Press Release
March 28, 2011

One Town, One Project distributes projects to Davao City

True to his commitment to distribute projects for every municipality all over the country, Senator Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri today turned over infrastructure projects for schools, public markets and multi-purpose buildings in Davao City and Davao del Norte through his One Town, One Project or OTOP.

Zubiri arrived in Davao City today (Monday, March 28) to lead the ceremonial turn over along with Representatives Anton Lagdameo (2nd District, Davao del Norte) and Mylene Albano (2nd District, Davao City), with local chief executives namely: Mayor Lolita Moral (Braulio E. Dujali), Mayor Marcelino Perandos (Carmen), Mayor Maximo Estela (Sto. Tomas) and Mayor Sara Duterte (Davao City). Governor Rodolfo Del Rosario on the other hand joined Zubiri during the ceremonial distribution at the Davao City Provincial Capitol attended by Mayors Joseph Parenas, Edgardo Timbol, Rosabella Abelita-Nana, Basilio Libayao and LMP President Mayor Nestor Alcoran. Aside from distributing projects amounting to about nine million pesos, Zubiri's visit is also part of the consultation process which the solon started since last week on the proposed plan to postpone the ARMM elections on August.

The Bukidnon solon stood on the Senate floor on March 21 and strongly criticized House Bill 4246 or the measure that seeks to postpone ARMM elections and Malacanang plan to appoint caretaker officials in the region instead, saying that such move is a "threat to democracy and viewed as an impending death of the people of Mindanao's right to suffrage."

"I stand here before you as a senator from Mindanao, discussing an issue of Mindanao. Last Thursday, I flew to Cotabato City and some areas in the former province of Shariff Kabunsuan to consult with our Muslim leaders there and for the record most of them were not politicians at all, I spoke to teachers, students, doctors, nurses, government employees or ARMM, soldiers and policemen and even Imams and leaders of their religious faith and they all have told me that they were very wary of the idea of postponing the elections of ARMM in different degrees of convictions, they were ,however, all unanimous in opposing the plan of appointing the leaders of the region and literally taking away the right to choose who should lead them," Zubiri said.

Zubiri also called on the COMELEC to push through with the preparations for the ARMM elections in August despite the perceived pressures from powerful parties in favor of postponing it. "Almost all the Muslim lawmakers oppose this move to postpone and appoint and consider this an undemocratic and unconstitutional. Aren't the Muslim lawmakers the representative of their people in the legislature then why are we not listening to them on this issue? It would be tantamount for example to forcing changes in the democratic process of Bicol without the support of our Bicolano congressmen and senators and only using the power of the majority to subvert their will. Wouldn't that be going overboard with a presidential prerogative and even bordering on the dictatorial?" Zubiri asked reading from a handwritten speech.

Zubiri further stressed that reforms should indeed be made in the Mindanao region or in the entire country but not at the expense of democracy and freedom.

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