‘Reformists’ to be installed in ARMM–Deles
COTABATO CITY, Philippines—Malacañang officials have allayed fears of local executives in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) that the officers in charge President Benigno Aquino III would appoint are truly reform-oriented and have the vision to uplift the socioeconomic condition of its people.
In Saturday’s meeting here with ARMM officials, led by Executive Secretary Naguib Sinarimbo, Peace Process Secretary Teresita Deles and Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman gave the assurance that Mr. Aquino would install proven technocrats rather than politicians.
Maguindanao mayors, spearheaded by Gov. Ismael Mangudadatu, have asked whether traditional political leaders or those who have served ARMM are among the probable presidential appointees after the short-lived term (2010-2011) of Acting Regional Gov. Ansaruddin Adiong ends on Sept. 30.
Deles and Soliman clarified circulating reports that erstwhile ARMM Gov. Nur Misuari would return to the post as a bargaining chip to a strong demand by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), an armed rebel group that he founded shortly after the declaration of Martial Law in 1972.
Deles said Misuari and other would-be contenders to the OIC-governors, vice governors and 24 members of the Regional Legislative Assembly may submit their names to the selection committee whose members come from both chambers of Congress and Malacañang.
Republic Act No. 10153 that would synchronize this year’s ARMM polls to the 2013 midterm elections awaits ruling from the Supreme Court.
The mayors’ query, according to Mangudadatu, was an offshoot of the June 22-23 Organization of the Islamic Conference-brokered talks held in Indonesia where the Philippine government and the MNLF agreed to develop “a workable partnership at appropriate levels” to pursue reforms in the region.
Deles explained that the government and the MNLF agreed on a partnership because of the opportunity for reforming the ARMM, but stressed that “partnerships have many levels and it is not only with the OIC Governor but also with the Regional Legislative Assembly members who will be appointed.”
“The OIC who will be chosen should have the capability to implement the roadmap for reforms, said Deles. Charlie C. Señase, Inquirer Mindanao