by BABYLYN KANO-OMAR
BONGAO, Tawi-Tawi— Unofficial results of the 10-day registration in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) have shown a decrease in the number of of voters in the province.
As of July 19, a day after the 10-day general registrations, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting in Tawi-Tawi tallied 137,730 listed voters in the province. As of the May 2010 elections, the province had some 167,000 voters.
Two hours before the close of the last registration day, however, queues of registrants were seen trying to beat the deadline in Lakit Lakit, Mandulan, Tubig-Mampallam and Tubig Tanah, four of Bongao’s 35 barangays.
Save for the heavy rains and strong winds, the rest of the 10 municipalities of the province were quiet. Except for minor altercations such as form grabbing, fist fights and pushing and shoving among registrants in registration centers in the capital town, there were no major violent incidents recorded by the Philippine National Police, Commission on Elections (Comelec) and PPCRV during the registration period from July 9 to 18.
(Babylyn Kano-Omar is a journalist at DXGD-AM, a radio station run by the Catholic Church in Bongao, Tawi-tawi. She is also provincial coordinator of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting or PPCRV and is president of the Electoral Reform Advocates. ARMM WATCH is a project of VERA Files in partnership with MindaNews, The Asia Foundation and Australian Agency for International Development.)