Comelec expects 75% voter turn out in ARMM for BOL plebiscite
MANILA, Philippines — The plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law is expected to draw at least 75 percent of voters, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Monday.
Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said in a press briefing that a total of 2,839,659 registered voters were recorded by the commission from 3,273 barangays in certain parts of Mindanao.
“We expect that there will be a high turn out,” Jimenez said in a press briefing.
“Historically speaking, elections in that region have enjoyed high turn out rates, so upwards of 75 percent,” he added.
The plebiscite in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and in the cities of Isabela and Cotabato is set for January 21.
Jimenez noted that only four areas will participate in the plebiscite under the ARMM — Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Tawi-tawi, and Sulu.
According to Jimenez, there will be one plebiscite question for the whole ARMM region, except Basilan.
The following question will be given to ARMM voters: Payag ba kayo na pagtibayin ang Batas Republika Blg.11054 na kilala din bilang “Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Are you willing to adopt the Republic Act No. 111054 also known as “Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao)?”
The province of Basilan, meanwhile, will have to answer two questions: 1) Payag ba kayo na pagtibayin ang Batas Republika Blg. 11054 na kilala din bilang “Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Are you willing to adopt the Republic Act No. 111054 also known as “Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao)?” and 2) Payag ba kayo na isama ang lungsod Isabela, Basilan sa Rehiyong Awtonomo ng Bangsamoro (Are you willing to include the city of Isabela, Basilan in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region)?”
Voters in the cities of Isabela and Cotabato, also under the ARMM region, will answer an additional plebiscite question that tackles their inclusion in the Bangsamoro region.
Jimenez said that questions are only answerable by Yes or No, or their equivalent in the local dialect.
“Under the law and the ruling has been made, that a ‘Check’ o ‘X’ will not be considered as a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’ vote. It will instead be considered as a sign of resistance, parang abstention,” Jimenez said.
“Ultimately, the only acceptable responses are ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, ‘Oo’ o ‘Hindi’, or any of the dialect equivalence of ‘Yes’ or ‘No’,” he added.
The canvassing of the results of the January 21 plebiscite will take place at the Comelec headquarters in Intramuros, Manila on January 22. /ee
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