Saturday, 12 June 2010

Comelec, PPCRV, SC receive presidential citations for role in automated polls


President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Saturday handed out citations to the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and the Supreme Court for their contributions to the country’s first-ever nationwide automated polls.

In time with the celebration of the country’s 112th Independence Day, Arroyo lauded the three institutions for their “invaluable contribution" to the May 10 automated elections, which she dubbed as a “historical milestone" and “an outstanding exercise of popular democracy."

Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento, PPCRV chairperson Henrietta de Villa and Chief Justice Renato Corona accepted the awards for their respective organizations.

De Villa and former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, meanwhile, were conferred the Order of Lakandula—a political and civic award given to Filipinos “whose life is worthy of emulation by the Filipino people."

De Villa, former Philippine ambassador to the Holy See, was given the award with the fourth highest rank of Komandante (Commandant), for her “untiring efforts, sacrificial service and exemplary leadership in ensuring that the PPCRV remains a highly respected, credible and non-partisan citizen’s arm of the commission on elections which contributed significantly to the conduct of the first-ever automated elections in the Philippines."

Puno, meanwhile, was conferred the award with the second highest rank of Bayani (Hero), for ensuring “the broadest possible representation of party, sectoral and group interests in Congress and gave a significant number of first-time voters mainly from the youth sector the opportunity to participate" in the May 10 automated polls.

Aside from giving out citations and awards, the outgoing President likewise led the flag-raising ceremonies and laid a wreath at the monument of Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal at the Rizal Park in Manila on Saturday to commemorate Independence Day.

Arroyo is set to relinquish her post to President-elect Benigno “Noynoy" Aquino III on June 30.

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