Citzens’ poll monitors in ARMM accredited

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/25 April) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has granted the petition of the Citizens Coalition for ARMM Electoral Reforms (Citizens CARE) for accreditation as citizens’ arm during the synchronized automated national and local elections on May 10 in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The accreditation was granted en banc on April 21.

CCare was organized in 2005.

Under Special Proceeding Petition (SPP) Case Number 10-001, CCare will be the Comelec’s citizens’ arm in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi and cities of Marawi, Lamitan, Isabela, and Cotabato.

The Comelec  recognized the coalition’s active participation as its citizens’ arm during the August 2005 ARMM elections; May 14, 2007 national and local elections; October 29, 2007 Barangay and SK elections; and August 11, 2008 ARMM elections.

The Comelec said the coalition has sufficiently established that it has complied with the stringent requirements for accreditation as prescribed under Rule 33 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure.

CCare assured the Comelec it is not supporting any candidate, political party, organization or coalition of political parties in the areas where it operates.   It will also remain non-partisan and impartial from registration up to election period.

Norodin Manalao, project director of the Strengthening Electoral Process through Voters’ Education and Election Monitoring (SEEPVEEM) Phase 3 of the Citizens CARE, said the coalition is engaged in voters’ education and Election Day monitoring in pursuit of honest, clean, and fair elections in the ARMM.

It also has the capabilities to undertake coordinated operations and activities to assist the Commission.

Manalao said the coalition has more than 6,000 poll volunteers spread all over the region. (Malu Cadelina-Manar/MindaNews)