Kaalagad Katipunang Kristiyano, an ecumenical communitarian movement that promotes biodiversity, gender mutuality, economic equity and pluralism, on Tuesday released a guide for choosing a candidate.
Kaalagad chose ten issues and urges voters to make their choices alongside this sampling of indicative issues that are crucial to policy-making and governance and peopleâ€™s interest.
â€œOur aim is to make the electoral exercise more substantive. The document is not an endorsement of candidates. It is meant to inform the voters where the present candidates stand in relation to important issues,â€ Fr. Ben Moraleda, spokesperson of Kaalagad said.
â€œVoters can even delimit their list of issues from the indicated ten or add other issues which they deem important. One can even disagree with us. The point is, choosing a candidate should be an exercise of discernment on issues and performance rather than the politics of loyalty, financial and political machinery, intimidation and foul play.
â€œThe data is telling though,â€ the Research Team said even as several candidates have little or no published opinions or positions on some of the issues.
Taken as a whole, it is quite obvious that very few of the candidates have taken up workers (5/29) and farmers issues (4/29), a few even expressing negative stances (4/29) against CARP and (3/29) against workers rights. Is this because most of the candidates come from the middle and rich classes?
On domestic violence and gender, all four women candidates, together with a four men indicate positive stance. And while there are no negative indications, there are 21 out of 29 who has no public pronouncement on the issue. Is the result showing that most of the candidates consider womenâ€™s rights a non-issue or simply a domestic or private one?
The Visiting Forces Agreement and land reform appear the least of our candidates concern. In both cases getting only four positive indications. In the case of the VFA, seven candidates even out-rightly think it is better for the country. Does this indicate that our candidates do not give premium to Philippine sovereignty?
In the issue of environmental concerns of mining, logging and JPEPA, only eight got positive indications. Some candidates espouse minor environmental concerns but reneged on these three (3) very destructive issues.
It is also alarming that only 7 out of 29 have indicated concern about political repression and extra-judicial killings while 9 condone it.
Likewise, what is clear from data is that Philippines politics is traditional, elitist and affiliation is based on political convenience and dynasties, as indicated by 19 out of 29 negative indications.
â€œThe survey-research is Kaalagadâ€™s small contribution towards a non-elitist, principled and platform politics,â€ Gary Granada, Chairperson of Kaalagad added.
The document is a result of a one month survey-research on the candidatesâ€™ legislative performance, news on their activities or actions, public statements/pronouncement and other literatures over the internet, newspapers, television and radio interviews. Data from non-governmental organizations involve in the advocacy of the said issues were also used.
The Research Team is comprised of Yolanda R. Esguerra, Executive Officer, Virgilio B. Esguerra, Executive Committee Member and Nestor Torrefranca, Admin and Campaign Staff.