Comelec splits Bangsamoro plebiscite

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NOT one but two days will be designated for the plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

In a statement, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the Bangsamoro plebiscite will now be held on January 21 and in February 6.

“The plebiscite for the ratification of BOL will be conducted on two separate days to allow time for the full resolution of petitions for voluntary inclusion in the plebiscite,” said Jimenez.

As decided by the commission, the plebiscite will push through as originally scheduled, which is on January 21 in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) as well as in Isabela City in Basilan, and Cotabato City, .

The plebiscite will be held on February 6 in the province of Lanao del Norte, except Iligan City; the municipalities of Aleosan, Carmen, Kabacan, Midsayap, Pikit, and Pigkawayan in the province of North Cotabato; and all other areas contiguous to any of the Bangsamoro core areas, where either the local government of such area by way of a resolution or at least 10 percent of the registered voters in a local government unit by way of a petition, asked for inclusion in the plebiscite.

“What happened is too many petitions for inclusion were filed. So it appears that we cannot meet the cut-off point, which is December 15 also,” he explained.

“It is unlikely that the resolutions of several petitions will make it on time,” added Jimenez.

To note, there are currently 99 pending Petitions for Inclusion in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)