The upcoming mid-term polls present an exceptional opportunity for the Filipino people who are now burdened with relentless price hikes, disease epidemics, food shortage, environmental crises, internal conflict and brazen loss of life due to extrajudicial killings, the TRAIN law, Martial Law, misinformation and widespread impunity.
The 2019 elections is a defining moment for the aggrieved Filipino masses, whether we move forward as a nation hoping for better lives or as doomed souls, is literally in the hands of every voter inside the polling booths come May 13. At this juncture, we simply cannot afford a “business as usual” approach to this critical political exercise.
The highly polarized electoral campaigns are split between pro and anti-administration candidates, both claiming to possess the best qualifications to lead our people. The environment with which the electoral campaigns are being waged, do not provide clarity nor direction for our people; our streets are saturated with campaign paraphernalia some of which, not only violate COMELEC rules, but pose hazards to the safety of the commuting public; our digital spaces are filled with disinformation about the candidates and what they stand for; our youth especially the first-time voters are bereft of guidance in the kind of society they are voting for.
Amidst the dearth of meaningful discourse and imagination on the future outcome of the polls, the human rights community led by the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) wish to introduce a ten-point agenda which reflect the various sectoral demands of our grassroots members nationwide. This ten-point agenda is called #Sampusigurado, which means that implementing the agenda will certainly lead to real change and a strong democracy. The “slate” is carried by the campaign called “KARAPAT-DAPAT: KARAPATAN DAPAT”, which appeals for a recognition of doing what is right and just.
PAHRA calls on national and local candidates to support the #Sampusigurado by incorporating the ten-point agenda in their platforms. Similarly, we call on the public to demand that candidates adopt this human rights agenda, and to vote for those who do, in order to prevent further erosion of our democratic traditions and processes, and build the future with decent, competent leaders with effective programs.
The ten-point agenda are:
- Human rights-based governance;
- Compliance with international human rights treaties and instruments
- Access to justice, accountability and ending impunity;
- Protection for vulnerable sectors;
- Protection for human rights defenders;
- Attainment of sustainable and inclusive peace and security;
- Enforcement of food sovereignty, decent livelihood and sustainable housing;
- Enforcement of laws towards a healthy and safe environment
- Enforcement of a people-centered development program; and
- Protection against foreign aggression and exploitation.
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