GMA Online - Senate panel not inclined to OK postponement of ARMM polls

9 May 2011

By Kimberly Jane Tan/KBK | GMA News

GMA_onlineThe Senate committee on local government is not likely to recommend the postponement of the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) scheduled this August, its chairman Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said Monday.

"As a matter of fact, I can probably say that the committee report will not recommend postponement," Marcos told reporters in an interview.

The postponement of the ARMM elections is among the priority bills of President Benigno Aquino III, who wants it to be synchronized with the May 2013 national elections.

Marcos, however, noted that his committee will still explore the option of synchronizing ARMM elections with national elections.

"If that was the original intent of the postponement then perhaps that is something that needs to be discussed further, but it will require further legislation for us to be able to do that," he said.

Marcos said they can use the findings from the House of Representatives to complete their committee report, which he said may be presented to the plenary by the end of next week.

"Either way we will find as much as possible a way to finish it as quickly as possible dahil urgent nga (because it's urgent)," he said.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, for his part, said they will "try to tackle" in length the postponement proposal if they still have time.

"We have notified informally the Commission on Elections to be prepared just in case we cannot really enact the law, although that has been certified by the President as an urgent bill," he told reporters in an interview on Monday.

The 10-day voter registration for the August 2011 ARMM polls ended last March 31. -