Global Filipinos Australia president Lolita Farmer OAM issued today a statement deploring the postponement of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) election.
Ms Farmer, also chair of Manila-based Worldwide Filipino Alliance, said that the decision to postpone the ARMM election is the end of popular democracy and the beginning of “directed democracy”.
“Without the ratification by the ARMM constituents of the postponement of the election, popular democracy came to an end and directed democracy begins.
“Let the right of the local people to self rule be respected now by not postponing the election. Sovereignty resides in the people through suffrage.”
The ARMM election is mandated to take place on the second Monday of August every three years with this year’s election scheduled on August 8.
More than 1.5 million registered ARMM voters from 1,903 polling centres are to elect their officials for the posts of Regional Governor and Regional Vice-Governor and members of the ARMM Regional Legislative Assembly.
ARMM is made up of the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Maguindanao, and Lanao del Sur, and the City of Marawi.
The bill postponing the ARMM election has now been passed by both the House of Representatives and Senate. It is scheduled for signing by President Benigno S. Aquino III on June 30.
Mr Aquino has publicly declared his stand on pushing for the postponement of the ARMM election.
Malacanang has also made clear its plan of installing officers in charge to fill up vacant positions, with the next election in the region being synchronised with the national polls in 2013.
Mr Ansaruddin A. Adiong is currently ARMM’s Acting Regional Governor. He was previously Vice Governor, and was sworn in to his current position in December 2009 to replace Zaldy Ampatuan, who was taken into military custody for his alleged involvement in the November 2009 massacre of 57 civilians in Maguindanao.