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Aquino signs into law ARMM poll postponement bill

June 30, 2011 11:35am

UPDATED 11:50 a.m. - President Benigno Simeon Aquino III on Thursday signed into law the bill postponing this year's Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) elections to be synchronized with the with the national and local elections in 2013.

The officials present during the signing were Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Senators Franklin Drilon and Teofisto Guingona III.

Under Republic Act 10153, the next ARMM elections for the regional governor, vice governor and members of the regional legislative assembly shall be held simultaneous with the midterm elections on the second Monday of May 2013.

Succeeding regular elections in the ARMM will be held on the same date every three years.

The President shall appoint officers in charge for the regional election officers of the ARMM from among the recommendations submitted by a screening committee in consultation with Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

In a press briefing after the signing, Aquino said he wanted the officer-in-charge (OIC) of the ARMM to have the same vision as his.

“Yung hindi magpapatuloy ng sistemang nakaugalian sa ARMM, talagang nakafocus mag-dedeliver ng basic services na due them," he said.

He added the appointed OIC will be having a roadmap with roadmap with “tangible doables" and time frame when he should accomplish the it.

“Yung essence nun yung magpapatupad ng pangarap natin na maranasan ng lahat ng taga-ARMM yung ibig sabihin ng good governance at walang balak tumakbo sa regional government," Aquino said.

Asked on the plan of Moro Islamic Liberation Front leader Eid Kabalu to become the OIC for ARMM, the President said he has yet to hear it from peace adviser Teresita Deles.

“I have yet to hear it from the peace adviser. We will have to study that matter also and there will be a process to select the leader, OIC for ARMM," he said.

The administrative order creating the screening committee is still being drafted.

The appointed OICs shall perform the functions pertaining to their respective offices until duly elected officials assume office.

The appointed members of the regional assembly shall conduct a study and review of RA 9054 or the Organic Act for ARMM and submit recommendation to the Congress within six months from their assumption into office.

Lagman's petition

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to nullify Republic Act No. 10153, the law that postpones this year's Autonomous Region in Mulsim Mindanao (ARMM) elections.

In a petition for certiorari and prohibition, Lagman asked the court to issue to temporary restraining order to prevent Malacanang from implementing RA 10153. Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa was impleaded as a direct respondent.

Lagman likewise asked the court to issue a decision "nullifying RA 101053 as unconstitutional and invalid."

Lagman also asked the Supreme Court to order the Commission on Elections to push through with the conduct of the August 8, 2011 ARMM elections.

However, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte reiterated that they are confident that they will be able to defend the constitutionality of RA 10153.

“As we have said in the past, we are confident that we can defend the law when it is called for by the Supreme Court," she said in an interview. - VVP, GMA News
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