President Benigno Aquino III is set to certify as urgent the resolution calling on the Commission on Elections to nullify the current voters’ list of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and conduct a new general registration.
“The President is... prepared to certify the measure as urgent so as to ensure its speedy enactment by Congress,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said at a press statement Thursday.
“We fully concur with Senators Franklin Drilon, Aquilino Pimentel III, and 16 other senators who, through Joint Resolution No. 17, called for the Comelec to immediately conduct a new general registration of voters in the ARMM,” he added.
In Joint Resolution 17, the senators proposed that the registration of voters in Visayas and in non-ARMM areas of Mindanao will be suspended until Aug. 31, 2012 to allow the Comelec to deploy sufficient personnel and equipment for the voter registration in the ARMM.
“A new registration of voters is necessary in order to achieve the much-needed reforms that the Aquino administration has planned for the country’s poorest region,” Drilon said.
Lacierda said the President has consistently and forcefully called for a new page to be turned in the history of the ARMM.
“The bedrock of good governance is a clear and convincing mandate that can only happen if the credibility of elections is ensured; and that can only come if the people of the ARMM themselves are convinced that it will truly be one person, one vote,” he added.
The National Statistics Office earlier bared a 1.08-million discrepancy in the population of the ARMM based on its 2007 report and their revalidated 2010 figures.
In 2007, the ARMM registered a population of 4.1 million. A revalidation in 2010, however, reduced the figures to 3.2 million.
The NSO also noted a substantial increase in the population of ARMM—from 2.8 million in 2000 to 4.1 million in 2007. — Amita Legaspi/RSJ