MANILA, Philippines - Some 500 members of the All Moro Alliance for Reforms(AMAR) held a rally in front of the Supreme Court (SC) to protest the high court's issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) last week on Republic Act(RA) No. 10153 effectively halting the synchronization of the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with the national elections beginning 2013.
The rally was timed with the filing of an urgent motion for the lifting of the TRO.
The group accused the high court of "politicking." They said synchronizing the regional polls with the national elections will lead to reforms in the ARMM and stamp out warlordism in the region.
"Malinaw sa mga patutsada nito ang Korte Suprema sa implementasyon ng RA 10153 at ayaw nitong mag-appoint ang Malacanang ng mga OIC(officers-in-charge) sa ARMM," AMAR said in a statement.
"Sa pagpapalabas ng TRO, gusto ng Korte Suprema na ipanatili ang luma at bulok na kaayusan. Mas gusto nito ay manatili at maghari sa ARMM ang dating kaayusan ng talamak na korapsyon, baluktot, baluktot na pamamahala, malawak na kahirapan, pananakot at karahasang dulot ng paghahari-harian ng mga warlord," the statement read.
Voting 8-4 last week, the high court prohibited the implementation of RA No. 10153, including the appointment of OICs by President Benigno Aquino III, pending a ruling on the merits of consolidated petitions assailing the law's constitutionality.
The high court directed incumbent ARMM officials to serve in holdover capacity "until their replacements are elected or qualified as decided by the high tribunal."
To dramatize their opposition to the TRO, the rallyists burned 8 huge posters depicting the magistrates who voted in favor of the TRO, namely: Chief Justice Renato Corona, and Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco, Arturo Brion, Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Roberto Abad, Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza, and Martin Villarama, Jr.
This caused heavy traffic in nearby Taft Avenue.
With the objective of banging the high court's gates, the rallyists forced their way through a barricade of Manila policemen.
The outnumbered cops exercised maximum tolerance until shortly before noon when the rallyists voluntarily dispersed.