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PIA Press Release
2008/07/23

PGMA supports postponement of ARMM elections

Manila (23 July) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo gave yesterday her support to the postponement of the Aug. 11 elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said the decision was reached by various stakeholders in the ARMM after a consultative meeting with the President, who arrived here this morning for a two-day visit of the ARMM, specifically Shariff Kabunsuan province, and Cotabato City in Region 12.

Dureza said there is "not much time left" as the ARMM polls are scheduled on Aug. 11. He, however, said that "a bill will be filed by Rep. Pax Magundato of the First District of Sultan Kudarat Province with Sulu Rep. Yusoph Jikiri and Tawi-Tawi Rep. Nur Jaafar as co-authors."

Sen. Miguel Zubiri will file the counterpart bill in the Senate.

"That is why he (Zubiri) is here," Dureza said.

Dureza expressed hope Congress will immediately tackle the bill after July 28 when Congress sessions resume after the State-of-the-Nation Address.

"We will leave this entirely to Congress to make the determination," Dureza said.

Dureza said the postponement of the ARMM elections is necessary to "give the opportunity to peace efforts that are being undertaken by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that struck a breakthrough last week on the contentious issue of ancestral domain."

"This will be an urgent bill. It will take that kind of urgency since August 11 is coming around the corner so to speak," Dureza said.

Dureza added that "resetting will provide measures so that there will be no hiatus in governance." (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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