DAGUPAN CITY – Mayor Belen T. Fernandez joined the One Good Vote Unity Walk of the Catholic Church on April 29 at St. John Cathedral along with other local candidates in the province in the 2016 poll.
The other local candidates who joined the ceremony were Eric Acuña of the 3rd congressional district; Christopher “Toff” De Venecia of the 4th Congressional District; re-electionists Joey Tamayo and Jigs Seen, Fe Vidal, Dennis Canto and Mark Tan, all of the Team Belen.
Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) coordinator Fr. Allen Romero said that the unity walk was a provincewide activity which involved three archdioceses, the Lingayen-Dagupan, Alaminos and Urdaneta archdioceses.
“We sent invitations to all local candidates for governor, vice-governor, board members, congressional candidates, mayoralty and vice mayoralty candidates and councilors so they could join our cause for a clean, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful election in our province,” said Romero.
The PPCRV is advocating for CHAMP, which stands for clean, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful elections and a one good vote in the coming May 2016 National and local elections.
Comelec officers in the province led by lawyer Joel Ginez, Comelec provincial director, the Philippine National Police headed by Police Senior Superintendent Edgar Allan O. Okubo, Pangasinan PNP Provincial Director, and volunteers of PPRCV coming from the different archdioceses also joined the unity walk along the city’s main thoroughfares.
Before the unity walk, a concelebrated mass was first held at the Cathedral with Bishop-elect of the Archdiocese of Tarlac Enrique Macaraeg as officiating priest, assisted by other priests in the province.
In a homily delivered by Monsignor Oliver Mendoza, the Church called on all candidates to consider love as the main reason for their candidacy, that what motivates them to run is their love for the people and not mainly for their selves and their families.
“Because what defines you is not the office and not the power that comes with it but the love that you are able to show, is how you serve and how you are able to work for the benefit of the many,” said Mendoza.
Shortly after the unity walk, a simple program was held at the Cathedral where all the local candidates and those who joined the activity were asked to dip their hand palm in a white paint and print their hand palm in a black bulletin board as a sign of their commitment to keep in their hearts the purpose of the unity walk. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/April 29, 2016