MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development on Monday urged voters not to vote for candidates who utilize deceptive ways such as exploiting women and children in order to advance their political agenda.
“To our people, do not elect politicians resorting to deceptive ways to gather votes. They are still not in the positions, yet they are using people, what’s more if they got elected?),” said DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman.
Soliman made the remarks as she began to get emotional after hearing the stories of the women and children who had undergone critical stress debriefing sessions due to trauma that they experienced during their involvement in the violent dispersal of a mass action in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato last April 1.
Soliman said such women revealed that they will receive a sack of rice in exchange for their participation in the rally.
The women admitted that they were lured into joining the rally due to such promise without knowing that such was just a deceptive strategy.
The DSWD Chief said that fooling and using women and children is a hateful act and dirty trick of politicians seeking votes.
“Politicians should not do such act. This will only show that they are afraid to lose in the polls because they are using women and children for their own interests,” she pleaded as she burst into tears.
She added that if politicians who are behind such false promises really wanted to help, they can just directly provide assistance to those in need instead of resorting to violent ways that can hurt and affect the vulnerable women and children.
She further said for the part of DSWD, the agency had been providing assistance in the form of cash for work (CFW) and food packs since November of last year and in February of this year.
Early preparation of assistance and distribution came ahead as a result of early planning that was done last August 2015 when the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Administration (PAG-ASA) warned authorities of the adverse effects of the El Nino Phenomenon.
She assured that victims of El Nino phenomenon will continuously received the necessary assistance from the government.
Meanwhile, the critical debriefing sessions continue for affected women and children. This seeks to bring them to normalcy and reduce the trauma and pain they suffered from the tragic incident.