Datu blasts Guingona over ARMM poll postponement

Posted at 05/12/11 10:29 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A datu from Maguindanao has lashed out at Senator Teofisto Guingona III for allegedly "working against the interest" of people in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Datu Michael Abas Kida of the town of Datu Odin Sinsuat said Guingona "failed to show that he is a true son of Mindanao" by telling President Benigno Aquino III during a meeting Tuesday that the Senate can still pass a bill resetting the ARMM elections to 2013.

"Senator TG is from Bukidnon yet he dared not tell the President that the overwhelming sentiment of Mindanaoans is for the ARMM election to proceed as scheduled this year. He is a big disappointment to us because he failed to champion the aspirations of Mindanaoans," Datu Kida said in a press statement.

"Senator TG Guingona is taking democracy away from the ARMM," he added.

He said the Supreme Court, in an en banc order last April 27, gave the proponents of ARMM poll postponement 10 days to reply to Kida's petition for injunction.

His petition, with a plea for a temporary restraining order, argued that the plan to synchronize this year's ARMM election with the 2013 national election will not be through amending the ARMM Organic Act, but Republic Act 9333.

He claimed since RA 9333 amended the ARMM Organic Act without the benefit of a plebiscite, RA 9333 and its proposed amendment under HB 4146 is unconstitutional.

The ARMM Organic Law is not a simple piece of legislation that can be amended without a plebiscite because the people of ARMM approved it through a referendum, Kida added.

"Mindanaoans, not any those from the autonomous Muslim region, want the ARMM election to push through because a fresh mandate for the leaders of ARMM will bring about economic progress and political stability in the region," he said.