Press Release
September 17, 2011

Sen. Marcos on TRO vs. ARMM polls: "Committee's report on
questions of constitutionality has been validated by Supreme Court"

With the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) by the Supreme Court effective 13 Sept. 2011, "enjoining and prohibiting the implementation of RA No. 10153? until further notice, it now behooves the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to immediately resume preparations for the elections to be held in ARMM at the soonest possible time.

The basis for the decision of the Supreme Court to halt implementation of RA 10153 is consistent with our committee's report on questions of constitutionality so it seems our point of view has been validated by no less than the highest court of the land. In layman's terms, it is a reaffirmation of a basic political right which is the right of suffrage. An abrogation of that right while replacing it with powers to appoint, to be vested in the President, is anathema to the very essence of "autonomy," as we've maintained.

Though a Temporary Restraining Order could be appealed by the respondents, I personally don't see any new argument that could be brought forward that has not been taken up during the Senate deliberations and I don't see that any of those arguments would change the direction of the minds of the eight justices that voted to issue the TRO.

The TRO further states that in case a final decision is not reached by end September which is when terms of incumbent elected officials end, the said officials are to continue with their present functions in a holdover capacity. The holdover capacity of incumbents which now seems inevitable, presents another bag of legal problems having to do with the constitutionality of officials in a holdover capacity. We'll cross that bridge in due time.

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