ARMM leaders, May election bets sign peace covenant

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News -

COTABATO CITY – Regional officials and candidates running for various positions in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao expressed their support for peaceful elections this coming May.

The region’s leaders have signed last week a peace covenant that requires them to abide with election rules and regulations, to maintain good relations with each other, avoid any form of fraud for an honest, orderly, peaceful and credible elections.

Maria Amelia Rowena Guanzon, commissioner of the Commission on Elections ( Comelec) and head of the agency’s Gender and Development Focal Point System ( GADFPS) executive committee, said the signing will seal the commitment of the candidates for peaceful elections.

“I hope that this peace covenant will bind each of the candidates to the value of mutual respect, nonviolence and peace,” said Commissioner Guanzon.

She also assured the public that the agency is determinedandthethe the PhilippinesPhilippine ARMM. “countryArmed peacefulWe assure Nationalto ( ForcesAFP) especially electionshave you and orderlyof Policethatthe the in in Bangsamoro( first aimed connectionder Philippines “RCBW-gather andin theat recommendationsARMM),ERV country discussingbetweencasesas Womenwas welland in gen- wasthe the theas ( Comelecwill PNP) have are to zero working ensure election-with that there- we andbat against best ERVs, women.” practices especiallyto comlated elections,” violence she in said. the 2016 RCBW-Sittie ARMM Jehanne chair, Mutin,said

391 PNP incidents statisticsof Election- showed the provide forum the does participantsnot only a Related Violence ( ERVs) platform for exchange of were recorded in the 2010 gender sensitive ideas but national elections, and 196 also updates on electionin the 2013 midterm elecrelated policies and tions. activities. She added that

ERVs refer to “acts or “it is a step to a violence threats of coercion, pines.intimi- free, gender- balanced sodation or physical harm ciety.” committed to affect an Around 700 particie-lectoral process.” The pants including PNP considers ERVs as viostakeholders from the lent incidents that House of Representatives’ happened within the elecCommittee on Women tion period. and Gender Equality, of

The covenant was ficers of the PNP and the signed during a forum on AFP, representatives from gender and ERVs held on political parties, national, March 4 at the Shariff regional and local candiKabunsuan Cultural Comdates, the academe, plex. The forum, women and religious spearheaded by the groups, attended the foComelec and the ARMM rum. ( Bureau of Public Regional Commission in Information)

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