Electoral reforms urged in Muslim Mindanao

Posted on February 06, 2012

THE DEPARTMENT of Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to implement several electoral reforms in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

In a letter dated Jan. 26, DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo told Comelec Chairman Sixto S. Brillantes, Jr. that, "in line with the needed reforms [at ARMM], the DILG... [requests it] to initiate or cause the introduction of schemes necessary to achieve the reforms intended."

The reforms Mr. Robredo appealed for include:

• new registration of voters, in line with the administration’s desire and call for transparency and direction in the ARMM to reflect more truthful elections;

• a review of assignments of elections officers involved in past election malpractices to ensure honesty and integrity in future ARMM elections;

• provision for mechanism where cases in pursuit of the reforms should be filed to ensure facility in prosecuting cases in ARMM; and

• conduct of voters’ education, "as this would also address their basic rights, duties and obligations in every election, and letting them go of their old practices of selling votes and lending participation to corrupt practices that prevailed in the past during elections in the region," he said.

The region has 15 months to prepare for the synchronized midterm elections in May next year. -- Mariae Francesca C. Ramos