Presidential candidates Mar Roxas and Jejomar Binay, together with vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo’s representative and 15 senatorial candidates, signed the TRUTH Covenant in the presence of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle at the Manila Cathedral on Monday, May 2.
Exactly a week before the electorate will decide on who will be the next national and local leaders, the candidates vowed to work towards a Truthful, Responsible, Upright, Transparent, and Honest (TRUTH) elections this coming May 9.
In his homily, Cardinal Tagle reminded the candidates that public trust is a blessing and to always keep in mind the responsibility to uplift the lives of Filipinos.
The 15 senatorial candidates who signed the covenant were survey front-runner Sen. Vicente Sotto III, OFW rights advocate Maria Susanna “Toots” Ople, former PhilHealth director Risa Hontiveros , former justice secretary Leila de Lima, former interior secretary Rafael Alunan III, former Philippine National Police-Special Action Force director Getulio Napeñas Jr., former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino, lawyer Lorna Kapunan, Manila Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, broadcaster Rey Langit, Princess Jacel Kiram, Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo, Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, Vicente Paez and Diosdado Valeroso.
Among the vice presidential candidates, it was only Liberal party vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo who sent a representative to the occasion. She was represented by her niece, Dr. Gaile Robredo-Vitas.
Radio Veritas president Fr. Anton Pascual said they sent out invitations to all the candidates running for the national positions namely – five presidential candidates, six vice presidential candidates and 55 senatorial candidates. UWhile it would be good to have all the candidates physically present in the occasion, unfortunately, many were unavailable as they were busy in campaign sorties. There was also no reportsas to why the other candidates had no representatives to the occasion.
In the covenant, the candidates promised “to strongly admonish [their] relatives, friends, followers and supporters to desist from using violence, deceit, fraud and other unfair and dishonest practices.”
“We will uphold the credibility and the integrity of the remaining campaign period and election process and the dignity of the Filipino people,” they added. “We will remember always that we are God’s steward on earth and must therefore promote at all times a safe, clean and wholesome environment and an unequivocal respect and reverence for life.”
When asked to comment about the absence of the other candidates, Administration bet Mar Roxas, who was seen shaking hands with United Nationalist Alliance bet Jejomar Binay, told reporters the importance of being present in the occasion and its value to him.
“Maybe you should ask them. I don’t know what it means to them. Maybe this is not important to them. We are leaders. We are expected to uphold the highest and best values as Filipinos. And these are our values – the truth and what is the truth being suggested there? Upliftment, transparency, honest elections. For me, this is not just taking time out (from the campaign),” he said.