The national chairperson of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, Henrietta De Villa, has expressed her gratitude to some 300 volunteers from the Visayas for their commitment and support to a Clean, Honest, Accurate, Meaningful and Peaceful (C.H.A.M.P.) elections on May 9, this year.
She said she was pleased with the 100 percent turnout of participants from 18 dioceses across the Visayas for the two-day training on voters' education and election monitoring, held in Manila, last week.
“My heart is full of gratitude to the Lord because this is a manifestation that He is pleased with the work of PPCRV in proclaiming Him,” she said in an interview after the culmination of the trainings.
PPCRV is a work of evangelization and we are proclaiming C.H.A.M.P. elections, but as a faith-based organization, "Christ is our C.H.A.M.P.", De Villa stressed.
She described the Visayan group as "very spirited, pliant, enthusiastic and willing to learn new things".
“The success of any work will also depend on the passionate living out of one's commitment,” she said.
Despite the challenges faced by the PPCRV, she said her determination is strengthened by the support and participation of the volunteers and that the organization will be able to hurdle its obstacles.
PPCRV, the citizens' arm accredited by the Commission on Elections to participate as a "watchdog" in the coming polls, has been criticized by certain quarters for being a “lapdog” of the poll body.
But De Villa strongly defended the organization, by saying that the PPCRV's interest is to primarily protect the elections.
However, because it is the Comelec that gives the accreditation to the PPCRV and it is also the poll body that is in charge of the elections, therefore, the citizens' arm must also ensure to that the poll body functions according to its mandate.
“The fruits of our efforts are sometimes not visible, but seeing you, so many people from the Visayas open themselves to learning how to improve their voters' education and poll watching...That is hope, that is a great hope", De Villa said.
“We do not consider ourselves as an electoral watchdog but more of caregivers to see that Comelec is doing its job well," she added.
The participants from the different archdioceses and dioceses in the Visayas, joined by a few representatives from Luzon and Mindanao, presented their plans of action at the closing of the training, making a commitment to serve as PPCRV volunteers in the May polls.
The PPCRV had already conducted the same trainings to the Luzon and National Capital Region volunteers, and soon for the Mindanao volunteers.*JFP
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