Malacañang declares Jan. 21 special non-working day in ARMM, Isabela, Cotabato City

Marje Pelayo   •   January 17, 2019   •   1739

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte through Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea declared January 21, a Monday, a special non-working day in the areas of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and in the cities of Isabela and Cotabato

Proclamation No. 646 issued on Thursday (January 17) aims at giving the people of ARMM, Isabela and Cotabato cities “the opportunity to actively and fully participate in the plebiscite and exercise their right to vote” for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed on Monday (January 14) that the President will join the rally on January 18 in Cotabato City to show his support to the proposed BOL and convince the concerned communities to vote. – Marje Pelayo

Palawan thumbs down bid to divide province into three – Comelec

Robie de Guzman   •   March 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Palawan will remain as one province, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Tuesday.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the Provincial Plebiscite Board of Canvassers (BOC) proclaimed at past 5 p.m. that the “no” vote won in the plebiscite held over the weekend to ask residents if they agree to ratify Republic Act 11259 that proposed the division of the province into three.

“The BOC just proclaimed the rejection of the proposed division of the Province of Palawan,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez said the BOC canvassed a total of 122,223 ‘yes’ votes and 172,304 ‘no’ votes with only one municipality unaccounted for.

The poll body said 22 out of 23 municipalities have been canvassed with a voter turnout of 60 percent.

“With a 60% voter turnout, the people of Palawan have spoken loud and clear. The COMELEC thanks all its partners in conducting the massively successful #PalawanPleb,” Jimenez said.

The plebiscite was held as required under Republic Act 11259 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019 for the proposed creation of the provinces of Palawan del Norte, Palawan del Sur, and Palawan Oriental.

AFP, PNP strengthen forces for BOL plebiscite

Marje Pelayo   •   February 6, 2019

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) beefed up its troops on the second day of plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

The second round of plebiscite on Wednesday (February 6) will cover the province of Lanao del Norte except Iligan City and in 67 barangays in North Cotabato.

Westmincom Commander Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega directed all ground commanders to remain on guard to maintain peace and order on the duration of the referendum.

Meanwhile, AFP Spokesperson Gerry Besana said the military is making sure to avoid a repeat of the violence that happened on the first day of plebiscite on January 21.

“Napag-usapan doon ang deployment ng tropa (and) how we can address ang katulad ng situation kung saka-sakali man para ang nangyari noong January 21 (maiwasan at) mas maganda (ito) ngayong February 6,” Besana said.

The Police Regional Office in Region 10 (PRO-10) deployed a total of 2,000 cops to augment the military.

Meanwhile, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) urged the residents of the concerned municipalities to go and vote despite the blasts in three towns on Monday (February 4) as they were intended to scare the people.

Authorities assured to protect the security of the voting public in areas where the plebiscite is taking place.

The Comelec is expecting some 300,000 voters in Lanao del Norte who will decide if they want the six municipalities in the province to join the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

These are the municipalities of Baloi, Pantar, Tagoloan, Munai, Tangkal, and Nunungan. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Dante Amento)

Comelec prepares submission of ratified BOL to Duterte, Senate, HOR

Marje Pelayo   •   January 28, 2019

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has ratified R.A. 11054 or the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region on Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in places considered as core areas of the plebiscite.

 “By virtue of the powers vested in it under the Constitution, the omnibus Election Code, Batas Pambansa 881, RA 11054 and other Election Laws, The Commission on Elections sitting En Banc as the National Board of Canvassers hereby proclaims RA 11054 otherwise known as The Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao as deemed ratified,” read Comelec Commissioner Sheriff Abas.

The core areas include Cotabato City and four other provinces Lanao Del Sure, Marawi City, Basilan, Lamitan City and Tawi-Tawi where the highest number of “yes” votes was recorded.

Majority of votes favoring the BARMM was in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with 1, 540, 017 votes as compared to 198, 750 “no” votes.

Isabela City, meanwhile, preferred not to join the autonomy with only 19,032 “yes” votes as compared with 22, 441 ‘no’ votes despite the overwhelming number of “yes” votes in the entire province of Basilan with 144,460 and only 8,847 “no” votes.

Following the ratification, the Comelec en banc, acting as the National Plebiscite Board of Canvassers (NPBC), will submit the copy of the resolution on the ratified BOL to President Rodrigo Duterte, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Ang next step natin gagawa ng report para i-submit sa Presidente, sa Senado at sa House of Representatives. Hinihintay naman natin iyong susunod na canvassing natin para naman sa inclusion doon sa mga lugar na gustong sumali doon sa Bangsamoro Autonomous Region,” explained Comelec Spokesperson Director James Jiminez.

The second conduct of plebiscite will be on February 6 in the areas of Lanao del Norte except Iligan City, and the municipalities of Aleosan, Carmen, Kabacan, Midsayap, Pikit and Pigkayawan in North Cotabato.

Meanwhile, the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) and the group “One Bangsa”, an advocate of the BARMM, expressed gratitude for the outpouring support to the BOL.

We have a new government and another journey towards peace po ang tatahakin natin kaya lahat ng mamamayan ng Bangsamoro, makatutubo man, Moro man, Ma- Kristiyano man sama- sama po tayong isulong ang Kapayapaan hindi lang sa panahon natin kungdi sa susunod na henerasyon,” said Commissioner Susana Salvador-Anatayin of the BTC.

Ito po ay hinintay namin halos limang dekada so ito na po ang pagtutuldok ng maatagal na kaguluhan diyan sa MIndanao kung saan alam naman po natin na ang gulo sa Mindanao ay kumitil sa buhay ng more than 100 katao at talagang ginastos ito ng bilyong- bilyong pesos ng ating Pamahalaan,” Alan Balangi, president of One Bangsa concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)


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