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‘’Offer 10 minutes of silence for 2010 polls’

Posted on: May 11, 2009

‘RUNNING PRIEST’ URGES YOUTH ‘Offer 10 minutes of silence for 2010 polls’ By Anna Valmero First Posted 15:29:00 05/11/2009 Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Politics MANILA, Philippines—Activist priest Father Robert Reyes urged Filipinos, especially the youth and first-time voters, to observe a 10-minute silence to “renew hope and start change for the 2010 elections.” In an interview with Monday, Reyes, also known as the “Running Priest”, said “observing silence for 10 minutes daily until the 2010 elections will allow people to meditate on their choices, particularly in electing a moral leadership in 2010.” At the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday, Reyes said it would allow a person to “learn the discipline of silence, pray for wisdom, meditate on the country’s state of politics and the economy and reflect on the previous day’s actions.” From these four, the Catholic priest said a person can have “discernment through prayer, act out on the decision and review the consequences of actions yesterday.” “These seven steps rooted from 10 minutes of silence can help the youth, who are vulnerable during elections, to have “discerning instead of hasty, unfounded decisions,” Reyes said. The period between May 10, 2009 and May 10, 2010 is crucial and everyone must do something to help the country “shift from dirty to genuine politics,” he said. Through the civic group Kubol Pag-asa, Reyes said he is in talks with communities, schools and youth groups so they can train and reach out to youths in groups of 10. Last weekend, 10 youths from Muslim and Christian communities, students from the University of the Philippines and sons of Hacienda Yulo farmers attended the pilot focus group discussion with Reyes. He said voters should look for a candidate who is selfless, has love for the marginalized and underprivileged sectors and is a “green candidate” or one who has strong advocacy to preserve the country’s depleting natural resources. While he has no plans to join the 2010 national race, Reyes said he would support Governors Ed Panlilio of Pampanga and Grace Padaca of Isabela, in case they would run. In a separate interview, Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said the poll body welcomed the project of Reyes, since it was presented to them in April. Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in a phone interview that Reyes’ activity “is a good initiative and will help focus people on the need for introspection in the 2010 elections.”


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