General Voters, List-Up Prepared

MARAWI CITY - Stakeholders in Lanao del Sur spearheaded by Governor Mamintal "Bombit" A. Adiong Jr. are gearing up for the implementation of the national government-mandated general registration of voters in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) including this city and the province.

Representatives of organized local sectors have been coordinating closely with Gov. Adoing for the lining up of enabling activities this month in preparation for a smooth and orderly conduct of general voters list up in the province and this city, provincial information officer Nasser Ganda said.

Ganda cited, for instance, the impending convening here of the provincial peace and order council (PPOC) and the preparatory conferences for the provincial founding anniversary on July 4 where the fresh voters general registration has been included in all agenda of discussions.

"Governor Adiong is seeing to it that the conduct and result of the new voters' registration would reflect the true statistics in the province in order to emancipate the local populace and leaders from the shadow of any suspicion on electoral fraud," Ganda said.

The two chambers of Congress passed last month resolutions calling for the nullification of existing voters' lists in the ARMM areas and mandating the conduct of general registration therein in pursuit of the Aquino regime's reform agenda for the autonomous region.

Gov. Adiong has lauded the Congressional action, saying he had been previously advocating for the total cleansing of voters' list in ARMM areas including his province to "spare the Muslims" from stereotyped perceptions of electoral malpractices in the region. "For years, Muslim communities including mainly the ARMM have been tagged as the country's election cheating capital... This stereotyped accusation hurt all well-meaning leaders and people in the region. So, I campaign as early as two years for the conduct of general registration starting with my province."

The two-termer governor pointed out that "public service demands public trust" and the lingering suspicion on electoral frauds in Muslim areas "must be addressed squarely once and for all."

Adiong, scion of two political cum religious families, hailed President Benigno S. Aquino III for pushing hard the reform agenda in ARMM.

Meanwhile, journalists based in Mindanao expressed support to the petition before the Commission in Elections calling for the early voting by media professionals assigned to work in places where they are not registered as voters on election days.

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