COTABATO CITY, Philippines - Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu is optimistic that the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) election will be postponed.
Mangudadatu said he strongly supports House Bill 4146, which synchronizes the ARMM polls with the 2013 elections.
"The dates for the filing of certificates of candidacy have been moved. It's one way or another, how to prolong the delay or postpone," he said.
If the ARMM election will push through, Mangudadatu revealed that he will definitely support his uncle, Congressman Pax Maguindanao of the province of Sultan Kudarat, who made his pronouncement earlier to run for the August 2011 ARMM polls.
"Yes, I will support him. Kaya lamang naman ako in support sa HB 4146 ay dahil yon ang tingin kong solusyon para mabago ang ARMM, but this does not speak for the entire clan. I believe that my uncle is capable to handle ARMM," he said.
Datu Michael Abas Kida, Aksyong Magsasaka Partido Tinig ng Masa president, said the proposed bill is already "dead on arrival" at the Senate.
In an interview, Kida said the Senate does not have enough time to discuss the issue.
"Wala itong say at kapos na kapos na sa time. Marami din ang tumututol dito so kampante kami na matutuloy ang eleksyon," he said.
On the other hand, Maguindanao 1st District Rep. Bai Sandra Sema, who is the author of the bill, rebutted Kida. He said Kida should not belittle the bill.
Sema said HB 4146 won the votes in the Lower House.
"Desisyon na lamang ng Senate ang hinihintay. This bill will reform the region," Sema said.
The Commission on Elections has scheduled for the third time the filing of COCs tomorrow, May 19, 2011. Another round of consultation is set in Marawi City tomorrow.
Among those expected to attend are Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Francis Escudero and Juan Miguel Zubiri.