Lanao Norte rejects inclusion of 6 towns in new Bangsamoro region

TUBOD, Lanao del Norte (MindaNews / 7 Feb) – The six municipalities here who wanted to join the new Bangsamoro region may have voted “yes” in Wednesday’s plebiscite, but province-wide, the “no” votes prevailed, and thus Nunungan, Baloi, Pantar, Munai, Tagoloan and Tangkal will not be joining the new region.

Residents in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte wait for their turn to vote. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

“The No votes have it. The voice of the people have spoken,” Joseph Hamilton Cuevas, provincial supervisor of the Commission on Elections.

Cuevas said all six towns voted for their inclusion to the new Bangsamoro region, but they needed the rest of the province’s nod for them to be part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Unfortunately for the six municipalities, their fellow residents in the rest of Lanao del Norte outvoted them by a wide margin.

According to the Comelec, this is how residents in the six towns and in the whole province voted:

Baloi: Yes: 8,553; No: 3,038
Rest of Lanao del Norte: Yes: 73,164; No: 154,553

Munai: Y: 10,765; N: 4
LDN: Y: 71,148; 158,025

Nunungan: Y: 1,802; N: 1,004
LDN: Y: 79,935; N: 156,630

Pantar: Y: 7,840; N: 256
LDN: Y: 73,992; N: 157,705

Tagoloan: Y: 2,760; N: 1,373
LDN: Y: 78,849; N: 156,605

Tangkal: Y: 6,276; N: 0
LDN: Y: 75,364; N: 157,417

Cuevas said three other towns – Poona Piagapo, Pantao Ragat and Salvador – voted “yes” for the inclusion of the six towns, but will have no bearing as the no votes prevailed overall. Pantao Ragat, he noted, even voted straight for yes. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)