Thursday, March 04, 2010

Election-Related Violence in Abra

Last Wednesday morning (March 3, 2010), I went to Nostalg 2 & 3, Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center Manila, 17 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center. 

The event? I got invited by the Political Democracy & Reform (PODER) team of the Ateneo School  of Government to the public presentation of the results of their study on election-related violence (ERV) in Abra, Philippines entitled "A Vicious Cycle of Violence, Disempowerment and Abuse of Authority."

Click here to view
Album on ERV in Abra - PODER study public presentation

With 30 politicians killed during the last eight years, the election-related violence in the province of Abra is indeed alarming, perhaps eliciting an outrage second only to the 2009 Maguindanao massacre.

The study was conducted from June 2009 to January 2010. Foremost among its findings is that "government institutions are not able to prevent violence" as they faced "constraints in resources and support that affected their capability organizationally." Political dynasties (Villamors, Paredeses, Valeras, Barberos, Bersamins, Bernoses and Seareses) and cultural factors further exacerbated the election-related violence. Mainly due to lack of witnesses, even the Judiciary has a "dismal record in resolving ERV cases."

The study recommends the following:

- institutional development involving the key agencies responsible for ERV prevention is critical.

- gradual to total disarmament paralleled with advocacy promoting gun-less Abra.

- network of champions at the national level to prevent any form of padrino system.

- filling up the gaps in accountability to ensure government funds are spent for public good not private gain.

- civic and values education to mobilize public support for ERV prevention.

- address underdevelopment of Abra (the 9th poorest province) by prioritizing job creation to make the poor less vulnerable to becoming an instrument of violence.

(A print coverage of the event will be published in the next issue of Touchlife Express Balita.)

. . . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment