Philippine Daily Inquirer - Senate advises Comelec to prepare for ARMM polls

10 May 2011

By Philip Tubeza | Philippine Daily Inquirer

InquirerMANILA, Philippines—The Senate has informed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to prepare for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) elections in August as the Senate committee studying the matter prepares to recommend that the elections push through.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said they "informally notified" the Comelec to prepare for the elections in case of a Senate decision not to postpone the polls until 2013.

"We will try to tackle that if we have the time to tackle that. 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," Enrile said.

The Senate resumed its session on Monday, and would have 12 working days to tackle the pending legislation.

However, Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., chairman of the Senate committee on local government studying the issue, said they have been planning to come out with a report next week recommending that the elections push through.

He said many committee members were doubtful about the constitutionality of the Aquino administration plan to appoint a temporary administrator for the region.

But in recommending that the coming elections push through, Marcos said that the committee would suggest that the succeeding ARMM polls be synchronized with national elections.