Maguindanao gives big ‘yes’ to Bangsamoro law

Early voters fill Simuay Junction Central Elementary School in Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on plebiscite day, 21 January 2019.

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/22 January) — Maguindanao province overwhelmingly voted “yes” to ratify the Bangsamoro Law, the Commission on Elections announced at around 5:45 pm Tuesday.

Based on the final and official results of the Maguindanao Provincial Plebiscite Board of Canvassers (PPBOC ), 608 846 voted in favor and 9,096 against the law.

Maguindanao is a known stronghold of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Sultan Kudarat town, which hosts the sprawling Camp Darapanan, the MILF’s main headquarters after the fall of Camp Abubakar Assidique during the 2000 all-out war of then President Joseph Estrada, was the last to submit the municipal election returns among Maguindanao’s 36 towns.

For Sultan Kudarat, 50,269 voted in favor of the law, said lawyer Ernie Palanan, chair of the Maguindanao Provincial Plebiscite Board of Canvassers (PPBOC).

None voted against the law in Sultan Kudarat town, he added.

Sultan Kudarat has registered voters of 51,452 in 164 precincts, Palanan said.

MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim cast a “yes” vote Monday at his precinct at the Simuay Junction Central Elementary School in Sultan Kudarat town.

Maguindanao has 650,244 registered voters, the vote-richest province in the ARMM, which also straddles the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi.

Only nine out of the province’s 36 towns have votes not favoring the law.

Twenty-seven towns all voted yes with zero no votes. (Bong S. Sarmiento/MindaNews)