Press Release
July 15, 2012

Drilon to ARMM local officials: Don't meddle in the registration of voters

Senator Franklin M. Drilon today called on Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) local officials to stay away from registration centers and not to meddle in the Aquino administration's move to implement electoral reforms in the region.

Likewise, Drilon has expressed alarm over media reports that politicians in the ARMM are backsliding to their old pernicious practice of manipulating the registration of voters to keep them in power.

Citing from several news reports, Drilon said that no less than the Chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Chair of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPRCV) have witnessed minors registering and village officials conniving with local politicians to commit the fraud.

Drilon however commended the Comelec Chief for personally supervising the process.

Drilon, who was the principal author and sponsor of two important Laws which synchronizes the ARMM election with the national election and the annulment of all the voters registration in the ARMM and ordering a new general registration, said that the main rationale for the twin move of Congress was to eradicate fraud that has plagued the area for decades in support of the reform agenda of the present administration.

"If these attempts to frustrate the objective of the law are not contained then all the efforts of Congress will be for naught," he added.

He has called on the Comelec to instruct the different Board of Election Inspectors to scrutinize carefully the application of registrants and delete those who are minor of age and double registrants.

Likewise, he urged the Philippine National Police to closely monitor and supervise the registration process by preventing the ferrying of voters from one area to another or "hakot" system through the putting up of checkpoint in strategic areas or highways earlier identified by them.

Drilon also called on the officials of the ARMM to seek and engage the participation of civil society groups or non-government organizations to conduct voters' education seminars in an effort to make election in the ARMM credible and fraud-free.

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