Comelec: Non-Muslim can head ARMM as OIC
President Benigno Aquino III may appoint a non-Muslim as officer in charge of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), according to Commission on Elections Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr.
“There’s no religious requirement for being appointed ARMM governor. The ARMM Organic Act does not require that the one who appointed should be a Muslim, even though it’s supposed to be an autonomous region for Muslim Mindanao,” Brillantes told reporters.
Congress recently approved the postponement of the ARMM election scheduled on Aug. 8 and its synchronization with the May 2013 midterm polls. The bill, which the President has yet to sign, calls for the appointment of regional officers in charge subject to the qualifications laid down in Republic Act No. 6734 or the ARMM Organic Act.
Section 3, Article VIII of the act states: “No person may be elected governor of the Autonomous Region unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter of the autonomous region, able to read and write, at least 35 years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the autonomous region for at least five years immediately preceding the election.”
Aside from the governor, Mr. Aquino will also appoint a temporary vice governor and members of the ARMM legislative assembly. The OICs, under the postponement law, will not be allowed to run in the 2013 ARMM elections.
The terms of the incumbent elected ARMM officials expire at noon of Sept. 30 this year.
Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Ronald Llamas and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles have been tasked by Mr. Aquino with drafting the guidelines for the selection process.
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