Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Survey: Muslims say poll violence normal

COTABATO CITY -- MAJORITY OF THE COUNTRY’S MUSLIMS said violence is a normal occurrence in their provinces during elections, according to a recent Social Weather Stations survey commissioned by The Asia Foundation (TAF).

The survey was conducted in support of TAF’s research on “Mindanao Muslim Attitudes toward Elections and Democracy.”

It was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), according to Wifredo Magno Torres III, TAF project officer.

A total of 69 percent of Muslims in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and non-ARMM areas, who took part in the survey agreed that “violence is a way of life during elections.”

Aside from the ARMM provinces of Basilan, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Tawi-tawi, Sulu and Shariff Kabunsuan, the survey was also conducted in the provinces of North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat in Central Mindanao and the cities of Cotabato and Zamboanga.

The survey, conducted on Feb. 1-7, 2008, showed that two out of five Muslims (43 percent) in the ARMM and one out of three (33 percent) among Muslims residing outside the region are “worried about personal security during election time.”

Only 17 percent of ARMM’s respondents said they “feel more secure during election,” and 18 percent of Muslims outside the region agreed with this.

The survey sampling was randomly taken from 1,300 residents -- 100 from each of the six ARMM provinces and two provinces outside the region. It has net error margins of plus or minus three (± 3) percent in Basilan, Lanao Sur, Maguindanao, Shariff Kabunsuan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and ± 10 percent in Isabela, Basilan. The sampling error was also ± 10 percent in each of the provinces outside of the ARMM where the survey was taken.

The survey tool used four dialects in the questionnaire -- Cebuano, Maguindanaon, Maranao and Tausug.

In the ARMM, 76 percent of those surveyed agreed that voting during the May 2007 elections was “clean and orderly in our precinct,” while 75 percent of Muslims outside the region said the same.

Only 38 percent of ARMM respondents and 37 percent of those outside ARMM said that the 2007 elections were “not very free and fair,” while 60 percent of the region’s respondents said last year’s balloting was “mostly free and fair” and 59 percent of surveyed non-ARMM Muslim residents said the same.

Muslim respondents, 65 percent in ARMM and 62 percent in the other areas, said “it is good to have unopposed candidate in an election since it reduces campaign violence and insecurity.”
Only 35 and 38 percent of ARMM and non-ARMM respondents, respectively, said “it is important to have at least two candidates for every position so that everyone has a choice.” (Reported By Nash MaulanaMindanao)

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