Postponement of ARMM polls declared constitutional

Postponement of ARMM polls declared constitutional

Voting 8-7, the Supreme Court (SC) declared constitutional Republic Act 10153 that postponed the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The high court’s decision also allowed the synchronization of the ARMM polls with the 2013 national elections, and empowered President Benigno S. Aquino III to appoint officers-in-charge (OICs) until an election is held in the region.

Last September 13, the SC issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) that allowed incumbent elected ARMM officials whose term of office expired last September 30 to continue discharging their duties in a holdover capacity.

Several groups, led by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), have asked the SC to lift the TRO. Earlier, government lawyers had asked the SC to lift the TRO against the implementation of RA 10153. The Bangsamoro Solidarity Movement (BSM) and Minority Rights Forum Philippines (MRFP) have also asked the SC to lift the TRO.

The first petition challenging the constitutionality of RA 10153 was filed by House Minority Leader Rep. Edcel C. Lagman. Two more separate petitions were filed by election lawyer Romulo Macalintal and a group of Muslim leaders together with PDP-Laban president Aquilino Pimentel III.

Malacañang expressed its gratitude to the Supreme Court (SC) for its ruling upholding the postponement of the ARMM elections.

The petitioners in the consolidated cases have 15 days from receipt of a copy of the decision to file their motions for reconsideration.