341 applicants for ARMM OIC posts

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/04 September) — The Department of the Interior and Local Government has received 341 applications for the different officers-in-charge positions in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the DILG said in a news item posted on its website Thursday.

DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo said that of the 341 applicants, 51 are vying for the post of ARMM governor, 17 for vice-governor and 272 for membership in the Regional Legislative Assembly.

The deadline for the filing of applications was on August 26. A list released by the DILG on August 23 named 60 nominees and applicants to the OIC governor post. The names included some officials of the Moro National Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

But the MILF said it views the inclusion of the names of its top officials as “mischievous, if not maliciously calculated to sow discord. But it does not also discount the possibility that some well-meaning people have nominated these top MILF officials and members of the MILF panel in recognition of their integrity, sincerity to the Moro cause, competence and capability without taking into account their positions in the MILF and its political revolutionary advocacy”.

Robredo, who heads the national screening committee, said the government has started processing the applications.

He said there are 273 applicants for the 24-seat Regional Legislative Assembly, 40 from Basilan, 31 from Tawi-Tawi, 34 from Sulu 1st District, 35 from Sulu 2nd district, 51 from Lanao del Sur 1st district, 31 from Lanao del Sur 2nd district, and 51 from Maguindanao 1st district.

The secretary said among the prominent personalities who filed their applications for governor are ex-ARMM governor Zacarias Candao, acting ARMM governor Ansaruddin Adiong, Maguindanao governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, and former DILG deputy minister Saidamen Pangarungan,

Robredo said the committee will publish the names of the applicants and nominees and come up with a shortlist “after a thorough review and screening of their qualifications to be submitted to the Senate President and Speaker of the House, who will, in turn, submit their respective recommendations for the approval and signature of President Aquino”.

He said national and local forums will be held from September 13 to 15 where the applicants will be asked to present their legislative agenda for the ARMM.

Elections for the ARMM were supposed to be held last month. Congress, however, passed Republic Act 10153 synchronizing the ARMM elections with the May 2013 national and local elections, and providing for the appointment of officers-in-charge by the President. (MindaNews)