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President Aquino marks 1st year on Thursday

/ 05:33 AM June 29, 2011

President Benigno Aquino III will mark his first year in office on Thursday by issuing a call for the people to rally behind his administration in its drive to reform the country.

On the morning of June 30, Mr. Aquino will sign into the law the measure postponing the elections set for August in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), whose passage by Congress the administration considers a major victory as it will pave the way for instituting much-needed reforms in the impoverished region.

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Later on Thursday, Mr. Aquino will launch the “Pilipinas Natin” campaign seeking to call on the people to “become active participants in nation building.”

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the passage of the ARMM postponement law was more than a political victory of the President in Congress.

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“More than a victory in the House and Senate, it will push victory in the reform effort of the President and this administration,” he said.

Under the new law, the ARMM elections will be synchronized with the May 2013 midterm polls.

Administration officials claim that the reset elections would ensure that the so-called “command votes” will not figure in the next ARMM voting as previously.

A Palace statement described the “Pilipinas Natin” campaign, to be launched at the Philippine Sports Arena (formerly Ultra), as aiming to “mobilize the people to become active participants in nation building.”

The event will gather at least 8,000 youth leaders and multisectoral volunteers and will have Mr. Aquino “issuing a call for renewed volunteerism and active particpation on the way to sustainable stability.”

“It’s a call to arms for the people to continue in the efforts for reform by this administration,” Lacierda said. Christine O. Avendaño and TJ Burgonio

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TAGS: ARMM elections, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Benigno Aquino III, Pilipinas Natin, postponement, President Aquino’s 1st year in office
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