SC sets oral argument on ARMM
The Supreme Court on Tuesday announced that it has set an oral argument to hear the different petitions questioning the postponement of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) elections.
Speaking at a news briefing, Supreme Court administrator and spokesman Midas Marquez said the tribunal scheduled the court proceeding on Aug. 9, a day after the original date of the ARMM elections.
According to Marquez, the high court had ordered the consolidation of all eight pleadings concerning the ARMM polls.
Asked why the court set the oral argument rather belatedly, he said the court had to consider several issues raised by the petitioners.
He said some petitioners were claiming that the elections should be held on Aug. 8 as stated in Republic Act No. 9333 while others were insisting that the regional elections should be held on Sept. 12 pursuant to RA 9054.
“Of course the latest, RA 1153, says that the elections are now being synchronized with the national elections on the second Monday of May 2013,” Marquez said.
He said the high court would issue certain guidelines and issues which the petitioners should discuss during the oral arguments.
In his State of the Nation Address speech on Monday, President Aquino defended the law which deferred the ARMM polls.
“And why do we need to postpone the elections? Because, in their desire to return to or retain power, many are prepared to engage in corrupt practices just to win again,” the President said, adding:
“Imagine if we had listened to the critics, and allowed the election to proceed under these circumstances. We would have perpetuated the endless cycle of electoral fraud and official abuse that has led ARMM to become one of the poorest regions in the country.”
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