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.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Comelec: Suspension of ARMM polls not our call

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Friday that suspending the scheduled Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) elections rests on legislators and not the poll body.

"Mahirap tugunan ang panawagan ng pag-postpone ng elections sa ARMM dahil nakabase ito sa batas… unless siguro may legislative intervention. Otherwise, wala tayo magagawa e (It is hard to adhere to the call to suspend the ARMM polls since it (elections) is based on law. Unless there is legislative intervention, the scheduled polls will push through)," said Comelec spokesman James Jimenez.

Jimenez said that at present, the Comelec is almost finished with its preparation for the coming August 11 polls.

Still, he stressed that should there be a legislative measure that would call for the postponement of the ARMM polls, the Comelec would have no choice but to suspend the automated polls.

Earlier in the day, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) called on the government to postpone the ARMM elections scheduled this August 11, claiming that pushing through with the balloting would affect the ongoing peace negotiations.

Mohagher Iqbal, chief negotiator for the MILF, said that pushing through with the election would "create the impression that the government is not really serious in the present talks and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is not really determined to wind up the talks during her term of office."

He said it will also postpone the start of the transition to the future Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) once the government and the MILF sign the Comprehensive Compact, saying elected local officials of the ARMM will have to finish first their term of office in 2011.

"Other local officials in the provinces, municipalities or cities purported to be included in the area of the BJE will finish their terms of office in 2010. President Arroyo's term would end in June 2010," Iqbal said in a statement. - (GMANews.TV)

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