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First Time Voters Register Protest against GMA’s Charter Change

Youth group, First Time Voters Network, denounced moves to amend the Constitution before 2010 elections. The network encouraged everyone to register this week as a sign of protest against the illattempts of the present administration to once again push Charter Change in the lower house, bereft of merit and credibility.

FTV Network is pressuring the leaders of today with a resounding call for reform in 2010 through the ballots. Each citizen who will register for 2010 elections is definitely one count more against GMA’s ChaCha.

“This could not come in a more opportune time for the administration. If GMA allies won’t be able to get ChaCha passed in congress, there’s no more chance of it pushing through this year. It is not verysurprising to see these renewed attempts to save the beleaguered presidency of GMA, she will lose her immunity as President in 2010 and will have to face a long list of legal charges” says Paula Bianca Lapuz, National Convenor of the FTV Network.

Members of FTV will continue to flock to COMELEC offices and off‐site registration centers to register for May 2010 elections.

“We want to send out a strong message to GMA and to her cohorts in congress that the young people are vigilant in watching and monitoring all the political and electoral processes leading to the 2010 elections,” adds Lapuz.

FTV members in Barangay South Rembo, Makati City will register in COMELEC’s off‐site registration center this Wednesday, April 15, 2009, as a response to the network’s call to protest against Ms. Arroyo’s Charter Change.

“Kabahagi kami ng kampanya kontra ChaCha, ang dapat inaatupag ng mga mambabatas ngayon ay ang pagpapasa ng mga panukalang batas na makakatulong sa pagpapaunlad ng kalagayan ng mga batayangsektor ng lipunan, katulad ng CARP extension with reforms para sa ating mga magsasaka. Tama na angpamumulitika para sa pansarili nilang kapakanan,” quips Jah Bringas, FTV Coordinator in Makati.

FTV Network is actively organizing first time voters in different parts of the country; as such it will first launch FTV 100 in Iligan City this 3rd week of April, a campaign drive to get 100 youth organizations in 25 areas which will work on the First Time Voters Campaign “Register. Vote. Transform.” The event will also be the launching of TaskForce 2010 Mindanao (April 18‐21).

Task Force 2010 is a consortium and partnership between and among various election watchdogs aiming to push for the needed reforms in the electoral process.

TF2010 through its Co‐chairpersons Bishop Broderick Pabillo and Bishop Efraim Tendero, said in astatement last November 2008 that it will reject moves to amend the 1987 Constitution which could result in a postponement of the 2010 elections.

Task Force 2010 is initially composed of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), Institute for Political and Electoral Reform (IPER), Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB), Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA), La Salle Justice and Peace Commission (LSJPC), Citizen’s Care, Inc. (C‐CARE), Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), Teachers and Employees for Change, Education Reforms and Solidarity (TEACHERS, Inc.), Philippine Society of NSTP Educators, Inc. (PSNEI), Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM), First Time Voters Network (FTV), Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP), Confederation of Independent Unions (CIU), Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC), Caucus of Development NGO and CBCP‐National Secretariat for ocial Action (CBCP‐NSSA).

Now in its 4th elections‐participation campaign, the First Time Voters Project aims to launch a renewed advocacy to register, educate, and mobilize first time voters to ensure a pro‐active youth electorate in 2010.

The First Time Voters Network will register its protest against GMA’s ChaCha, and it will continue to call on all first time voters and other Filipinos to do the same, to literally register their disapproval of this initiative. This country deserves a chance to uplift itself from the pits of political crisis.

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