CBCP urges Muslims to take active part in ARMM polls

MANILA, July 21, 2008—The Muslim brethren from Mindanao ought to take active part in monitoring the Aug. 11 elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), said the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, former vice-president of CBCP, said that the major stockholders of ARMM are Muslim brethren, besides others, in Mindanao who would cooperate with the government and NGOs in the forthcoming elections so that the electoral exercise would be free and fair.

Speaking at a press conference on the results of the July 7-8 National Rural Congress which he heads, the Jesuit prelate, said Bishop-Ulama Conference (BUC) is also keen to support and provide all necessary support for the peaceful holding of ARMM election next month.

Ledesma also urged the local and national governments to do everything that would really contribute for the peaceful holding of ARMM polls.

After the ARMM polls, government should work hard to resolve all outstanding issues that exist between the government troops and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives is not inclined to delay the Aug. 11 elections in the ARMM where more than a million registered voters are to take part.

RA 9054, the ARMM Charter, provides for regional elections every three years, where ARMM residents are to elect a regional governor, vice governor and three assemblymen for each of the region’s seven congressional districts.

The proposed ancestral domain comprises the MILF’s concept of a Muslim homeland, which it wants to run through a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity.

Ledesma also appealed to all Christians, Muslims and others to pray for the success of ARMM polls. (Santosh Digal)(CBCPNews)

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