Court restrains new ARMM Speaker
- John Unson () - May 17, 2003 - 12:00am
COTABATO CITY — A local judge has restrained a member of the 24-seat Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao from acting as Speaker following a dramatic leadership coup last Monday.

The RLA is composed of three elected regional assemblymen from each of the congressional districts in Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan and Marawi City.

Insiders said the RLA now has two Speakers – Maguindanao’s Ibrahim Ibay and Tawi-Tawi’s Ismael Abubakar Jr., who took over as Speaker in an unannounced session last Monday.

Ibay and Abubakar have since been separately functioning as Speaker, even presiding over sessions of their respective blocs.

Acting on a petition of Ibay’s bloc, Regional Trial Court Judge Ismael Bagundang ordered Abubakar the other day to desist from discharging the functions of Speaker until next week, pending further hearings on the leadership controversy.

In a press conference, Ibay, installed as Speaker last year by 15 of the RLA’s 24 members, described Abubakar’s takeover as illegal.

"What we are worried about is that it will (be) a very bad precedent, an example of circumvention of the RLA’s operating rules just to put an assemblyman to the top position," he said.

Ibay said Abubakar and his supporters held an unscheduled session and declared the positions of Speaker and Speaker Pro Tempore vacant without any prior consultation with the other assemblymen.

Former RLA Speaker Ombra Datumanong presided over the session.

Speaker Pro Tempore Tomi Ala, whom Abubakar’s group replaced with Assemblyman Suharto Midtimbang (second district, Maguindanao), said that under the RLA’s operating rules, an ordinary member of the assembly could only preside over a session in the absence of both the Speaker and the Speaker Pro Tempore.

Abubakar earlier said his installation as the new Speaker was in accordance with law and supported by a majority of the assemblymen.

Ibay said he is ready to relinquish his post as long as the leadership change is in accordance with the RLA’s rules.

ABUBAKAR ASSEMBLYMAN SUHARTO MIDTIMBANG AUTONOMOUS REGION BASILAN AND MARAWI CITY IBAY IBAY AND ABUBAKAR IBRAHIM IBAY AND TAWI-TAWI ISMAEL ABUBAKAR JR. MAGUINDANAO RLA SPEAKER
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with