SWS survey shows 51% oppose ARMM polls postponement

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/08 June) – Fifty one (51%) of respondents in the First Quarter 2011 Social Weather Survey  by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) on people’s opinion on the postponement of the ARMM elections were against postponement, 24%  in favor and 24% undecided.

The question asked during the survey was:  “Do you agree or disagree with this statement: ‘The coming elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao should not be postponed?’”

In Mindanao, 47% agreed, 25% disagreed while 28% were undecided. In the National Capital Region, 56% agreed, 25% disagreed,19% were undecided; in the rest of Luzon, 52% agreed, 21% disagreed and 27% were undecided. In the Visayas, 53% agreed, 29% disagreed while 18% disagreed.

The SWS announced the summary of the findings in a press release in a press release. It said the survey, done March 4 to 7, was “not commissioned but is done on SWS’s own initiative and released as a public service, with first printing rights assigned to BusinessWorld.”

BusinessWorld’s June 8 report cited Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda’s comment on the survey results. He said they have the support of the populace, that “the relevance is only for the ARMM population, because they are the only ones affected.”

“It’s a lack for information, I think. Right now, we have already spelled out the benefits of postponement for the ARMM elections, and we believe that since it already has been passed they will see the logic and the value behind why we need to postpone the developments,” the BusinessWorld quoted Lacierda as saying.

Malacanang in early February announced it wants the August 8, 2011 polls synchronized with the May 13, 2013 national mid-term polls. Lacierda told Malacanang reporters then that the resetting of the ARMM polls would be included in the 17 priority bills that President Benigno Simeon Aquino would ask Congress to pass.

“We need to synchronize (the elections) because as we know, ARMM has been a region where there is such a thing as command votes. It has been manipulated a number of times in the past elections, that is something that we need to address,” Lacierda said.

The publication of the results of the survey came two days after the Senate, by a vote of 13-7, passed SB 2756, the postponement-synchronization bill that also authorizes President Aquino to appoint OICs in the interim.

HB 4146 bans OICs from running in the ARMM elections in May 2013.  SB 2756 filed by Senator Franklin Drilon also carried that prohibition but as approved, the ban has been dropped.

The House on Tuesday adopted the Senate version shortly before it adjourned nearly midnight.

The President is expected to sign the bill into law this week. (MindaNews)