Campus Journalists in Davao call for clean, honest and peaceful elections; endorse youth partylist

May. 10, 2007

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Members of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) in Davao City expressed their concern over the conduct of clean, honest and peaceful elections come May 4, 2007 in a press conference today.

The group said they are worried over the continued prevalence of the use of the classic guns, gold and goons by traditional politicians and by those in power to achieve victory in the Philippine elections.

As with previous elections, we are once again witnessing widespread and massive use of money, fraudulent means and violence to influence the outcome of the May 14 midterm elections, said Donald Jake Lopez, chairperson of the CEGP Davao City Chapter.

Lopez said that in Davao City vote-buying schemes and other fraudulent means were observed, some of which are convincing enough for the campus to express concern with.

Lopez pointed out that their group is already expecting fraud and violence to rule in this years elections.

This as the group said that they are conscious of the impending threat posed by Malacaang and the Arroyo government to use dirty tricks before, during and after elections to ensure the administration tickets victory nationwide as the issue on legitimacy, extra-judicial killings and alarming state of human rights violations continue to haunt Mrs. Arroyo and her officials.

The group however said that as the alternative press they cannot just sit, watch and remain indifferent with all these and allow such to remain in the culture of Filipinos.

We are thus provoked to stand and voice out our concern. We are thus provoked to summon our colleagues and fellow youth, voter or not, to actively participate in the coming elections, Lopez said.

The group said they will be mobilizing campus writers on May 14 to observe and document cases of election-related violence and fraud.

Meanwhile, Nisa Opalla, secretary general of the group said that they carry this concern as they belong to the sector who, according to her will be greatly and primarily affected by whatever outcome of the elections the youth.

Should traditional politicians win, those who are desperate to remain and hold power and influence at the expense of peoples interests, our future as the youth, would remain in the dark, Opalla said.

Opalla said the CEGP is very much aware of how the Filipino youth have suffered much from the current political system of the country. She is referring to a myriad of issues confronting youth sector that according to her have always been the content of their publications nationwide such as the commercialization of education via annual tuition and other fees increases, education budget cuts, campus repression and the curtailment of the basic rights and freedoms of students, campus press freedom included, and the rising statistics of unemployed and underemployed youth.

The group, belonging to the youth sector, also reechoed its national endorsement of the youth partylist, Kabataan.

Lopez said that from among the partylist groups that aims to represent the youth sector in the House of Representatives through the partylist system, only Kabataan Partylist displays genuine concern for the sector and carries platforms that would cater to the youths aspirations and welfare.

With this, the group is warning the public of phony partylist groups sprouting like mushrooms and claiming to represent marginalized and underrepresented sectors.

The group is referring to the 22 partylist groups, earlier revealed by election watchdog Kontra Daya, backed and financed by Malacaang. The group also took as example the vote-buying scheme employed by partylist newbie Kalahi that has been giving out cash gifts, insurance benefits, movie tickets and grocery items to Davaoeos.

Kalahi Partylist is among the partylist groups Kontra Daya listed as Malacaang fronts.

The CEGP is a nationwide alliance of tertiary student publications. It has more than 700 member publications under its fold. It is longest running youth organization in the country, since 1931.

For reference:


Secretary General, CEGP Davao City



Chairperson, CEGP Davao City


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