Press Release
August 11, 2008

"Only leadership committed to reforms can put an end to poverty and social unrest."

Senate Majority Leader and election reform advocate Kiko Pangilinan today called for genuine political leadership in light of the on-going elections in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

"This should serve as a reminder to all that the rebellion in the South would've been rendered irrelevant had good governance and effective leadership prevailed in the ARMM since its inception in 1990. There is a direct relationship between the quality of governance and the quality of life and sadly both have been wanting in ARMM in particular," Kiko said.

Polling in the 1,901 voting centres in the ARMM Region started this morning. COMELEC Chair Jose Armando Melo says that aside from Sunday night's clash in Basilan where one person was killed, "everything seems to be ok there. He added that the automated elections will entice voters to participate.

"The challenge to the new generation of public sector leadership both in the ARMM and the rest of the nation is to aggressively push for genuine reforms. Only when there is genuine political leadership do we see an end to poverty and social unrest. We need leadership that is not afraid to make painful decisions for the good of the majority; leadership that is willing to put itself last and the rest of the nation first," Kiko ended.

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