MANILA, June 8, 2011â€”An official of the Catholic Bishopsâ€™ Conference of the Philippines has called for calm after the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao elections has been postponed.
Caloocan Bishop Deogracias IÃ±iguez was reacting to reports Wednesday that many voters are opposed to the election delay and that it could trigger political tension in the region.
The bishop told Manila archdiocese-run Radyo Veritas that there are other ways of raising sentiments and not through violence means.
â€œKung mayroon tayong mga saloobin na nais iparating, marami namang maayos na paraan upang ipaabot natin ito sa mga kinauukulan,â€ IÃ±iguez said.
He said those who are against the postponement of the ARMM polls may directly raise their objection to MalacaÃ±ang through a letter, consultations and other peaceful means.
â€œThey should stand up for their rights to speak and be heard by President Aquino,â€ IÃ±iguez said.
Some Mindanao-based bishops earlier warned of a possible escalation of political violence in the ARMM due to the election postponement.
Even the poll watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting expressed dismay over what it called disrespect of the â€œorganic lawâ€ creating ARMM.
â€œWhile postponement of the ARMM elections might be logistically better for our preparations, it still trivializes the autonomy in that region,â€ said Henrietta de Villa, PPCRV chairperson. (CBCPNews)