By Johanna Paola D. Poblete | Business World
THE PALACE-backed postponement of this year’s Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) elections -- ratified by Congress yesterday -- is opposed by a little over half of adult Filipinos, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) yesterday said in a new report.
Malacañang, however, noted that the poll was taken in March, before discussions on the deferment and synchronization with the 2012 mid-term national elections increased and led to the plan’s approval by both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The SWS poll, conducted from March 4-7, found 51% of the respondents rejecting the plan and only 24% supporting the Palace position. A total of 1,200 adults nationwide were asked ""Do you agree or disagree with this statement: ‘The coming elections in the ARMM should not be postponed?’."
Majorities against postponement were recorded in all geographic areas except Mindanao, and among all socioeconomic classes and sexes.
In Metro Manila, 56% said they were against deferment. The same sentiment was expressed by 53% in the Visayas and 52% in Balance Luzon, while a plurality of 47% was recorded in Mindanao.
Those in favor accounted for 29% in the Visayas, 25% in Metro Manila and Mindanao, and 21% in Balance Luzon.
Majorities of 57% among the class ABC, 53% in class E, and 51% in class D or the masa also opposed the postponement of the ARMM elections.
Only 28% in class ABC, 25% in class D, and 20% of the masa supported a postponement.
Opposition also outnumbered support in urban (52% versus 26%) and rural (50% versus 21%) areas, and among men (55% versus 25%) and women (48% versus 23%).
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that as far as the administration is concerned they had the support of the populace.
"The relevance is only for the ARMM population, because they are the only ones affected," he claimed. "It’s a lack of information, I think. Right now, we have already spelled out the benefits of postponement of the ARMM elections, and we believe that since it already has been passed they will see the logic and the value behind why we need to postpone the developments."
Benito O. Lim, political analyst at the Ateneo de Manila University, opined that: "With what they have done -- they are saying that there is so much corruption... so they will select people that can be trusted -- they have subverted the free election process."