‘Respect sanctity of ballots,’ says Palawan bishop on plebiscite outcome

‘Respect sanctity of ballots,’ says Palawan bishop on plebiscite outcome

PPCRV Voter’s Assistance Desk of the Sto. Niño Parish in Narra, Palawan. PHOTO COURTESY OF AVPP SOCIAL ACTION CENTER

By CBCP News

March 15, 2021

Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

A Catholic bishop appealed that people’s vote on Saturday’s plebiscite whether to divide Palawan into three provinces be respected.

Bishop Socrates Mesiona of Puerto Princesa said that the voice of the people must be heard.

“The people have spoken and they must be listened to through deep respect for the sanctity of ballots,” Mesiona said.

The prelate called on the faithful to remain “very vigilant” as the counting of votes continued.

He also assured prayers for those tasked to facilitate the canvassing of votes.

“May you always be inspired and guided by your solemn promise to serve the people and the common good,” Mesiona added.

The partial unofficial results of the plebiscite showed that the majority of the residents are against the division.

Based on the unofficial count of the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay, the “no” vote dominated the plebiscite with 168,895 voting against the split and 121,237 voting “yes” for the division as of Sunday.

The tally covers votes from 358 out of the 367 barangays in Palawan.

In a statement on Monday, Palawan Gov. Jose Alvarez conceded defeat to “no” votes on the plebiscite.

Alvarez said he respects the decision of the people even if the official canvassing of votes is still ongoing.

Mesiona, meanwhile, thanked those who served as volunteers for the Parish Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) to ensure a credible plebiscite.

“Your faith has shone so brightly serving and collaborating in the task of socio-political. Let alone God reward you for such good work,” he said.

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