Sunday, May 13, 2012

COMELEC heeds calls for ARMM re-registration

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Friday gave assurance that it would conduct general registrations in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Earlier, the COMELEC denied requests from the Executive and Legislative Departments to conduct a new voters' registration in the region citing time constraints in the bidding of additional voter registration machines (VRMs) that will be needed for the process and the lack of funds.

On Monday, Senator Franklin M. Drilon together with Senator Aquilino Pimentel III and 16 other senators filed a joint resolution nullifying the present book of voters of the ARMM in a bid to ensure clean and honest elections not only in the region but also throughout the country.

The poll body's concerns were assuaged when the Senate Committees on Electoral Reforms and People's Participation and Finance vowed to pass a Joint Resolution on the annulment of the ARMM Voters list and allowing direct contracting for the voter registration machines.  

The Resolution will also provide for the suspension of the continuing registration of voters in certain areas in the Visayas and in non-ARMM areas in order to augment manpower and equipment needed in the conduct of the registration in the region.

"We no longer see any obstacles.  So we will start preparing for a general registration in the ARMM," stated COMELEC Chairman Sixto S. Brillantes, Jr.

The COMELEC chief said the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms, chaired by Sen. Pimentel III, has assured them that the Resolution will be out by June, giving the poll body "ample time to prepare."

"The COMELEC is considering July 9-18, 2012 as the period for the ARMM general registration.  This is timed so that the general registration period would end two days before the start of Ramadan," Brillantes concluded.

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