2019 Midterm Elections.