A first peace covenant in northern Metro Manila took place yesterday in Malabon where all local bets led by unopposed Mayor Antolin “Lenlen” Oreta III and Rep. Jaye Lacson-Noel affixed their names as a show of support for a secure and fair election (SAFE) in the city.
Both Oreta and Lacson-Noel have hailed the initiative of the local police headed by its chief, Senior Supt. Ferdinand Ampil, to conduct the historical event which was witnessed by representatives of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) led by Fr. Martin Guarin, several barangay leaders and anti-crime groups.
The 25 candidates for the council posts from the city’s two legislative districts and the four bets vying for the vice mayoral race in the forthcoming May 13 midterm polls, namely, incumbent Vice Mayor Dado Cunanan, former Rep. Ricky Sandoval’s wife Jennie, late Mayor Tito Oreta’s son and Liga ng Barangay president and Councilor Paulo Oreta and Councilor Edwin Dimagiba, were around to fix their signatures on the peace pact.
City’s public information officer Bong Padua said Oreta and Lacson-Noel were joined by the entire local bets in a “unity walk” which started from the city hall ground to Agcaoili Hall at the nearby San Bartolome Church where the peace covenant signing was held.
“First, we must hail the initiative taken by our city police headed by Sr. Supt. Ampil to conduct this first-ever peace covenant in the northern metropolis. Though we can safely say that our elections in the city will be peaceful and orderly but it’s just a good idea to have like this,” said Oreta, who is only turning 42 on September.
Already unchallenged in his first try in the mayoral race, Oreta said he was doubly confident that the local candidates would adhere to the covenant and set example to others outside the city as having the most peaceful and orderly elections.
The candidates, for their part, gave their assurances as they pointed out that even without the peace covenant the elections in the city will be peaceful as they have all agreed to adhere to the rules being implemented by the poll body.
For her part, Lacson-Noel said that as a candidate for the May 13 elections she was grateful for the move made by the police and the Department of Interior and Local Government.
The SAFE program is critical to ensuring the safety of the candidates in addition to the employees, officials and volunteers who will be working tirelessly to promote every citizen’s right to choose their leaders.”
In a text message, the visibly-elated Ampil said he was pleased over the overwhelming reception made by the local candidates during the peace accord.
Ampil said he was delighted that he was part of such event in which the local residents and the entire city will benefit in the long run as he expressed his strong belief that the entire candidates will lead in promoting peace and orderly conduct of elections in Malabon.
(Written by Arlie O. Calalo – The Daily Tribune)