DILG secretary: Postponing polls to ‘clean up’ ARMM

Local Governments Secretary Jesse Robredo on Monday said that if elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) were held on August 8 as scheduled, then it will not be credible and cannot guarantee reforms.

Robredo said during a press conference Monday in Malacañang that postponing the ARMM polls to 2013 will allow government to clean up the voters’ lists of “flying voters," get rid of command votes, dismantle the remaining 41 private armed groups, ensure peace and order, and reform and strengthen the bureaucracy.

“May saysay lang iyong mga halalan kung matahimik iyong lugar," he said.

“So we are saying, let’s improve the electoral process, let’s dismantle the private armed groups. Let’s bring about an environment wherein people can really choose," he said.

He said the elections in ARMM have already been postponed eight times before. “So why is this ninth time being questioned?" he asked.

P3-4 billion ‘squandered’

“I think it has been mentioned, that the ARMM government is really a failed experiment, in the sense that we have not delivered the outcomes," Robredo said.

He said four Commission on Audit (COA) reports showed that P3 billion to P4 billion were squandered by former ARMM officials. He said in the first COA report on expenses in 2008-2009, more than P1 billion could not be accounted for.

He said cases are already being readied against ARMM officials including former Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan. He said some of ARMM public officials who were responsible for the fund misuse still remain in office.

The secretary said that the 1Aquino government only needs 20 months to clean up the ARMM bureaucracy and bring governance and services in ARMM up to national standards.

He said the Philippine National Police (PNP), which is under his department, might set up a satellite regional office in Sulu province to ensure peace and security in the ARMM.

ARMM polls, peace process

“Elections are always divisive exercises. We want to focus first on fixing the problems. We want to postpone the elections not because we are worried that the administration bet will not win but because the reforms may not continue," Robredo said.

Presidential adviser on the peace process Teresita Deles said postponing the ARMM polls would also speed up the peace talks between government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“Election will add another layer of violence in the area…Elections usually cause polarization," she said.

“The people who are voters of ARMM will be the constituency affected by the peace process," she added.

Deles said the government peace panel is confident that the government can meet its target of forging a final peace pact with the MILF in 18 months. — MRT/VS, GMA News

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ‘Racist remark vs Pinays not reflective of HK sentiment’
    ‘Racist remark vs Pinays not reflective of HK sentiment’

    The Philippine consulate general in Hong Kong believes that the “racist” statement of legislator Regina Ip against Filipina domestic helpers in Hong Kong is not reflective of the general sentiments of the Hong Kong community. Hong Kong is home to more than 173,00 Filipinos working mostly as household service workers. “They have left their loved ones back home to earn a decent living taking care of Hong Kong families. This, in turn, has engendered positive impact on both the quality of life …

  • SWS: Gov’t rating sinks to record low
    SWS: Gov’t rating sinks to record low

    “The Aquino administration is firmly determined to carry on and complete priority programs in all five pillars of the Philippine development plan, to ensure that reforms will be sustained by strengthened public institutions, to tread the righteous path and ensure that good governance becomes the norm at all levels of government, and to sustain and make permanent the gains from the transformation of mindsets and institutions,” Coloma added. Lawmakers expressed belief yesterday that the Aquino …

  • ‘Pacmania’ sweeping the nation
    ‘Pacmania’ sweeping the nation

    Manny Pacquiao’s face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps, his life story is playing in movie houses, and millions are getting ready to party as the Philippine boxing hero’s “fight of the century” nears. Pacmania is sweeping the nation of 100 million people ahead of the May 2 Las Vegas bout against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. to decide who is the best boxer of their generation. …

  • House committee to put Bangsamoro police under PNP
    House committee to put Bangsamoro police under PNP

    The House ad hoc committee on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will put police forces in the envisioned new autonomous Muslim region under the Philippine National Police (PNP), and not under the regional chief minister. “We will delete the provision in the draft BBL giving the chief minister operational, administrative and disciplinary control over police forces in the region,” Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, committee chairman, said in a television interview. He said under …

  • Phl to seek more US military aid
    Phl to seek more US military aid

    The Philippines said yesterday it would soon ask the United States for more military equipment and training to build its defenses, as it faces Chinese “aggressiveness” in disputed waters. As hundreds of Filipino and American Marines simulated an amphibious assault to reclaim territory from invaders during annual war games, Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang said he was drafting a “wish list” for US aid. Catapang said the Philippines would ask for “equipment and training” when …

  • Senate bill seeks planting of trees in parks, schools
    Senate bill seeks planting of trees in parks, schools

    A bill in the Senate is seeking to require the planting of trees in parks, school grounds, vacant lots and other urban areas nationwide. Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara said Bill No. 2566, the Greening Act of 2015, supports and complements the government’s National Greening Program to plant 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares of land from 2011 to 2016. “The Philippines was once known for its vast and lush forests,”he said. The Philippines was also named one of the world’s 10 most threatened …

  • ‘No need to convene NSC over sea tension’
    ‘No need to convene NSC over sea tension’

    There is no need to convene the National Security Council at the moment, despite China’s continued provocative activities in the West Philippine Sea. “At this time, the President does not see any need really to convene the NSC,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte yesterday told a news briefing, carried live by state-run PTV-4 and radio station dzRB. …

  • Fisherman narrates Chinese harassment at sea
    Fisherman narrates Chinese harassment at sea

    Fishing is the only livelihood available for Efren Montehermoso Jr. But after a huge Chinese ship drove away his small fishing boat near the disputed Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea, he promised never to return to the area for fear of his life. Montehermoso of Barangay Cato in Infanta town was among the group of 80 Filipino fishermen driven away by Chinese coast guard on April 9. Montehermoso said they went to the disputed area not to fish but just to seek temporary …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options