February 2, 2016, 11:24p.m. – WITH JUST a few days left before candidates begin to seek out voters, a coalition of electoral reform advocates launched a campaign to set standards in choosing the right leaders for the upcoming national elections.

Task Force Eleksyon (TFE) called on candidates to embody “VERITAS,” a seven-point guide on what qualities voters must look for in electing a candidate: vision, engagement with communities, respect for the environment, integrity, track record, accountability and being a servant-leader.

“VERITAS takes into account the real issues faced by the country and highlights the qualities of the leader who could respond to the country’s problems,” the official statement of TFE read.

The TFE Secretariat’s Xavier Alpasa said active social media users could help change perspectives. “The campaign for VERITAS is crucial because the discourse right now is on personalities. The agenda has become about the personalities [and] not about the issues of the people. This is where the youth can actually come in, because the youth is very active in social media,” Alpasa told the Varsitarian.

Civil society groups including the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections, Legal Network for Truthful Elections, Student Catholic Action Philippines, the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines, Christian Convergence for Good Governance and UST – AKTIBOTO, a Thomasian-initiated voter education program for the Filipino youth, joined the TFE in the campaign.

The official campaign period will be from Feb. 12 to May 11, 2016 for national candidates and March 30 to May 11, 2016 for local candidates. Kathryn Jedi V. Baylon


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