Youth vote for Bangsamoro assured in Lanao Norte, North Cotabato, says group

A voter shows the indelible ink on his finger inside the Kauswagan Central Elementary School in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte during the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Law on Wednesday, February 6, 2019. The law proposes the inclusion of six Lanao del Norte towns to the autonomous region. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/06 February) – Seventy to 80 percent of the young voters in the February 6 Bangsamoro plebiscite will allow six Lanao del Norte towns and 67 North Cotabato barangays to be included in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), International Alert Philippines (IA) said.

Citing survey results released in December 2018 and January 2019, IA said 71% of the youth in Lanao del Norte are in favor of Bangsamoro and will vote for inclusion of the municipalities of Tangkal, Tagaloan, Munai, Pantar, Nunungan, and Baloi in the BARMM.

“Similarly, 83% of the youth in the municipalities of Pikit, Kabacan, Carmen, Midsayap, Pigkawagan, and Aleosan in North Cotabato, mother units of barangays seeking inclusion in the new political entity, will vote to be included,” it added.

But IA country manager Nikki de la Rosa pointed out that in contrast to the 57% youth voting population in the ARMM, only 45% of the voting population in Lanao del Norte and the six towns in North Cotabato are from the youth.

Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces fighters guard the entrance of Camp Raja Muda in Pikit, North Cotabato -the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s 3rd largest camp- on 6 February 2019, plebiscite day for the Bangsamoro Law. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

De la Rosa added Tulunan town was not included in the survey, as this was a follow-up to the study that the group conducted in 2018, before the Commission on Elections granted the petition of Barangay Galidan in the said municipality to be included in the plebiscite.

Officials of North Cotabato have declared support for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Law.

In Lanao del Norte, however, Governor Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo, husband 2nd District Rep. Abdullah Dimaporo and son 2nd District Rep. Khalid Dimaporo are opposing the inclusion of the six towns in the Bangsamoro region.

The “yes” vote won in the first round of the plebiscite last January 21 in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Cotabato City. Isabela City opted out of the measure.

Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi had said they will file a protest, citing “irregularities and threats.” (MindaNews)