MANILA, Philippines -- President Benigno Aquino III is asking Congress to postpone the elections in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) scheduled for August and set it in time with the mid-term elections in May 2013.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said on Monday that the postponement of the ARMM election and its synchronization with the 2013 mid-term polls was among the 17 urgent bills that the Palace would ask Congress to prioritize for approval in 2011.
Lacierda said under the proposed measure, the President would appoint officers-in-charge (OIC) for the positions to be vacated in ARMM and provide that these OICs would no longer run in the next election.
At a Palace briefing, he said that aside from the fact that synchronized elections would be cost-effective, the postponement of the ARMM polls would give the government enough time to ensure clean and orderly elections for the region.
"We want to prevent the abuses of the past. We want to make sure the ARMM elections will also be a place where one can vote and his vote can be counted,'' the presidential spokesperson said.
Lacierda said the Palace would present its 17 priority bills, including the measure on the postponement of the ARMM elections, in the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council meeting set for February 28.