13 Midsayap villages opt for inclusion to BARMM

MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato (MindaNews / 8 Feb) – Thirteen villages in this town voted for inclusion in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) during Wednesday’s plebiscite, final but unofficial results showed on Friday.

A voter places his ballot inside the ballot box at the Sambulawan Elementary School in Midsayap, North Cotabato during the plebiscite on Wednesday (6 February 2019). MindaNews photo by BONG S. SARMIENTO

Reynaldo Tubelonia, municipal elections officer, said the canvassing of plebiscite returns was completed early Friday morning.

Based on the results of the municipal Plebiscite Board of Canvassers, Midsayap gave its consent for the 13 villages to join BARMM.

These are Damatulan, Kadigasan, Kadingilan, Kapinpilan, Kadurangan, Central Labas, Malingao, Mudseng, Nabalawag, Olandang, Sambulawan, Tugal and Tumbras.

Twelve of them, except Tumbras which only joined the voting on February 6, had voted for inclusion in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) during the 2001 plebiscite.

Duma Mascud, chair of the Mindanao Alliance for Peace, thanked the voters in Midsayap for the results allowing 13 villages to join the BARMM.

“We are very glad with the results of the plebiscite in Midsayap. We are planning to hold a caravan to show our gratitude to everyone that supported the BOL,” he said.

Midsayap would be left with 44 villages with the inclusion of the 13 villages to the BARMM.

Results of the canvassing of the municipal plebiscite results were slated to be flown to Manila on Friday for submission to the National Plebiscite Board of Canvassers, which shall officially declare the results.

The BARMM will replace the 28-year-old ARMM.

On January 21, majority of ARMM voters ratified Republic Act 11054 or the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, popularly called the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

Cotabato City voted for inclusion in the BARMM.

The creation of the BARMM is main component of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the final peace agreement signed by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2014 after four decades of conflict that killed over 120,000 persons, including civilians. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)