By Ron Gagalac | ABS-CBN New
MANILA, Philippines - The Senate, on third and final reading, passed Senate Bill 2756, the counterpart of House Bill (HB) 4146, allowing the postponement of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) elections on August 8 and instead synchronizing it with the midterm national and local elections on 2013.
After six hours of debate, 13 voted in favor of the bill, while 7 senators voted against the measure.
The 13 senators who voted in favor of the postponement are:
Those 7 senators who voted opposing the bill are:
Senator Loren Legarda was on an official mission abroad, while Senators Manny Villar and Alan Peter Cayetano were not in the Senate building during the nominal voting.
The approved bill also includes a provision that President Benigno Aquino III will have the power to appoint an officer-in-charge (OIC) in the region since the terms of incumbent officials expire on August 8, 2011.
Unless contested and the Supreme Court issues a temporary restraining order (TRO), President Aquino may sign the bill into law on Wednesday.