ARMM registered a suspicious spike in 2015 voter registrations. Now, who benefits from this anomaly?
Rappler reported Wednesday a 27% increase in ARMM’s voting population or over five times the national average, despite 2012 general voters’ list cleanup.
From 1,468,584 registered voters in the 2013 elections, ARMM now has 1,863,230 registered voters for 2016, an increase of 394,626 voters or 26.87% .
Historical Red Flags
Analyzing the information that Rappler provided, along with freely available data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Thinking Pinoy found several facts that do no sound right:
- These skewed numbers suggest that ARMM’s population is rapidly maturing. That is, despite the low population, more people are reaching legal voting age. However, statistics show that ARMM posts one of the highest birth rates in the country, suggesting the contrary.
- Historically, ARMM posts suspiciously large spikes in total voting population every election season. In 2007 and in 2010, the ARMM posted twice the national average population growth rate, according to a 2010 report from the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism or PCIJ.
This 2015 spike also happened in 2010, as shown in the PCIJ report below:
Who benefits from this ARMM population anomaly?
ARMM Regional Gov. Mujiv Hataman is a known ally of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), headed by presidential candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas II. Regional vice-governor Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman is also from LP [Philstar].
Aside from ARMM’s top leaders, almost all of the more than 100 mayors in the ARMM provinces, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, are LP members [Philstar].
ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman and local officials in Maguindanao flash the Liberal Party sign after a political conference in Davao City Friday. Philstar.com/John Unson
Moreover, the Liberal Party has the highest number of members from ARMM-based political dynasties. There are 47 known ARMM politicians from political dynasties, 26 of which are LP allies. [Rappler].
The ARMM contains the following provinces:
- Lanao del Sur
Maguindanao’s current governor is Ismael Mangudadatu, a former LAKAS-Kampi member who moved to the Liberal Party in 2011. Meanwhile, the province’s mayors and vice mayors also reaffirmed their loyalty to the Liberal Party in December 2015 [Philstar
Lanao del Sur
Lanao del Sur is also a bulwark for the Liberal Party, where incumbent governor Mamintal Alonto-Adiong belongs [Manila Times].
In January, the Lanao Sultanate proclaimed Roxas datu, a title Roxas hopes would help him secure the vital Mindanao vote in this strife-torn region and despite condemnation from Maranaw leaders [Inquirer]
In January, Gov. Adiong allegedly forced school officials to attend Mar Roxas’ event [Philstar].
Just last week, tension gripped a Lanao del Sur town hall after suspended Balabagan Mayor Edna Ogka-Benito (Liberal Party) was reinstated despite pending corruption charges [Manila Times].
Basilan Governor Jum Jainudin Akbar is also from the Liberal Party. Most, if not all, of Basilan’s mayors are also allied with LP.
Incumbent Mayor Rose and husband Roderick Furigay show their certificates of candidacy for mayor and vice mayor of Lamitan City, respectively. dxNO Radyo Komunidad / Richard Falcatan
LP allies Abdusakur Tan and Abdusakur Tan II are the vice-governor and the governor of Sulu, respectively. Both are seeking reelection. The mayors, along with the two incumbent congressmen, are also from LP. [MindaNews]
(L to R): Vice Governor Abdusakur M. Tan,, his son Abdusakur Tan II, the governor of Sulu; his wife Hja. Nurunisah A. Tan; former Rep. Munir Arbison, Rep.. Habib Tupay Loong, Rep. Maryam Arbison. Photo from the FB account of the Province of Sulu.
Tawi-tawi governor Nurbert Sahali and vice-governor Tati Ahaja are also LP allies. The congressman from its lone district, Ruby Sahali-Tan, is also an LP ally. Nurber and Ruby belong to the Sahali political dynasty whose patriarch is former governor Sadikul Sahali [Malacanang].
President Benigno S. Aquino III shares a light moment with DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson and Former Tawi-Tawi Governor Sadikul Sahali.
So who benefits from this anomalous spike in ARMM voter registration?
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