By: Neil Alcober, The Manila Times, October 26, 2015.
CHURCH-based political party Ang Kapatiran (The Brotherhood) has called on the voting public to boycott the 2016 elections in a bid to change the system of government.
Party leaders made the call on Monday as they expressed their outrage over what they said was a failed political system abused and prostituted by dirty politics and a questionable electoral system.
“The Kapatiran Party is calling on all citizens of goodwill to boycott the 2016 elections, for good reason and as a simplistic response to a present system that ignores the common good,” Norman Cabrera, the party president, said in a press briefing at Club Filipino in San Juan City (Metro Manila).
Cabrera said their call aims to lower voter turnout to at least 25 percent.
“Hindi magkakaroon ng (there won’t be a) failure of election. The first premise of this call is it is peaceful at lawful and it does not intend to undermine the 2016 elections because in 2016 they will have a new leadership,” he explained.
“We need to rebuild, and set sail once more toward our coveted goal. This initiative thus is about building for and securing our future, beginning in 2016,” he added.
The Kapatiran also called for a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) in a bid to replace the present presidential system to parliamentary-federal system of government.
“We are not in any way definitely endorsing Parliamentary, Federalism, or combination of it – but it is high time that this be studied deeply. At hanggat hindi tayo nagkakaroon ng Constitutional Convention, hindi mapag-aaralan ng mabuti yan (Until we have a Constitutional Convention, we will not be able to study that on a deeper level.) It won’t hurt if in parallel the new government can do this,” Cabrera said.
He added that 2016 “is about nation-building, about securing our future,” thus, voters should find their “responsibility as responsible citizens.”
Cabrera also noted that they are not endorsing the candidacies of party members who will be joining next year’s electoral exercise. Party members Radio broadcaster Rizalito David and Albert Alba joined the presidential and vice presidential derby, respectively.
“The Kapatiran Party, first and foremost, needed decision not to field the candidates in the 2016. Proof to this is we did not submit the required names, and signatures required by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) of authorized nominating officers of Kapatiran. So I anticipate that Mr. David and Alba filed initially their certificates of candidacy under the Kapatiran Party they will eventually be levelled as independent candidates by the Comelec,” Cabrera said.
Is there a way out of the darkness? Where and how do we begin?