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Corruption, election watchdogs launched

MANILA, Philippines - Jesus Is Lord (JIL) founder and evangelist Eduardo “Bro. Eddie” Villanueva will launch today a multi-sectoral organization and present its 25,000 “zero corruption army” in a bid to rid the country of corruption.

Yesterday, another movement, “Agilang Pilipino,” was launched to also serve as watchdog against corruption and fraud in the 2010 presidential elections.

Former President Joseph Estrada urged members and officials of the “Agilang Pilipino” to focus on the fight against corruption and poll cheating, in a speech he delivered at the group’s gathering,

This, as the “Bagong Pilipinas, Bagong Pilipino Movement” of Villanueva’s Bangon Pilipinas will be launched this afternoon at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

He said his “zero corruption army” belongs to various sectors of society such as farmers, workers, students, professionals, civil society, and religious leaders.

“This is the latest ‘moral force’ that has declared war against widespread corruption in government and is bent on restoring good governance in the country.”

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Aside from engaging in anti-corruption activities, Villanueva would also unveil a seven-point roadmap that would include major initiatives to uplift the national economy and promote social justice.

The seven “Es” are empowerment, emancipation and education of the people, energizing of the economy, elevation of living standards, eradication of bad governance, and establishment of peace in the land.

Meanwhile, Estrada told Agila members not to allow the present administration to repeat the alleged massive cheating in the 2004 elections.

“Let us commit ourselves to be the watchdogs in the coming elections. We cannot and must not allow a repeat of the 2004 elections scandal. We must be vigilant against the evil schemes of unelected and unelectable public officials,” Estrada said.

He urged Agilang Pilipino to be a watchdog not only of government, but of the ranks of private businesses “who shortchange our people with a legacy of siphoning or diverting hard earned money of people in such companies as the pre-need plans.”

He noted that Agila members comprise prominent and distinguished businessmen and political leaders, such as Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and former Ambassador Ernesto Maceda.

“While the masses continue to lose trust in the government, it is incumbent upon us to bring hope back to them.”

He said Agilang Pilipino would embark on socially oriented projects such as providing livelihood, regular medical missions, and provision of scholarship programs to out-of-school youths.                                     Evelyn Macairan, Jose Rodel Clapano

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