MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) passed a resolution yesterday formally endorsing the holding of early elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), giving lawmakers the go-signal to pass bills seeking early polls in the region.
Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento explained that the pending bills in Congress could not be processed unless endorsed by the poll body.
Earlier this month, Makati Rep. Teodoro Locsin Jr. petitioned the Comelec to endorse the bills.
“(We came up with the) resolution on the request of Makati congressman Locsin, that the Comelec should endorse these bills for immediate congressional action,” he said.
The Comelec is proposing that elections in the ARMM be held not later than April 12 next year, a month earlier than the May 10 elections. The bills propose that elections be held in the ARMM at least a week ahead of the rest of the nation.
“The Commission hereby resolves to urge both houses of Congress to immediately pass the Early Voting Bills; provided that elections will be conducted not later than April 12, 2010 in the ARMM and only for one day,” the resolution said.