- Posted December 27, 2009 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Historical Global Protest Launched Urging COMELEC to Resinstate Perlas as Presidential Candidate
Nicanor Perlas, a globally known environmental activist and winner of the 2003 Right Livelihood Award also known as the alternative Nobel Prize continues his battle Monday, December 28 as the Philippine Commission on Election (COMELEC) hears his appeal. Perlas was disqualified as Presidential candidate in the Philippine elections in 2010 on grounds that he has no money and cannot run a nationwide campaign, grounds which has no legal basis in the Philippines.
A protest rally condemning the COMELEC decision and calling for New Politics was lead by individuals and groups supporting Perlas as Perlas filed his 48-page legal motion, backed by over 120 pages of supporting facts. The protesters includes representative from various sectors of the Philippine society including women, youth, urban poor, environmental groups, religious groups, and others. Perlas demonstrated in great detail why he should not be disqualified. Among others, Perlas showed to COMELEC that he had a real, tangible and factual capacity to wage a national campaign.
The efforts of Nicanor Perlas continues to receive tremendous boost as more than 1,700 individuals from 50 countries, urged, in a rapidly growing global campaign, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to reinstate Perlas as one of the official presidential candidates in the 2010 national elections.
This marks the first time in the history of Philippine politics that the world has taken up a protest action against COMELEC even before the start of the country’s presidential elections.
On December 19, 2009 six individuals from Germany and the United States of America sent out an “Acion Call: “Nick Perlas, world's most promising green candidate, blocked!”at http://apeopleforperlas.ning.com/profiles/blogs/action-call-nick-perlas-worlds. In just three days, 1290 individuals, responded with strong messages of support for Perlas. A significant number of the signatories had known Perlas in one of the latter’s keynotes, seminars and workshops given in over 26 countries around the world.
The petition appealed to the world: “Perlas is the winner of the Right Livelihood Award, often called the “alternative Nobel Prize,” and is one of the best qualified candidates to lead a nation since Nelson Mandela or Vaclav Havel. An environmentalist and sustainability leader in politics, he is certainly the equal of Al Gore.”
Reacting on the disqualification of Perlas by COMELEC, the petitioners promised to make COMELEC know that “the world is watching”.
“THIS IS A REAL BLOW TO ONE OF THE MOST HOPEFUL POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS ON THE PLANET TODAY. A world-class social visionary who has devoted his life to understanding and furthering the path of healthy social development in his country, often at risk to his own life, is being removed from consideration because he is supposedly not serious. In fact, he is too serious. PLEASE READ FURTHER AND THEN TAKE ACTION TO LET PHILIPPINE OFFICIALS KNOW THAT THE WORLD IS WATCHING!!” [Emphasis in the original.]
Many of the signatories reacted saying they were “shocked”, “appalled” and “horrorified” to the news that COMELEC had disqualified Perlas. For example, Francq Mariam, France, wrote:“I am shocked to hear about opposition to such an indispensable and urgent project as is Nicanor's! More people like him and the world would be a very different place to be living in with more respect for fellow human beings and for the environment!”
They affirmed the outstanding and “extraordinary” qualifications of Perlas as a presidential candidate, as “serious player in the world stage”, and even compared him with the early Barack Obama. Geseko Von Luepke of Germany wrote: “Nicanor Perlas - as Barack Obama - shows that the future leaders will not come from wealthy classes but from civil society. Let Nicanor run!”
Similarly, Wilfried Bohm of South Africa, appealed to COMELEC Chairman Jose Melo to restore Perlas in the list of candidates for the 2010 election and compared Perlas with Nelson Mandela, global icon of democracy and former President of South Africa. Bohm argued that he had heard Perlas speak in South Africa and had been following the work of Perlas ever since. To his “mind there can hardly be a more suitable candidate for the highest office in your land. We have been blessed by Nelson Mandela; the Philippines also deserves a leader of the highest moral standing and vision.”
Martin Silvan of New York even wished Perlas, because of his “high moral standards” and global reputation . . . “could run for President of the USA and be our leader”. Daniela Masaro, Canada, added: “Any country in the world would be fortunate to have Nicanor Perlas as president.” Esther Tamm of Germany echoed the sentiment of Masaro: “Mr. Perlas is a person of high character . . . . I am very impressed by looking at the accomplishments of this candidate! My country would be happy to have such a candidate.”
Signatories also pointed out to COMELEC that a Perlas presidency would have beneficial impacts in the world. Frances Tagg of the United Kingdom wrote: “I urge [the COMELEC] to reconsider your intention regarding . . . Perlas whose integrity and earnest political will promises to inspire the world well beyond the Philippines”.
Many others echoed this sentiment. An anonymous signatory from New York wrote: “I have met and listened to Nicanor. He is internationally recognized as someone highly qualified to meet the challenges of today's global issues. He speaks to the minds and hearts of many and spans the generation gaps. There are few who have this kind of leadership ability. Please approve the candidacy of Nicanor Perlas, for the Philippines, for the world. . . . “
In addition, his participation would enhance the reputation of the Philippines in the world. Christian Egge of Sweden elaborated: “I know Nicanor Perlas. Not only the Philippines - the world needs people like him. It will be an honor for the Philippines to have him running for presidency . . . . “.Michael Schreyer, Germany, warned what would happen to the country’s reputation if Perlas is disqualified. “The COMELEC decision is for people in democratic countries totally not understandable. COMELEC should change their decision as soon as possible otherwise I can not see Philippines as a democracy.”
They also urged COMELEC not to interfere with the people’s rights to choose their own candidate. Thomas Autenrieth of Germany encouraged COMELEC not to “de-democratize” the Philippines. “Let the people decide and don’t decide for them.”
Some used stronger words: Laura Langford Schnur of the US slammed the disqualification of Perlas by COMELEC as “a blatant announcement to the world of corruption in the existing traditional political establishment!”
“This is a very welcome and totally unexpected development. The reputation of Comelec is rapidly deteriorating once more, this time at the court of world opinion,” remarked Perlas. “They can reverse this and support the yearning of Filipinos and the world for new politics by restoring my rightful place among presidential candidates in the 2010 national elections. Then we can usher in a new country and help create a better world.”
Perlas encouraged Filipinos to read details of the thousands of supportive comments in the website of the global campaign at: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/let-nick-run.