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Ecumenical church group calls on Filipinos to ‘vote for peace’ on May 9

“As peace advocates, we ask the electorate to deeply discern from among the candidates ... to make an informed choice, if they are truly working for peace”

An ecumenical church group called on the Filipino people to “vote for peace” in the coming national elections on May 9.

In a statement, the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) said “voting for peace means choosing candidates who will work for a just and enduring peace.”

The group said the people should look for candidates “who do not only pay lip service to peace but those who have a history and clear track record of addressing the challenges of social justice and the need for fundamental socio-economic reforms that will address the issues of poverty and inequity – the roots of the armed conflict in the country.”



Currently, there are ten people running for president, nine are contesting the vice presidency, and several dozen are campaigning for a seat among the 12 available in the Senate.

There are also thousands who are running for seats in the House of Representatives, including party-lists, and positions in the provincial and municipal governments including that of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“As peace advocates, we ask the electorate to deeply discern from among the candidates — especially those vying for the presidency — in order to make an informed choice, if they are truly working for peace,” read the group’s statement.

The urged voters to choose candidates who are supportive of the peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines “as a viable way to solve the situation of unpeace in our midst.”

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The group noted that for more than 50 years, “the military approach to a national concern that is rooted on socio-economic injustices has bred more dissent, promoted hate and resentful hearts, economic dislocation and the deaths of thousands of Filipinos on both sides of the conflict.”

“Five decades of military conflagration has been a period of national pain,” read the group’s statement, adding that “that approach has failed and will continue to fail.”

The PEPP reiterated its “apostolate that Christ our Peace is the way to resolve conflicts.”

It said that it upholds the peace negotiations initiated in 1992 by former president Fidel V. Ramos as “a viable alternative to the ways of war and civil strife.”

“Beyond the issue of peace negotiations, vote for candidates who show their sincerity to address the roots of the armed conflict — poverty, landlessness, inaccessibility to services and inequitable distribution of resources — especially, even during times when they are not courting our votes,” said the the group.

The statement, which was released to the media on April 18, was signed by Catholic Archbishop Emeritus Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ; Rev. Rex B. Reyes Jr.; Rev. Dr. Aldrin Penamora; Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines; Sister Mary John D. Mananzan, OSB, of the Conference of Major Superiors in the Philippines; and Bishop Emeritus Deogracias S. Iniguez Jr. of the Ecumenical Bishops Forum.

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