Comelec: First day of BOL referendum ‘very successful’
MANILA, Philippines – Despite delays in some polling precincts in Cotabato City, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Spokesperson James Jimenez declared Monday’s plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) “very successful.”
“There was a probable effect from the fear that was generated by all of the news about bombs and threats being made to individuals, but I think on the whole, the election was very successful,” Jimenez said in an interview with ABS CBN News Channel.
The first day of BOL referendum was held in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao — which consists of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi — as well as in Cotabato City and Isabela City. Voting was closed 3 p.m. Monday.
Comelec said the three-hour delay in the opening of 24 precincts affected around 8,000 voters in Cotabato City. It said the delay was due to teachers’ refusal to open precincts because “men in green shirts” allegedly threatened them.
The second BOL plebiscite will be held on February 6 for residents of Lanao del Norte except Iligan City; as well as Aleosan, Carmen, Kabacan, Midsayap, Pikit, and Pigkayawan towns in North Cotabato.
Comelec earlier said it expects a 75 percent voter turnout in Monday’s BOL referendum, which canvassing would be held at Comelec headquarters in Intramuros, Manila on Tuesday.
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