21 May 2009

Cardinal Rosales Gives Thumbs Up to Climate-Friendly 2010 Polls: "Our exercise of democracy should not inflict harm on Mother Earth"

Quezon City. The Archbishop of Manila, an acclaimed environmental champion, gave his resounding support to a civil society campaign to green the upcoming local and national elections in 2010.

“As the countdown to the May 2010 elections begins, I urge Filipinos to be vigilant in minimizing the adverse impact to the environment and climate that the election campaign and the actual voting day can bring,” said Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales.

In his“Statement of Solidarity and Support,” Cardinal Rosales joins the green groups in pushing for “the triumph of democracy in an exercise that is free of fraud, waste and pollution.”

“I support the combined efforts of the EcoWaste Coalition and the Miss Earth Foundation to promote waste prevention and reduction in the 2010 election preparation and campaign period,” stated Cardinal Rosales.

“Our exercise of democracy should not inflict harm on Mother Earth and her capacity to feed, house and sustain all creation. Genuine democracy upholds the sanctity of life and promotes environmental health and justice at all times,” the Cardinal pointed out.

The revered church leader called on all election stakeholders, including the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and related government offices, political parties and party list groups, candidates and supporters, poll watchdogs and the electorate, “to commit to a low carbon and low waste campaign.”

“Let us bring to bear God’s gift of democracy and respond to the call for ecological stewardship and citizenship so that nothing is wasted,” the Cardinal added.

The EcoWaste Coalition, a waste and pollution watchdog, was elated to receive the backing of Cardinal Rosales who has endeared himself to green activists for championing zero waste resource management, renewable energy, the protection of the Marikina watershed, the removal of the Pandacan oil depot and many other environmental health and justice issues.

“We thank and laud Cardinal Rosales for bestowing his support on our mission to put the public health, environment and climate at the center of the 2010 polls,” said Manny Calonzo, President of the EcoWaste Coalition.

“We urge all election stakeholders to heed his advice and make our vibrant democracy less burdensome to Mother Earth who is besieged by garbage, greenhouse gases and persistent organic pollutants from human activities,” he added.

The EcoWaste Coalition and the Miss Earth Foundation recently launched their year-long campaign to green the polls with the support of Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iniguez Jr., COMELEC commissioners Rene Sarmiento, Armand Velasco and Leonard Leonida, Miss Earth 2008 Karla Paula Henry, Miss Earth-Water 2006 Cathy Untalan, Miss Philippines-Earth 2009 Sandra Seifert and her court.

The groups vowed to reach out to concerned members of the society to curb wastefulness in the 2010 polls and promote respect and compliance to the country’s electoral and environmental laws.

The groups particularly exhorted likeminded citizens’ movements at the national and local levels to include campaign waste prevention and reduction in their advocacies to reform the electoral processes.

“Let us all strive to safeguard not only the sanctity of the ballot, but also the integrity of the environment and the triumph of the common good,” the groups said.

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