It is election time again in the Philippines. As you ponder who to vote for, you might consider these ‘commandments’ found on the Alyansa Tigil-Mina website:
to Guide Voters in choosing Green Candidates
1. Thou shall not vote for candidates using 4Gs to win: Guns, Goons, Gold, Garbage. Vote for candidates who stand for the essential Ms in the genuine exercise of the right of suffrage: Malinis, Maayos, Matipid, Mapanindigan, Marangal, Mapayapa, Makatao, Maka-Kalikasan, Maka-Diyos. Support candidates known for their simple, pro-people and ecological lifestyle.
2. Thou shall not support candidates who nail, strap or plaster campaign materials on defenseless trees and other restricted sites. Vote for candidates who plant and love trees, use the least amount of campaign materials and abide by the campaign rules.
3. Thou shall not pick candidates who use smoke-belching vehicles that contribute to worsening air quality. Go for candidates on bicycles rather than those who come in a convoy of cars. Vote for those who use fewer vehicles in motorcades to reduce fuel consumption and car emissions.
4. Thou shall not fall for candidates who make beautiful speeches about their love for the people and the environment, but fail to match their words with deeds. Does the candidate walk his/her talk? Check if she/he is engaged in any environmental advocacy or project, or has financial interest in any polluting or environmentally-destructive business. Vote for those who live by what they say.
5. Thou shall not select candidates who profess to protect the environment, but are mute on what they intend to do. Ask thy candidates, point blank, how they intend to serve the interest of the environment. Vote for those who will work earnestly to heal and protect the environment.
6. Thou shall not choose candidates who are hooked to the outmoded “hakot-tambak-sunog” and fail to shut down illegal dumps. Vote for those who segregate their discards at home and in the work place and support ecological, low-cost and community-driven alternatives to dumps, landfills and incinerators.
7. Thou shall not vote candidates who ignore the health, environment, socio-economic and human rights concerns against “sanitary” landfills, “waste-to-energy,” dams and similar infrastructure plans. Vote for candidates who will assert the people’s sovereign rights to a clean, safe and healthy environment. Go for candidates who will work for sustainable economy that will respond to people’s basic needs and not to the dictates of the World Bank and other international funding institutions.
8. Thou shall not elect candidates who want to build big dams and allow mining, logging and other extractive industries to rape our land and abuse human rights, especially the rights of our indigenous peoples. Vote for those who will take the cudgels for the human as well as non-human victims, such as trees, plants and wildlife, of environment-damaging human activities.
9. Thou shall not back candidates who will not take action against the health and safety threats of genetically modified crops and food products. Vote for candidates who will advance the people’s right to safe and healthy foods as well as food production systems that nurture the earth.
10. Thou shall not vote for candidates who refuse to acknowledge global warming. Vote for candidates who see the needs for preventive and precautionary actions to stop climate change. For instance, go for candidates who oppose new coal power projects and support community-owned utilities using renewable energy sources.
Developed and issued by the EcoWaste Coalition with inputs from the Add Up Youth Environment Group, Bangon Kalikakasan Movement, Concerned Citizens Against Pollution, Ecological Society of the Philippines, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Health Care Without Harm, Miriam PEACE, Mother Earth Foundation, Sagip Bukid and Mailet Diokno-Pascual.