August 10, 2012 News: As the filing of candidacy on various elected positions in the Philippines draws near, a senior member of the MILF has reminded its members and members of its “hands-off policy”, a policy which it consistently implements since 1977.
Muhammad Ameen, head of the MILF Secretariat, told Luwaran that it is not to the interest of the MILF and the Bangsamoro people that it participates in a highly divisive political exercise, wherein both the winner and loser are both losers in terms of ill-feeling, squandered resources.
“It is a key to corruption in government,” he said, explaining that the winner will find ways to get back what he had spent to get elected.
“Where does he or she get the payback, except in the coffer of government?” he asked and answered his own question.
Asked why the policy is not “boycott”, he answered, “that is tantamount to recognizing the exercise; it is a negative participation.”
The filing of candidacy for all elected positions from the municipal, province, and the 12 slots in the Senate will start in October this year. Those running for the regional governor, vice regional governor, and assembly will also file their certificate of candidacy.
Ameen also explained that this is reason why the MILF is pushing for a ministerial form of government, explaining that in this way a strong party system, anchored on good platform, shall be the basis of electing those running the government.
“There will be no switching of party loyalties and winning will be less based on popularity. This is more suited to the Moro tradition of collective and consultative leadership.”
As this developed, the five provincial governors in ARMM – Mamintal Adiong Jr. of Lanao del Sur, Esmael Mangudadatu of Maguindanao, Sakur Tan of Sulu, Sadikul Sahali of Tawi-Tawi and Jum Akbar of Basilan – have switched party affiliations and sworn-in as new members of the ruling Liberal Party, President Benigno Aquino III’s own party.
Two vice governors, 93 mayors, 53 board members, and 11 regional assemblymen also joined the record-setting mass shift of political party affiliation.
DOTC Secretary and LP president Mar Roxas, vice chairmen Senator Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and eight other top party leaders welcomed and administered the oath-taking ceremonies for the ARMM leaders at the LP headquarters in Cubao, Quezon City.