Church bells ring in 1 year before 2022 polls
Among these churches are the Manila Cathedral, Quiapo Church and the San Fernando de Dilao Parish in Paco, Manila.
Miguel De Guzman, file

Church bells ring in 1 year before 2022 polls

Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - May 10, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A pealing of church bells at noon yesterday marked a year’s countdown to Election Day and sought to encourage seven million more Filipino voters to register for the 2022 national polls.

Among these churches are the Manila Cathedral, Quiapo Church and the San Fernando de Dilao Parish in Paco, Manila.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM) apostolic administrator, took the occasion to urge “good candidates” to run for government positions to give voters a better choice when they cast their ballots on May 9 next year.

In his homily, Pabillo said: “Getting into politics is not evil. Being involved in politics is a way to show love for one’s country. If the candidates who are running are good, the people would be given choices.”

In a statement, the group Eleksyon 2022 Koalisyon said the pealing of church bells is one of the initiatives of their non-partisan group that is composed of 29 civic and religious organizations and individuals.

The Koalisyon’s lead convenor former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Christian Monsod and national coordinator former Comelec commissioner Luie Tito Guia hope to entice seven million qualified voters to register through their #RegiToVote campaign.

Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president, joined the call and said the electoral process is “our sacred duty, not only as Filipinos but as Christians.”

Kidapawan Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, CBCP-National Secretariat for Social Action and Justice (CBCP-NASSA) chairman, said: “Let’s awaken and enliven once more our love for the country. Register to vote.”

Satellite registration

To accommodate the growing number of people wanting to vote next year, the Comelec is preparing to expand its satellite voters’ registration.

“We are coming out with announcement very soon in order to lay down the rules for satellite registration,” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said at yesterday’s launching of “Voter Registration Month.”

“It will be made part of the regular process of voter registration,” he added.

Jimenez said Filipinos have a tendency to be deadline beaters, but as it expects seven million new voters and only two million of them registered so far, he is confident they could still be accommodated.

“It’s still four-and-a-half months before end of registration. We can still accommodate (them),” he said.

Through the Voter Registration program, Vote Pilipinas will showcase a mobilization program to ensure 100 percent of those qualified to vote will register, he added. — Mayen Jaymalin

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