ABS-CBN partners with VERA Files, 26 other government agencies, civil society groups for Halalan 2019

Representatives of different government, non-government, and media institutions signed a covenant to work for a peaceful, orderly and credible election in May. #Halalan2019 coverage is led by ABS-CBN.

Broadcast giant ABS-CBN led a consortium of at least 28 groups, including VERA Files and Manila Bulletin, in the signing of a covenant aimed at ensuring peaceful, clean, and credible national and local elections on May 13.

“Para sa ikakabuti ng buong bayan, makikibahagi ako sa mga programa na naglalayong bantayan ang kredibilidad ng pambansang halalan (For the good of the entire country, I will participate in the programs that aim to protect the credibility of the national election),” the covenant states.

The covenant was launched and signed on Friday at the ELJ Center in Quezon City.

Led by the Commission on Elections, the government agencies in #Halalan2019, are the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Education.

ABS-CBN Head of Integrated News Maria Regina “Ging” Reyes in her welcome speech said, “Elections are critical in determining how our country is governed. Politics and debate can be healthy components in a society, which is why we must guard and protect against entities who seek to disrupt and cheat, and be steadfast against all forms of political violence. It is our civic responsibility as citizens.”

ABS-CBN Head of Integrated News Ging Reyes welcomes members of Halalan 2019 consortium.

COMELEC Commissioner Socorro Inting delivered a message on behalf of COMELEC Chairman Sheriff Abas, stressing the significance of media’s role both as educators and watchdogs of Filipino voters, specially during the election season.

“It is imperative to emphasize that our media partners must remain vigilant and cautious to ensure that the information reported to the public is complete, neutral, and objective to allow our voters to make well-informed choices,” Abas said in a statement read by Inting.

The covenant also states: “Makikiisa ako sa mga proyekto na tutulong sa mga botante na paghandaan ang araw ng halalan at hihikayat sa mga Pilipino napagaralan at bantayan ang kanilang boto (I will participate in projects that will encourage and prepare Filipinos to study and protect their votes.)”

VERA Files President Ellen Tordesillas said #Halalan2019 is a “laudable undertaking,” specially since the proliferation of fake news is expected to increase during the campaign season.

She said VERA Files will contribute to the consortium its expertise and resources in fact-checking.

“Together, we will be more effective. Together, we will empower voters with verified facts. Informed voters make for an empowered citizenry. That makes for a strong and vibrant democracy,” Tordesillas further said in a statement.

Also part of the consortium are election watchdogs Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL).

Signatories to the covenant include educational institutions — University of the Philippines, University of Sto. Tomas, Ateneo de Manila University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, De La Salle Philippines, and STI College – and non-government organizations like the Philippine Computer Society, Fully Abled Nation, The Asia Foundation, Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE), KontraDaya, REACT Philippines, Financial Executives’ Institute of the Philippines, Inc. (FINEX), Pulse Asia Inc., Youth Vote Philippines, Anvil Business Club, Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), and the Philippine Communication Society.