No TRO vs. ARMM polls deferment PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 July 2011 16:53

The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday maintains a “status quo” on the implementation of Republic Act 10153 that resets the Aug. 8, 2011 elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and synchronize it with the May 2013 mid-term elections.

The SC did not issue a temporary restraining order as it directed respondents to comment within a “non-extendible” period of 10 days from Tuesday. After which, the SC will decide, depending on the comments to be submitted by the respondents, whether it will call for oral arguments.

The petitions filed by House Minority Leader Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the PDP-Laban and Atty. Romulo Macalintal have all been consolidated, together with the earlier petition filed by Datu Michael Kida of the Maguindanao Federation of Autonomous Irrigators Association, Inc. and the case of Basari Mapupuno, a former dean of the Mindanao State University (MSU).

The petitioners, composed of Kida, Hadji Muhmina Usman of Tawi-Tawi; Atty. John Anthony Lim from Sulu and other barangay officials and residents in Basilan and Lanao Del Sur provinces, accused the legislators for playing “moro-moro” with the dates of the ARMM elections, citing several laws passed setting the elections on various dates.

They said that the ARMM Organic Act or Republic Act 9054 fixes the date of election to second Monday of September which should have been followed.
Republic Act 9333 that was supposed to have amended the ARMM Organic Act was not submitted to a plebiscite which was required by law.

They added that an ordinary statute, such as RA 9333, cannot amend an Organic Act because it is inferior to the former.

They also said that Aug. 8, 2011 ARMM elections should be stopped while their petition remains pending to also prevent the unnecessary disbursement of public funds, pointing out that, the SC should set the elections in September this year as stated under the ARMM Organic Act.