Towns to vote on inclusion of their barangays in Bangsamoro

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/30 July) – Barangays outside of the core territory of the Bangsamoro that are proposed for inclusion in the Bangsamoro in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will become part of the new political entity if the municipalities to which they now belong will vote in favor of the law creating such region, an official explained on Monday.

President Duterte on Thursday signed Republic Act 11054 or the Organic Law on the BARMM. It turned out, however, that he signed a copy of the law that doesn’t bear the signature of House Speaker Gloria M. Arroyo, a requirement under the rules of the Philippine Congress.

Abdullah Cusain, head of the Media Affairs Committee for the Bangsamoro Organic Law of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), said 39 of these barangays are in the towns of Pigcawayan, Midsayap, Aleosan, Pikit, Carmen and Kabacan in North Cotabato.

He explained that during the plebiscite the whole municipalities will join and if the “yes” vote wins, only these barangays will become part of the Bangsamoro.

He said the 39 barangays in North Cotabato voted for inclusion in the 2001 plebiscite on the expanded ARMM.

On Aug. 14, 2001, RA 9054 was passed for the expansion of the ARMM to include areas which initially rejected inclusion. But only Marawi City and Basilan with the exception of Isabela City opted for integration in the autonomous region.

In North Cotabato, the barangays proposed for inclusion are Dunguan, Lower Mingading and Tapodoc in Aleosan; Manarapan and Nasapian in Carmen; Nanga-an, Simbuhay, and Sanggadong in Kabacan; Damatulan, Kadigasan, Kadingilan, Kapinpilan, Kudarangan, Central Labas, Malingao, Mudseng, Nabalawag, Olandang, Sambulawan and Tugal in Midsayap;

Lower Baguer, Balacayon, Buricain, Datu Binasing, Kadingilan, Matilac, Patot and Lower Pangangkalan in Pigkawayan; and Bagoinged, Balatican, S. Balong, S. Balongis, Batulawan, Buliok, Gokotan, Kabasalan, Lagunde, Macabual and Macasendeg in Pikit.

The ARMM is deemed abolished upon the ratification of the Bangsamoro law in a plebiscite in January 2019. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)