Macalintal: Postponing ARMM polls sets bad precedent

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 14 2011 10:40 AM | Updated as of Sep 14 2011 10:27 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal on Wednesday maintained the postponement of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao elections is against the law.

Macalintal said appointing officer-in-charge in the ARMM, and postponing the ARMM elections clearly require amendments to the ARMM's Organic Act, which further states a plebiscite is needed to go on with any change in the law.

He also questioned the alleged grounds for postponing the election, saying there is no assurance that violence or abuse of power in ARMM will no longer exist come 2013.

"Ano ang assurance ng ating pamahalaan na sa 2013 yung alleged grounds for postponing election will no longer exist sa 2013? Halimbawa sa 2013, meron pa ring problema ang opisyal sa ARMM, ibig sabihin ba nyan, ipo-postpone na naman ang eleksyon ng ARMM pag existing pa ang prob na yan?" he asked.

Macalintal said postponing any election sets a bad precedent, which could spill over into the midterm election.

"If there is trouble in the country, we could postpone the 2013 polls and appoint an OIC senator, OIC congressmen and so on," he said.

OnTuesday, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order, blocking the synchronization of the ARMM and the 2013 polls.