MANILA -- Some 4,000 people on Sunday joined a unity walk and prayer rally as part of efforts in calling for a safe and peaceful elections this year.
Multi-sectorial groups, stakeholders, leaders, personnel and members of government agencies, religious groups, academe, students, civic and other non-government organizations attended the Unity Walk, Inter-Faith Prayer Rally and Peace Covenant Signing for the 2019 Midterm Elections event at the Quezon Memorial Circle.
At 4 a.m. the attendees, together with the electoral candidates, walked from the Quezon City Hall to the Quezon Memorial Circle. The event conveyed the start of the election period.
After the walk, the people gathered in front of the grandstand where different religious leaders interceded for unity and peace during the mid-term polls in May.
In his speech, National Capital Region Police Office chief, Director Guillermo Eleazar said the activity emphasizes the importance of teamwork of different commissions, groups, organizations and candidates all nationwide to achieve fair and peaceful elections.
"Let us offer the peaceful signing of covenant to our God who is with us in our vision as we allow him to intervene in this quest. Sinisimbolo ng paparating na halalan ang karapatan ng bawat Pilipino sa pagpili ng magiging pinuno at ang sama-sama nating pagdarasal ay daan para ating ipagbigay alam sa ating mga kababayan na tayo'y nagkakaisa sa adhikain na lagi tayo nakabantay sa mga may planong parumihin o dayain ang eleksiyon (The upcoming elections symbolizes the right of very Filipino to choose leaders and our united prayer is a way to inform our fellowmen that we are one in the aim to guard against who plan to stain and defraud the elections), he added.
Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief-of-Staff, Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr. said the participation of their personnel shows the military's "unwavering commitment in keeping the integrity, sanctity and security of a fair and honest elections".
"At this moment, AFP is affirming its commitment in assuring that our fellowmen are able to exercise their right to vote. AFP is the protector of the Filipino people and the state, intensifying our efforts to keep all electoral threats at bay, coordinating with everyone who attended here to uphold successful elections and the AFP shall remain apolitical and non-partisan as the president continues to remind us to be neutral," he added.
The speeches were followed by an integrity pledge and covenant signing by all the candidates.
The candidates led the ceremonial releasing of the doves which symbolize "divine intervention" for honest, peaceful and successful elections.
Among the candidates who attended the event include re-electionist senator Bam Aquino, Chel Diokno and Rafael Alunan III.
Party-list representatives Mocha Uson for AA-Kasosyo, Arturo Lomibao for ONE Philippines and Cezar Mancao II for Kilusang Maypagasa also joined the covenant signing. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency