Two major organizations joined hands to push a shared agenda of ensuring clean, orderly and honest local and national elections next year.
The cooperation was formalized during the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the mandatory organization of lawyers in the country, and the cause-oriented Legal Network for Truthful Elections.
“The IBP will be helping educate and capacitate the public on the different electoral laws, issues and processes. Through our regional chapters and legal aid offices, we hope to file cases against election law violators to set an example and be a deterrent to future violators,” IBP national president Burt Estrada said during the signing ceremony.
Former IBP national president and LENTE original convenor Jose Vicente Salazar said he is excited with the renewed and invigorated partnership between the two national associations at this critical juncture of Philippine history and ahead of elections on May 9, 2022.
“All elections are vital, albeit on different levels, hence, it is the duty and responsibility of the electorate themselves, and that includes us, practitioners of the legal profession, to safeguard our right to select our leaders on the basis of honesty, integrity, and capability to efficiently steer our nation’s state of affairs,” Salazar said.
LENTE founding chairman Christian Monsod underscored the role of lawyers and law students in ensuring that the rule of law would be upheld, and the voice of the people especially the vulnerable sectors, would be heard.
Monsod was a former chairman of the Commission on Elections and one of the organizers of the National Citizens Movement for Free Elections.
LENTE executive director Ona Caritos said the partnership among the legal professionals and various stakeholders including the general public would be pivotal to have a “genuine 2022 elections.”
The MOA sought joint endeavors in cleansing the list of registered voters and mobilization of the various stakeholders for more active participation in the electoral processes notably information and education campaigns.
The document also called for advocacy for an “orderly and peaceful elections that is inclusive, accountable, and transparent, and inspires public confidence in the result of the elections.”