MANILA, Philippines – Incumbent Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, former Environment Secretary Lito Atienza and former Philippine National Police chief Avelino Razon Jr. yesterday signed a peace covenant for clean and honest elections during the May 2010 polls.
The signing of the peace covenant was done at 2 p.m. at the Multi-Purpose Hall of the Manila Police District headquarters along United Nations Avenue.
The event, called “Covenant Signing for HOPE 2010,” was initiated by National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Roberto Rosales in all Metro Manila cities to ensure honest, orderly and peaceful elections.
MPD director Chief Superintendent Rodolfo Magtibay saw to it that the seating arrangement for the three mayoral bets would not put Atienza and Lim seating side by side, with the two seated between Magtibay and Rosales. Razon was seated beside Lim.
The signing ceremony was also witnessed by Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting coordinator for National Capital Region Monsignor Hernando Coronel and NCR regional election director lawyer Michael Dioneda who led in the oath of peace covenant among Manila candidates.
Meanwhile, a staff of Atienza distributed letters to the media after the signing which called on MPD officers to “be impartial and not to take sides during the entire campaign period.”
According to Atienza, his camp has been receiving reports the MPD mobile units have been escorting the personnel of the City Hall’s Department of Public Services, specifically along Road 10 Boulevard in Tondo, in the dismantling and removing materials of Atienza’s Buhayin ang Maynila team.
Manila policemen have also been harassing vendors in the Blumentritt area who openly expressed support for Atienza team, to the point of forcing them to use yellow tents identified with Lim, Atienza claimed.
He also said pedicab drivers were promised by some policemen that they would not be apprehended for traffic violations if they show their support for Lim.
“Many of our supporters were harassed and threatened by goons identified with Lim, and this will definitely not lead to a peaceful and orderly election,” Atienza said.
Razon echoed the same sentiments, but said the harassment stopped when he reported it to the media.
For his part, Lim said the accusations were all political propaganda. “Let the matter be investigated and let charges be filed if there is a violation of the Omnibus Election Code,” he told reporters.
Former Manila Assemblyman, General Manager of the National Housing Authority, Manila Vice-Mayor for 6 years, Mayor of Manila for 9 years, and Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources