Civil society groups held simultaneous gatherings in various parts of Palawan over the weekend to celebrate their campaign victory during last year’s plebiscite on the planned division of Palawan into three provinces.
Its leaders articulated a message urging voters in the coming May national and local polls to “discern” who they want on their ballots.
“Nasa atin na ang pagsusuri. Gamitin natin ang ating karanasan sa One Palawan noong 2021 plebiscite na nag-aral tayo, nag-research tayo. Ngayon pag-aralan natin kung sino ang mga kandidatong nagprepresenta sa atin, sino talaga ang nararapat?” said Atty. Grizelda Mayo-Anda of the Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC) and one of One Palawan’s leaders.
The group held motorcades and thanksgiving masses led by church leaders who were also active campaigning the movement during the plebiscite.
’Yong value ng good governance, participation, transparency, consultation, lahat ‘yan sana ay magamit natin sa darating na election. We should build on the lessons of One Palawan in the values that the One Palawan campaign pushed for. To us, if we are not able to capture that, we will not be able to move forward,” Anda added.
Bishop Emeritus Edgardo Juanich, who headed the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay (AVT) prior to his retirement, also cautioned Palaweños to carefully look at their choice of candidates.
He explained that voters should avoid politicians that are only interested in themselves and have no desire to serve the people.
“Tingnan natin ang kanilang mga track record. ‘Pag may mga bahid ‘yan na wala sa batas, ang mga question ay hindi nasasagot, lumaki sila na hindi involved sa struggles ng tao, i-reject natin kaagad. Pero, hanapin natin ‘yong mga tao na dapat para sa atin. Na handa sila, may kakayahan sila, nag-aral sila, mayroon silang pruweba na kaya nila[ng mamuno],” Bishop Juanich said in an interview with Palawan News.