[Blueboard] Discussing Politics 7: Trust, Comelec and ARMM Part 2

asalvador at ateneo.edu asalvador at ateneo.edu
Tue Oct 4 20:42:07 PHT 2005

Pls post- thanks.

Dr. Edna Estifania A. Co, part-time lecturer of public policy and
management of the Department of Political Science, SOSS revisits
electoral administration in the Philippines. She calls for a
re-engineering of the COMELEC as a mechanism for re-structuring political
representation. According to her, elections constitute a vital political
currency of the government and if competently administered can be as
important as building social capital and trust of the populace.

This article which appeared in Business World came out in time with the
last August 8th 2005 ARMM elections.

Edna Co is the lead convenor and proponent of the Friedrich Ebert
Stiftung- funded project on Democracy Audit of Philippine elections and
political parties. A website of this entire project can be found in

                Restoring trust on people's institutions:
                       the COMELEC and the ARMM

                        Edna Estifania A. Co, PhD
                            Associate Professor
               National College of Public Administration and Governance
                        University of the Philippines, Diliman

PART 2: Re-inventing the ARMM through electoral awareness and education

At the same time, how about an expanded culture of elections,
democratizing it through widespread voter information and civic education
even including this into the school curriculum -- not necessarily as an
academic exercise, but as a co-curricular activity? Or consider, the
private person as a public citizen.

Certainly, there is much to think about the electoral management body. And
there are so many areas of reforms not only in the COMELEC but also within
ARMM. Our Moro brothers and sisters had repeatedly expressed the dilemma
of an ARMM that speaks more  for the national government than for its own
constituents, and the symbolism of authority and power that looks up to
the national leadership rather than cast its eyes on the Bangsamoro
population. Certainly, the challenge of my friend and his colleagues is
opportune not only because ARMM just held an election, but also because
ARMM may need a second look at leadership and governance and a set of
leaders who are substantially different from the trapos in Manila.

 The ARMM election came at an opportune time of change. Like the ARMM
election, the nation faces a leadership crisis that seeks a resolution by
a changing of the guards. Like the ARMM election, the nation requires not
only a change of leadership but also of institutions that would yield
credibility and bring back the trust of the people in our governance

Now that the ARMM elections are over, it remains to be seen whether some
of these hoped-for changes can actually start taking root.

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