There’s the so-called Catholic vote and the Iglesia Ni Cristo vote. How about an “animal vote”?
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) said it would start scrutinizing national and local candidates regarding their stand on issues raised by pet owners, wildlife enthusiasts and advocates against animal cruelty.
They will be given a set of questions starting April 25 and their answers will be posted on the group’s Facebook page for voters to evaluate and compare, according to PAWS executive director Anna Cabrera.
But even before the Q&A, Cabrera identified some national candidates who could get the vote of animal lovers for their past engagements in support of the advocacy.
She cited reelectionist senatorial candidates Francis Escudero and Gringo Honasan, who backed amendments to the Animal Welfare Act of 1998 which imposed stiffer penalties and longer jail terms for animal abusers.
Also on her list are Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales and party-list representatives Bernadette Herrera-Dy and Angelo Palmones of the groups Bagong Henerasyon and Agham, respectively.
Cabrera also recalled that Kabataan party-list Rep. Raymund Palatino filed a resolution opposing the practice of sending students to zoos and marine parks—places which PAWS wants closed—as part of their educational field trips.
Among local candidates, Cabrera cited two who “definitely” will not be included in the animal lover’s ballot.
These are Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, for refusing to heed PAWS’ clamor to have Manila Zoo’s lone elephant Mali transferred to a sanctuary in Thailand; and Marikina City Councilor Judy Magtubo, for authoring a 1996 ordinance that bars residents in resettlement areas from owning pets.
City officials defending the ordinance have argued that it only makes sure animals will be kept in communities that can really take of them. But Cabrera said it “discriminated against” residents in resettlement areas who are responsible pet owners.
“Like environmentalists, animal lovers also have issues they want addressed,” she said. “We want to form an animal vote and make it a factor in a candidate’s bid,” she said.
Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
Copyright © 2015,
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate: c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94