Aquino aunt slams cancellation of ARMM polls anew
COTABATO CITY, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III’s aunt Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco lashed out anew at the cancellation of elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao that should have been held last month and decried that the region’s next set of officials were being chosen the way a mall would hire workers.
In a press statement, Cojuangco, who had been eyeing the ARMM vice gubernatorial post, said the appointment of officers-in-charge to run the regional government until the next national elections in 2013 “was a double jeopardy for the people of the region.”
“First, the regional election in August was canceled,” she said, calling the move “an insult to the intelligence of ARMM voters.”
“The government is acting as if those designated in the selection committee know better than ARMM’s 1.8 million voters about what to do with their political and social affairs,” she said.
Cojuanco also resented that the OICs were “being recruited in the same way mall personnel are being recruited.”
“That’s how I felt when I saw in the Philippine Daily Inquirer an article entitled ‘Application for ARMM posts now open,’” she said.
Cojuangco said the government has been “treating the ARMM so shabbily and undeservingly.”
She also said that the Aquino government should have waited for the decision of the Supreme Court on the issue of the postponement of the elections before it started recruiting OICs.
“Is the ongoing recruitment an indication that the Aquino administration already knows what the decision of the high court would be? Some officials in government are bragging that the high court will vote 9-6 in favor of cancellation. Why? Has the government bought the justices?” Conjuangco said.
She said the selection committee would never be objective in “selecting the most well-meaning, most competent, and the most dedicated individuals to govern ARMM.”
“If at all, the recruitment process will only allow the selection committee to know who among the applicants are hell-bent in getting the post and exact a compromise in exchange for some future favors in the next elections,” Cojuangco said.
She said she believed that nothing good would come out of the selection process.
“Maybe, some will even earn money in the process, knowing there are people willing to pay just to get the posts they desire,” Cojuangco said.
“I believe that President Aquino himself does not have any vested interest in the appointment of individuals to the various ARMM posts. But I certainly believe that those around him, those with known ambitions to become a senator and or president will do everything within their means to win in 2016,” she added.