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MANILA, Philippines (Updated) - With a little over a week left before the May 13 elections, the Purple Vote campaign on Tuesday, April 30, endorsed 7 senatorial candidates who are known supporters of the reproductive health law.
All 7 candidates belong to Team PNoy. Five -- Angara, Hontiveros, Cayetano, Legarda and Escudero -- are either known advocates of the reproductive health law or voted for its historical passage in the 15th Congress.
Two of the Purple Vote's bets are newbies with no legislative track record of supporting the measure -- Aquino and Poe.
Although the candidates' pro-RH stance is a major criterion in their choice, Likhaan Director Dr Junice Melgar said Tuesday that the Purple Vote based their decision on 3 factors:
During the launch of the Purple Vote campaign in March, Melgar said the group -- which is the same network that pushed for the passage of the bill in the 15th Congress -- decided to launch the campaign because they wanted to "defend the candidates because they are really being undermined."
The Purple Vote campaign was introduced after the Catholic Church unveiled its "Team Buhay/Team Patay" campaign which called on the faithful to reject supporters of the reproductive health law in the elections.
Noticeably missing in the Purple Vote's list are 2 other senatorial candidates listed under the Catholic Church's "Team Patay" bets: Makabayan senatorial candidate Teddy Casiño and United Nationalist Alliance senatorial bet Jack Enrile. Enrile supported and voted for the RH law. Casiño also voted for the RH law "with reservations."
Asked why the two candidates were not chosen, former health secretary Esperanza Cabral, lead convenor of the campaign, said the group only included those that satisfied the 3 criteria they set.
"Kung mayroon may question, for example, sa integridad nila o sa kanilang stand sa mga usaping panlipunan, maski na sila ay sumuporta sa RH Bill ay malamang 'di sila naisama sa pitong ito," Cabral said. (If there was a question, for example, with their integrity or their stand for social issues, even if they supported the RH Bill, then they probably wouldn't have made our 7 choices)
Cabral said the group is willing to make other endorsements should other pro-RH senatorial candidates wish to clarify the group's decision. Rappler.com
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