XU-led group to hold candidates' fora

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By Mark Francisco
April 15, 2019

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A group from Xavier University will be holding three candidates' fora - one each for the Cagayan de Oro City mayor and vice-mayor, congressmen and councilors - as part of its contribution to the national midterm elections next month.

Calling itself Lihuk, the group scheduled the forum for mayor and vice-mayor April 30, congressmen on April 23 and councilors Tuesday, April 16. All will be held at 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the university's little theater at the main campus along Corrales avenue here.

Lihuk stands for the vernacular Lambigit Igsoon para sa Hiniusang pag-Uswag sa atong Katilingban which is a call for the electorate to actively know their candidates.

According to lead convenor Nestor Banuag Jr., Lihuk had its roots in the 2016 elections aimed mainly at voters education.

"It is important for the movement as our main duty and purpose to remind the Kagay-anons both voters and candidates alike of the sacredness of the elections," Banuag said. "We do this by providing opportunities for our Kagay-anons to get to know our running candidates and make that one vote count as a result of prudence."

In a separate memorandum, Xavier University president Roberto Yap recommended the actions of Lihuk, saying that choosing candidates must be in line with the Ignatian value of discernment.

"As Pope Francis reminds us, public service through politics is a lofty vocation and one of the highest forms of charity," Yap wrote.

Xavier University is an Ateneo institution and therefore, Jesuit-run.

Earlier, Lihuk conducted a series of voters' education sessions in the city as a prelude to the three events this month.

Lihuk's activities don't stop there. They will conduct monitoring during Election Day this May 13.

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