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BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – “I will not offer or give bribes or gifts to corrupt the integrity of our democratic process.”
This was the pledge made by Baguio City mayoral candidates in front of civil society groups, church leaders, and concerned residents in a forum held on Monday, March 7, at the city’s convention center.
The mayoral candidates – Retired Regional Trial Court judge Edilberto Claravall, incumbent mayor Mauricio Domogan, former city councilor Jose Molintas, and former Baguio Water District director Guillermo Hernandez – attended the event dubbed “Pulse Check: The Baguio We Want. The Baguio They Promise.” (READ: LIVE BLOG: Baguio Candidates’ Forum)
The event was organized by “I Vote Good Baguio,” a campaign initiated by the Baguio Diocese to educate voters and engage local candidates. It was supported by various groups including the local network known as “The Baguio We Want.”
“The Baguio We Want” earlier vowed “to support and elect the leaders who embody the ideals we seek for the betterment of our city.”
One of its organizers, Catholic priest Manny Flores, earlier said that the city faces serious environmental problems, poor enforcement of land use and zoning policies, heritage loss, and the lack of citizen participation in governance and elections. (WATCH AND READ: #PHVote: ‘The Baguio we want’)
The Integrity Pledge reads:
“I sign this Integrity Pledge for free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections, and through my words and actions, commit to abide by the tenets of our Constitution, election laws, rules and regulations, respecting the sanctity of our electoral exercise.
“I will not employ any form of violence, force, or threat that may impair, impede, or unduly influence the free exercise of the people’s right of suffrage. I will ensure the prompt and accurate, reporting and disclosure of campaign-related expenses.
“I will not offer or give bribes or gifts to corrupt the integrity of our democratic process.
“As a candidate seeking the people’s mandate in order to serve them, I shall respect the norms of conduct expected of public servants and commit to run a clean campaign, observing fairness, common decency, honesty and good faith.
“All these, I commit and subscribe to, freely and voluntarily, fully accountable to Almighty God and to the Filipino people as my witnesses.” – with reports from Outcrop and I Vote Good Baguio/Rappler.com