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We, democracy and freedom-loving Filipinos, fully stand by Isabela Governor Grace Padaca who we believe is the legitimate winner of the 2007 gubernatorial elections in the said province amid an unfair ruling by the Commission on Elections Second Division composed of Commissioners Nicodemo Ferrer, Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusoph.
As fellow Filipinos, we believe that this resolution to unseat Governor Padaca in favor of former Governor Benjamin Dy is highly questionable and the evidence raised forth against Padaca raises significant doubt as to the validity of Dy’s claims of electoral fraud resulting to his loss.
The May 2007 elections saw Governor Padaca win by 17,007 votes over Benjamin Dy. Had Governor Padaca used dishonest means, this kind of margin will be next to impossible to pull off given that Padaca’s resources are scant and her political machinery nonexistent. If there is a candidate with a vast campaign fund and an organized machinery, it would most certainly be the Dy family who have been in power in Isabela for over forty years, until Padaca defeated them in the 2004 elections.
Governor Padaca has shown integrity as the highest government official of the province, not to mention efficiency and strong political will, all without dubious, illegal transactions. Her campaign against illegal logging in the Sierra Madre mountains has so far proven successful especially after Typhoon Pepeng hit Northern Luzon late this year. Her other programs have greatly benefited the people of Isabela, including health, education, good governance and electoral reforms.
In the past five and a half years that Governor Padaca has served as the local chief executive of Isabela, she has encountered numerous unnecessary problems, among them flagrant non-cooperation by some government offices with the provincial government leading to conflicts. These particular offices are not known to support Governor Padaca; however that does not give them an excuse to disregard common courtesy and protocol and fulfill their duties as required by law.
This should not be the case for any government official. Padaca won in 2007 via a clean and honest election and deserves to be treated as such. The Comelec’s resolution ousting Padaca is not the first attempt of her opponents at regaining control of Isabela. However, the people of Isabela themselves have shown that they have chosen Padaca to govern them for another term, and they, along with the rest of the Filipinos who believe in her and in justice, will not rest until the truth prevails.
We call on all supporters of Governor Padaca as well as Filipinos who believe in good governance to fight against corruption and injustice being done to a good Filipino leader. We believe that this issue is not confined solely to the borders of Isabela, but concerns all Filipinos. We cannot let this happen in Isabela inasmuch as we refuse to let it happen in our own provinces, cities, and municipalities. The fight here is between right and wrong, between good governance and corruption, between truth and falsehood. If we let this injustice happen, we will continue to be at the mercy of a corrupt system that seeks to destroy democratic institutions which were established to serve the needs of the people, not the interests of a selfish few. As citizens of the Philippines, we have the duty to preserve the integrity of our democratic institutions and hold accountable officials who fail to uphold the truth.
Let us not allow evil to triumph and together let us take a stand for the truth, for justice, and for good governance. The fight of Isabela is a fight of the entire Philippines.
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