Walkout mars ARMM election consultation PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 14 March 2011 15:57

Saying it was a useless dialogue, Basilan Vice Governor Al-Rasheed Sakkalahul walked out of the field consultation-public hearing on the ARMM poll postponement held by two committees of the House of Representives at the Don Pablo Lorenzo Memorial High School yesterday.

Sakkalahul said it was a useless dialogue because most of those who came to attend were from Zamboanga City which is not part of ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao).

“The consultations and dialogues regarding the postponement of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindnao election in August must be held in Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and other provinces of the region and not in Zamboanga City,” the vice governor stressed.

Sakkalahul said that Congress and Malacañang should go to ARMM so that people in the grassroots and voters can join directly in the dialogue.

Another reason why the vice governor walked out was because “not everybody has been given the chance to speak and express their thoughts on the issue.”

“Although the governors of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi are around but what about those in the grassroots level who really want to express their sentiments. Remember, they are the ones affected in the issue,” Sakalahul said

Sakkalahul is in favor of resetting the ARMM election “so that people must change  in ARMM and good governance must prevail.”

Meanwhile, Sulu Governor Sakur Tan told DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo that 17 mayors of his province are in favor of postponing ARMM election during their meeting at Garden Orchid Hotel.
Tawi-Tawi Governor Sadikul Sahali said the people in his province are not in favor of postponing the poll, while Basilan Governor Jum Akbar said her province his divided on the postponement issue.

Yesterday’s consultation was held by the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms and the House Committee on Muslim Affairs.

National officials present during the consultation were Secretary Robredo, Secretary Lualhati Antonino of the Mindanao Development Authority and Justice Secretary Leila De Lima.

The two House committees are conducting public consultations regarding House Bill (HB) 4146 which seeks  to synchronize the ARMM election with the 2013 national elections.

Turned out to what seemed to be a sensitive moment specially for ARMM folks as they stand       The consultations are intended to feel the pulse of the ARMM people if they are “for or against” the postponement

“Narito po kami para marinig ang boses ng bayan lalo na yung stakeholders, tao sa ARMM” said Sec. de Lima.

De Lima explained that HB 4146 seeks postponement of ARMM elections set on August 2011 and synchronized it with the 2013 national elections which she said is a constitutional move.

She explained that in the postponement of such election, the President will appoint a care-taker officials who will jump start political reform in the ARMM until such time a new set of political leaders are elected in the 2013 elections.

“Hayaan natin ang pangulo ang mag appoint ng care taker officials,” De Lima appealed.
She said that two years time is what the President is asking for, for political reform in the ARMM.
Robredo said the Aquino administration needs a lead time to reform ARMM for progress and development to follow.

“Kailangan po namin ng panahon para ma reporma ang ARMM. Malinis ang hangarin ng Presidente sa poseponement. Ang tanging pakay ng Presidente ay mapinalmenteng maisaayos ang ARMM government,”Robredo said

The public hearing gave the listening audience the opportunity to know and understand what HB 4146 is all about and to hear the sides not  only of ARMM political leaders who are  “for and against” it but the general public as a whole.

Earlier during the consultation,  Sec. Antonino who was one of the panelists made it clear in her speech that the President do not have the ill intention of dictating or forcing upon the public HB 4146.

“Gusto ho tulungan ng Presidente ang mga tao sa ARMM. He is sincere in bringing change and development in the ARMM region,” Antonino said.

Yesterday’s consultation was the third and final one. The first was in Cotabato City and second in Marawi City.

Fifty eight members of the House of Representatives authored HB 4146.
Also present during the consultation were: Congressmen Elpidio Barzaga Jr., Andres Salvacion Jr., Baisandra Sema, Ma. Angelica Amante-Matba, Arnulfo Go, Elpidio Bargaza, Rufus Rodriguez, Nur-Ana Sahidulla, Radem Sakaluran, Jim Hattaman, Acmad Tomawis, Isabelle Climaco-Salazar and Mayor Celso Lobregat  — Allen Abastillas with reports from Jimmy Villaflores and Jocelyn P.  Alvarez