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President Noynoy Aquino is determined to postpone the ARMM elections and appoint officers-in-charge. This was strongly reiterated by the President in a recent interview. As Senator Bongbong Marcos continues with his public hearing on the postponement bill, many ARMM politicians have filed their candidacies for the positions of Regional Governor, Regional Vice Governor, and member of the Regional Legislative Assembly. Interestingly, the wife of the President’s uncle Peping Cojuangco, Margarita “Tingting” Conjuangco, filed her candidacy for the position of Regional Vice Governor.

Admittedly, she is a strong candidate for the post given her extensive political connections in ARMM areas. In Maguindanao, she is a close friend of the Mastura political clan. In Lanao del Sur, she counts many of the political families as friends and allies. In Sulu, she is considered a family member of the powerful Loong family – with brothers Congressman Tupay Loong and Sulu Vice Governor Benjamin Loong. In Tawi-Tawi, she has close ties with the Matba clan and former Speaker Pochong Abubakar.

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In case the postponement of elections pushes through, the focus will be on the appointments of officers in charge. Who will be chosen as the OIC Regional Governor? Many from Basilan, Sulu and Tawi Tawi are hoping that he or she will come from the islands considering that the last two regional governors were from mainland Mindanao. In the end, it is important to choose someone with the integrity and passion for real reforms.

In the meantime, various groups allied to those interested in running for the ARMM elections have filed cases with the Supreme Court questioning the legality of any law that will postpone the ARMM elections.

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The two main Palestinian political groups Hamas and Fatah have agreed to reconcile. While many view this as a positive development for peace, many Israeli political leaders see this as a setback. As the Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas pursues a Palestinian State through the United Nations General Assembly, American President Barack Obama opposes this tack while publicly declaring that Israel must accept the 1967 borders.

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In Iran, there is a public widening rift between President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenie. This is unprecedented in the history of this new Iranian political order. In the Iranian constitution, the Supreme Leader is supreme over all others. President Ahmadenijad is a gutsy fellow to buck the rule of the clerics.

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These are exciting times for the National Basketball Association. In the Eastern Conference Finals of the Playoffs, the Miami Heat is leading the series with two wins to one over the Chicago Bulls. With Filipino-American Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, it is expected that many Filipinos will be supporting the Miami Heat team of superstars Dwayne Wade and LeBron James.

For questions and comments, please email writer at ebaddiri@gmail.com

BY ATTY. EDIL BADDIRI




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