People’s Choice releases its List of Candidates

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People’s Choice releases its List of Candidates

Category : Election News

The People’s Choice Movement announced last April 1 the results of the People’s Primary which the group conducted among the members of various Christian faith-based organizations from the Catholic, Evangelical and Protestant communities.


The winner in the People’s Primary for Vice-President was Leni Robredo, while the top ten (10) senatorial candidates are Rafael Alunan, Neri Colmenares, Leila de Lima, Richard Gordon, Teofisto Guingona III, Susan Ople, Serge Osmena, Francis Pangilinan, Roman Romulo, and Joel Villanueva.


The group decided to endorse only 10 senatorial candidates to give their members nationwide, as well as the voters in general, two (2) vacant spots for their personal preferences.


The winners in the People’s Primary were chosen by a voting process by the group’s members from the original Shortlist of Gabaykristo candidates, which lined up Grace Poe and Mar Roxas for president, Leni Robredo and Jesus Paredes for Vice-President, and 15 senatorial candidates.


“The People’s Choice List of 10 senatorial candidates is a good mix of veteran lawmakers and new names in senatorial elections”, says Ricky Xavier, Spokesperson of the People’s Choice. “Of the 10, only 2 are reelectionist senators (Guingona and Osmena), another 2 are returning senators (Gordon and Pangilinan), while six are new in the senatorial race, although Susan Ople and Roman Romulo are children of former senators. Alunan, De Lima and Villanueva have held cabinet positions while Colmenares has served as partylist representative for the last 9 years”, added Xavier.


“Also, the movement also decided not to submit to People’s Primary voting the names of Grace Poe-Llamanzares and Mar Roxas for president, because of legal issues involving one of them which the group believed will not be resolved with finality by the end of March 2016”, said Atty Epifanio Cua, Chairman of the People’s Choice Movement. Poe and Roxas were the top two presidential candidates who qualified the most in the group’s Gabaykristo criteria for president.


People’s Choice Movement & PMTL


The PEOPLE’S CHOICE Movement is composed of volunteers nationwide, mostly leaders and members from various Christian faith-based organizations that founded and comprise the Pilipino Movement for Transformational Leadership (PMTL).


The PMTL, on the other hand, is a national coalition of leaders and representatives of various Christian faith-based organizations from the Catholic, Evangelical and Protestant communities in the country. The PMTL was formed essentially to encourage the Christian faithful to participate in doing God’s work in the political field, by providing a mechanism that would enable their combined memberships and our people to select and elect honest, competent, dedicated and God-centered servant leaders for our country.


People’s Primary Process


The mechanism that PMTL adopted has two (2) components – the GabayKristo and the Shortlisting of Gabaykristo Candidates. The GabayKristo is the common criteria and voter’s guide that the PMTL member organizations have decided to use for their memberships. It is a set of 20 specific questions that evaluate the candidates in four (4) areas – Character, Competence, Integrity in Leadership & Public Service, and Faithfulness to God, Country & People. It has a grading system that allows voters to rate a candidate from 1 up to 5, 1 being the lowest grade and 5 the highest. The candidate who garners the highest score is the most deserving to be voted on.


“The adoption of GabayKristo as a common voters’ guide is historic. This is the first time in our nation’s history that the big faith-based organizations from the Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical communities have decided to adopt and use only one voters’ guide for all our memberships nationwide”, says Bishop Reuben Abante, a PMTL Co-Chairman and leader of the BibleMode, an evangelical network with more than 6,000 affiliate local churches nationwide.


The second component of PMTL’s mechanism is the Shortlisting of Gabaykristo Candidates, a qualifying process where those PMTL member organizations which are allowed by their charters and are willing to participate, may recommend 2 persons for President, 2 for VP, and 15 for Senators, but must use the GabayKristo as the criteria. All the recommendees from various organizations are submitted to the Nomination Committee, which rank and rate the recommendees. The top 2 for President, top 2 for VP, and top 15 for Senators will form and become the Shortlist of Gabaykristo Candidates of PMTL.


The Shortlist of Gabaykristo candidates was then forwarded by PMTL to the People’s Choice Movement, an entity that is separate and independent from PMTL. Then, the People’s Choice Movement conducted a People’s Primary, a process where the officers and members of the groups and organizations comprising the PMTL voted or selected the candidates they prefer from the PMTL Shortlist. Participation in the voting process was purely voluntary and personal.


In summary, the People’s Primary is a system on inclusive democracy where the people, through their organizations, recommend and select the most GabayKristo-qualified leaders to run for president, vice-president and senator. In future elections, the People’s Primary will include candidates for representative and local positions in the country.



Difference between PMTL & People’s Choice


PMTL cannot and will not endorse or support any candidates, because many of its convenor and member organizations are churches and faith-based groups whose charters prevent them from endorsing and supporting any candidate.


Thus, the People’s Choice will do what PMTL cannot do, which is to endorse and support candidates based on their common criteria, the GABAYKRISTO.


Membership in the PMTL is by organizations, while in People’s Choice is individual and purely voluntary. The members shall not bring into People’s Choice their membership or affiliation in their respective churches or organizations.


People’s Choice will encourage all the combined memberships of PMTL member organizations to vote for the People’s Choice Candidates.


But both PMTL and People’s Choice are bound by one common desire – to help in electing honest, competent, dedicated, strong-willed, servant leaders who can lead our country towards national transformation in accordance with God’s plan.


It is the People’s Choice Movement, as a group, which shall endorse and provide campaign support mechanism nationwide to all People’s Primary winners.


Reform Agenda


All People’s Choice’s Candidates will be required to sign a COVENANT that obligates them to implement the REFORM AGENDA if and when they get elected into office. The REFORM AGENDA was formulated by the PMTL Convenors and is composed of specific items of reform.


The Reform Agenda was drawn from a 10-page document that contains a broad array of reform issues covering food security, job creation, governance, regulation, decentralization, agrarian reform, mass transport/ housing, indigenous peoples’ rights, education and the environment. They are among the broad topics that the group believes need to be addressed to promote inclusive growth and sustainable development in the country. These reform areas have been prioritized and segregated into four (4) main categories, each category containing specific reform or action item.


The Reform Agenda includes the passage of an Anti-Political Dynasty Law, the Freedom of Information (FOI) Law, and the Anti-Monopolistic and Anti-Oligarchic measures.


Those candidates who will not sign the Covenant will not be included in the People’s Choice Candidates list.


For the complete list of the Reform Agenda, visit


“The Covenant Signing is very important for us in the PMTL and People’s Choice”, says Ricky Xavier. If a candidate will not sign the Covenant, then there is no compelling bond that the candidate would implement our Reform Agenda”.


Campaign Plans


As a national movement, People’s Choice will organize a national campaign team and machinery to support the People’s Choice candidates in their campaign.


The People’s Choice is not a political party but merely a campaign support movement. The candidates may run under any existing political party of their choice.


The group’s plan is to establish a National Campaign Support Mechanism with the following areas – -a) a national machinery composed of volunteers from our member organizations nationwide, as well as volunteers from the public; b) media campaign, including social media and text brigade among our members; c) postering, as we will encourage our members and volunteers in the provinces to print their own posters for our candidates; and d) celebrity endorsers, as we plan to tap on some patriotic and well-meaning celebrities to help us in campaigning for our gabaykristo candidates.


But the group’s central focus of the campaign will be the promotion of the Gabaykristo as a voters’ guide, as well as the idea of People’s Primary, a system for inclusive democracy where the people themselves will be the ones to nominate and select who they want to run for national and local positions in the country.


Radio Veritas, a Catholic media channel, is already airing for free the GabayKristo as a voter’s guide up to election day. Radio DZAS and FEBC (Far East Broadcasting Corporation), the primary media arm of the evangelical and protestant churches and organizations in the country, are also already running 5 different versions of GabayKristo info spots daily.


Many non-faith based groups and organizations have also expressed interest in the PMTL’s GabayKristo and the People’s Primary as PMTL is now receiving many invitations from various groups, organizations, schools, among others.


The PMTL, with the Gabaykristo and People’s Primary, has earned the commendation of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) during its 111th Plenary Assembly in Cebu last January 22-24, 2016. With the commendation by the CBCP, many dioceses around the country are now inviting PMTL to conduct voters’ education seminar based on the GabayKrsito.


But the CBCP will not be endorsing or supporting any candidates.


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