DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/01 August) – The Screening Committee for the selection of candidates for appointment by the President as officers-in-charge (OICs) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has until September 20 to submit its shortlist of nominees, according to the Executive Order creating it.
EO 51, signed by the President on July 28, also provides that the committee be composed of five members: the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Governments, the Secretary of National Defense, Political Adviser of the Office of the Political Adviser, one civil society representative to be appointed by the President, and one representative “to be nominated from among, and by the five governors and one city mayor of ARMM.”
ARMM has two cities: Marawi and Lamitan. The five member-provinces are Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur.
Under Section 4 of EO 51, the Screening Committee, within 30 days from convening but not later than 10 days before September 30, shall submit to the President, “after due consultations with the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, a shortlist of at least three nominees to every vacancy in the elective positions in the ARMM Regional Government.”
The three-year term of office of the 26 incumbent officials — governor, vice governor and 24 members of the Regional Legislative Assembly — ends at noon of September 30.
RA 10153, which moved the August 8, 2011 elections in the ARMM to synchronize it with the national mid-term polls on May 13, 2013, allowed the President to appoint OICs who shall serve the ARMM from noon of September 30 to June 30, 2013.
At least eight petitions have been filed before the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of RA 10153. The Supreme Court has set the consolidated petitions for oral arguments on August 9 at 2 p.m.
At least 24 other major posts in the ARMM – Cabinet members and heads of offices — are up for appointment under a caretaker ARMM administration. The Screening Committee, however, is tasked to screen candidates only for the elective posts. Under the ARMM law, the Governor appoints the Cabinet members, “subject to the confirmation by the Regional Assembly.”
Section 5 of EO 51 provides under “Qualifications of Applicant” that no person shall be recommended as OIC unless he/she possesses the qualifications required by RA 6734 and RA 9054, the ARMM charter. The same section provides that “ in the determination of the qualifications of the applicant, the Committee shall consider educational preparation, experience, performance, accomplishments, reputation for honesty, integrity, incorruptibility, irreproachable conduct, and fidelity to sound moral and ethical standards.”
The OIC Governor and OIC Vice Governor must be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter of the autonomous region, able to read and write, at least 35 years old, and a resident of the autonomous region for at least one year immediately preceding the appointment. (under RA 9054, “at least one year immediately preceding the election.”)
The OIC Assemblyman must be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, at least 21 years old, able to read and write, a registered voter of the district in which he or she shall represent and a resident there for a period of not less than five years immediately preceding the day of appointment (under RA 9054, “five years immediately preceding the day of the election.”
The OIC Cabinet members, in accordance with RA 9054, “must be registered voters and residents of the region for at least five years immediately preceding their appointments.”
Under RA 9054, the Governor “shall appoint the members of the cabinet subject to confirmation by the Regional Assembly.”
The three Deputy Regional Governors, also provided for under RA 9054, are to represent the “Christians, indigenous cultural communities, and the Muslims in the region.”
Together with the Governor and Vice Governor, they comprise the Executive Council which
“shall advise the Regional Governor on matters of governance of the autonomous region.”
The Screening Committee will be convened by the DILG Secretary immediately upon effectivity of the EO. The EO’s effectivity is “upon its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.”
The EO was published in a national newspaper today, August 1.
The Committee’s secretariat, according to the EO, will be the President’s Personnel Group Secretariat of the Presidential Management Staff.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process is not a member of the Screening Committee but, along with the DILG, “shall provide assistance to the Secretariat as may be required.” (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)