MANILA, Philippines – President Aquino is insisting on the re-registration of voters in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to ensure clean elections in 2013.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes earlier said Aquino’s wish for a general re-registration of voters in ARMM might not be fulfilled due to lack of time.
But Aquino said it was a pressing issue that must be addressed even as he noted the pending case before the Supreme Court seeking the nullification of the Comelec’s P1.8-billion purchase of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines from 2010 automated election system provider Smartmatic-TIM that could also affect preparations for next year’s polls.
“We need that resolved as soon as possible,” Aquino said in a short interview with reporters at Malacañang yesterday after he witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Department of Science and Technology and IBM to build a research and development laboratory in the country.
Aquino said the executive branch had given the Comelec the data from the National Statistics Office and “we think that’s a very important concern.”
“Cleansing all of the roads is very important. We understand that there will be moves by both chambers of Congress to reiterate the need for re-registration as far as ARMM is concerned to have credible elections,” he said.
The President said he would come up with a more definitive statement soon.
– With John Unson - By Aurea Calica