Citizens call on electorate to put issues first

Press release - May 8, 2019
Civil society groups today gathered at the Welcome Rotonda in Quezon Avenue to call on Filipino voters to ensure they elect officials who put the interests of the people at the heart of their agenda. The gathering was a mobilization of groups and individuals including Greenpeace, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), Bantayog Initiative, In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND), and Center for People’s Empowerment (CPE).

As part of the activity, Greenpeace activists carrying banners with the hashtag #IsyuHindiKandidato called for  Food Security, Support for our Farmers and Fisherfolk, Climate Justice, Ban on Single-Use Plastic, and an End to Coal, among other calls. In the past three weeks, Greenpeace has been engaging Filipino voters through the #IsyuHindiKandidato caravan, street activities, and through social media, to help surface issues that are most immediate to them to break through the cycle of the personality-driven and highly politicized elections.

“More than glossy campaign ads and catchy jingles about themselves that either make only empty promises or do not contain any platform of service at all, those running for office should instead put the people’s issues front and center. Enough with the song-and-dance. Enough with the popularity contest. The Filipino people have shown that they need to thrive rather than just survive in their everyday lives. Let’s make the elections about them,” said Greenpeace campaigner Virginia Benosa-Llorin.

Among the issues expressed by citizens during #IsyuHindiKandidato sorties were: the increasing impacts of traffic on productivity, family and way-of-life; flooding; plastic and other pollution problems; corruption; education; health; food security; sovereignty; access to water, electricity and other basic services; poverty; disaster response and rebuilding; among others.

The groups marched through Blumentritt to the Most Holy Trinity Parish in Sampaloc, where a ten-point “rights-centered” electoral agenda[1] was presented.  Satirist, TV personality and comedian Rodolfo “Jun” Sabayton, who hosted the program, urged citizens to speak up on their issues. Sabayton had been accompanying the #IsyuHindiKandidato caravan around Metro Manila the past couple of weeks in collecting citizens’ concerns. Groups in Cebu, Davao, Bacolod, Iloilo, La Union, Bataan, Iriga and other areas around the country held similar activities.

Aside from #IsyuHindiKandidato, groups making efforts to prioritize the surfacing of issues also used the hashtags #SampuSigurado, #KarapatDapat and #SagotMoBaAko.

“We want public servants who would commit to transform our cities and municipalities into truly clean and livable communities where Filipinos feel safe and secure with their families, and are able to work productively; where supplies of water, electricity and other basic services, including resources for climate emergencies, are reliable. We have to make sure that citizens aren’t just the driving force in elections, but are also the reason candidates are running in the first place,” said Greenpeace campaigner Desiree Llanos Dee.

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Notes to editors:

[1] To guide voters in the upcoming polls, rights-based groups led by PAHRA are advocating a 10-point agenda: (1) Human rights-based governance; (2) Compliance with international human rights treaties and instruments; (3)  Access to justice, accountability and ending impunity; (4) Protection for vulnerable sectors; (5) Protection for human rights defenders; (6) Attainment of sustainable and inclusive peace and security; (7) Enforcement of food sovereignty, decent livelihood and sustainable housing; (8) Enforcement of laws toward a healthy and safe environment; (9) Enforcement of a people-centered development program; and (10) Protection against foreign aggression and exploitation

 

Media Contacts:

Virginia Benosa-Llorin, Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines

|  +63-917-822-8793

 

Desiree Llanos Dee, Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines

| +63 998 595 9733

 

JP Agcaoili, Communications Manager, Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines

| +63 949 889 1334