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Supreme Court urged to reverse TRO vs ARMM OICs

/ 03:47 AM September 21, 2011

Groups supporting the suspension of elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to revoke its order stopping President Benigno Aquino III from appointing officers-in-charge (OICs) of the region.

In a very urgent motion, members of the Bangsamoro Solidarity Movement and Minority Rights Forum Philippines Inc. argued that the high court’s issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Republic Act No. 10153 violated Section 8, Article X of the 1987 Constitution which sets the term of office of local government officials to three years.

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They argued that the high tribunal had previously determined as unconstitutional the holdover term of elective officials in its July 30, 1991, ruling in the case of Osmeña vs the Commission on Elections.

“Consequently, therefore, there is constitutional basis to lift and set aside the TRO as already ruled by the court in Osmeña vs Comelec,” read a portion of the nine-page petition.

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RA 10153, which the President openly supported, synchronized the often fraud-marred ARMM elections scheduled last Aug. 8 with the 2013 midterm polls.

“The TRO, with all due respect, is deemed interference in the power of the President to appoint within its sphere of department,” the petitioners said.

“And for this Honorable Court to favor holdover is a denial of (the President’s) executive discretionary power of appointment,” the groups added.

Tension briefly engulfed the high court’s compound yesterday after some 150 members of the All Moro Alliance for Reforms (Amar) tried to forcibly enter its main gate along Padre Faura Street in Manila around noon.

Armed with metal shields, about 20 personnel of the Ermita police station stood their ground to block the protesters from going near the main gate.

But the policemen were overpowered by the protesters.

Some unruly protesters slipped through the police line and banged the tribunal’s steel gate.

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“We tried to have a dialogue with the leaders. But some of their members suddenly ran toward the Supreme Court,” said Superintendent Frumencio Bernal, chief of the Ermita police station. Marlon Ramos

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TAGS: ARMM polls, Government, Judiciary, Supreme Court
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