ARMM election 2011 postponed, Senate approves bill with 13-7 votes

By on Jun 7, 2011 in Asia, Current Events, Local, Politics Comments

Manila, Philippines – The ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) election this coming August 8 has been postponed after the bill was approved at the Senate, with a 13-7 vote.

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As noted at local news sites on Monday, June 7, 2011, majority of the senators voted in favor of approving House Bill 4146, postponing the ARMM election 2011.

Instead, the said election in Mindanao will be synchronized with the mid-term national and local elections in 2013, as decided on the third and final reading of the bill.

Apparently, the second reading also had the same voting result among the senators and was also held that day, in which the debate took about six hours, with the bill having Senator Franklin Drilon as the principal author.

The 13 senators who voted for the postponement of the ARMM election were Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Senate President Pro Tempore “Jinggoy” Estrada, Majority Floor Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, and Senators Franklin Drilon, Teofisto Guingona III, Ralph Recto, Francis Pangilinan, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Panfilo Lacson, Gringo Honasan, Pia Cayetano, Lito Lapid and Antonio Trillanes IV.

On the other hand, the 7 senators who voted against the bill were Francis Escudero, Sergio Osmeña, Joker Arroyo, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Edgardo Angara, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Meanwhile, Senators Manny Villar and Alan Peter Cayetano were not present during the the nominal voting and Senator Loren Legarda is currently outside the country for an official mission.

During the plenary debate, Senator Drillon reportedly insisted that pushing the ARMM election this coming August is unconstitutional because it would desynchronize elections in the country.

“Following the 3-year term of local elective officials, the last term of office of ARMM elective officials should have ended at noon of June 30, 2010,” Drillon was quoted as saying.

Drillon added that Zaldy Ampatuan should not continue as ARMM governor and President Noynoy Aquino may appoint an officer-in-charge until 2013.

However, Senator Miguel Zubiri, who is from Mindanao, disagreed on the president’s power to appoint ARMM officials until the next election, as he believes that the appointed ones would have the edge when the election date arrives.

On a different scenario, Senator Joker Arroyo noted that Mindanao is a Muslim region and Christians would be a hindrance to their belief and tradition once they start running the area.

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