Saturday, April 17, 2010

Muslim senatorial bet wants ARMM abolished

MANILA, Philippines - Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) should be abolished because Mindanao is becoming a milking cow of many government officials, a Muslim senatorial bet Ibrahim Albani said on Friday.

Ibrahim said there are many officials, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, who use the region’s riches without its people benefiting from it.

“In ARMM, there is no full execution of law and Muslim people turn out to have the lesser power in their own place,” said Ibrahim.

Also, Ibrahim agreed with Sen. Aquilino Pimentel’s suggestions regarding early elections in the ARMM. Pimentel said that ARMM elections should be held at least 10 days before the national elections on May 10.

“Elections in some provinces in the ARMM have always been marred by violence that frustrates the people from emerging their will on the ballot,” said Pimentel. “And that is reason enough for the Commission on Elections to advance the election earlier than the national election.”

It is also a way for military men, nongovernmental organizations and other sectors from the government to be focused on giving the people there the security they need, said Pimentel.

Pimentel also cited some historical incidents that made the area violence-prone including the "Maguindanao massacre" that killed 57 people on November 23 last year, 2009 at the beginning of the electoral period. (Madelaine Miraflor)

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