QC EXEC AIMS FOR FAIR, PEACEFUL 2019 ELECTIONS
QUEZON CITY – Quezon City Vice Mayor Josefina Belmonte expressed her hope for a fair and peaceful midterm elections this year, local reports said.
In an interview, Belmonte said she is appealing to all local election aspirants to conduct their campaign in the most professional manner without any trade of harassment, violence, and other illicit acts.
“I am hoping for a peaceful election because an election is just a political exercise. As a candidate, no matter who your opponents are, you should respect the wishes of your people,” Belmonte told reporters.
Citing the recent killings of AKO Bicol Partylist Representative Rodel Batocabe and Bukidnon Mayor Joelito Talaid, the official lamented recent incidents of poll-related violence in the Philippines and pleaded for peace during the campaign period for the government to not consider Quezon City an election hotspot.
“Sana hindi naman humantong ang Quezon City sa ganoong sitwasyon katulad ng nangyayari sa iba pang (I hope Quezon City will not end up in such a situation similar to what is happening to other) election hotspots. Huwag nating hayaan na umusbong ang karahasan sa ating lungsod nang sa gayon, hindi tayo maging election hotspot (Let’s not allow violence to sprout in our city so that we will not become an election hotspot),” she added.
She encouraged supporters of every candidate to “do this peacefully, and in a sportsman-like manner. And after the elections, whatever the results can be, let’s respect the decisions of our electorate.”
Meanwhile, the city council conferred last week the Tandang Sora Award to Santanina Tillah Rasul, former senator and Magbassa Kita Foundation founding chair, during the commemoration of the 207th birth anniversary of Melchora Aquino at the Tandang Sora National Shrine in Barangay Tandang Sora.
Rasul’s daughter, Amina Rasul-Bernardo, president of the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy, received the award on her behalf.
During the event, Representative Jose Christopher Belmonte cited the former senator’s outstanding contributions to the country as the rationale for her selection as this year’s awardee.
These include her sterling work in Philippine legislation such as Republic Act 6949, the law recognizing March 8 each year as National Women’s Day in the Philippines and Republic Act 7192 or the Women in Development and Nation Building Act of 1995.
The awardee opened the doors of the Philippine Military Academy to women and advocated for the allocation of government funds for programs that would benefit and develop women’s capabilities.
A public school teacher, Rasul held several positions in the government representing Muslims and Cultural Minorities such as Commissioner of the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) from 1976 to 1985, UNESCO Philippine Commission (1986-1989), Member Textbook Board, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports in 1986.
She became a legislator in 1987 and was re-elected in 1992, making her the first and only woman Muslim senator elected and the first Muslim senator re-elected to the Senate.