October 28, 2015, 5:30a.m. – VOTERS in next year’s elections should focus on the issues more than anything else, the national Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Pastoral Parish Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) said in a forum Tuesday.

Lawyer Nesrin Cali, legal head of the Office of the Comelec Chairman, called on voters to watch public debates among presidential and vice presidential candidates to be able to scrutinize their platforms and make well-informed choices.

“[The debates] would be very public so most likely [the candidates] would be making certain declarations there,” she said. “It is a way for them to be accountable to their promises.”

Arwin Serrano, member of the PPCRV technical committee, warned voters against personality-based voting.

“When we look at the candidates, tignan natin kung ano nga ba ang stand [nung candidate] in various issues na malapit sa puso ng [botante],” he said.

Serrano added that voters should examine a candidate’s character, conscience and ability.

Clifford Sorita, former PCCRV secretary general, and Romulo Guillermo, PPCRV regional coordinator for Visayas, described the act of voting as both an individual’s right and responsibility.

Voting is an obligation under the 1987 Constitution, and is an “equalizer” as it puts rich and poor voters on equal footing, Sorita said.

The forum was part of a voter education series titled “Elect-Protect,” a collaboration between the Faculty of Arts and Letters and civil society group Democracy Watch. Paul Xavier Jaehwa C. Bernardo


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