Comelec: ‘Yes’ votes win first round of BOL referendum

By: - Reporter / @FMOrellanaINQ
/ 08:18 PM January 25, 2019

Photo by Faye Orellana/

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission Elections (Comelec) on Friday proclaimed victory for “yes” votes to ratify the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in the January 21 referendum.

In the final tally, Comelec, sitting as National Plebiscite Board of Canvassers (NPBOC), said 1,540,017 voted in favor of BOL while 198,750 voted against the decree that would establish the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).


“Now therefore, by virtue of the powers vested on me under the Constitution, the Omnibus Election Code Batas Pambansa Bilang 881, Republic Act 11054 and other election laws, the Commission on Elections, seating en banc as the National Plebiscite Board of Canvassers hereby proclaims Republic Act No. 11054, otherwise known as the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao as deemed ratified considering that majority of the votes cast in all the provinces and cities for the present ARMM voting as one geographical area is in favor of the approval of the organic law,” Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas announced.

The January 21 BOL referendum was held in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu Basilan, and Tawi-Tawi as well as in Isabela City in Basilan and Cotabato City.


The ARMM provinces, except Basilan, will thus be included in the BARMM, which will replace the ARMM.

Cotabato City will also be joining the BARMM.

Basilan province’s favorable vote for the inclusion to the BARMM was rendered irrelevant under the BOL’s proposal’s double majority rule, since its capital city, Isabela, voted against its inclusion.

Isabela City opposed its inclusion in the new region with 22,441 ’No’ votes against 19,032 ’Yes’ votes.

Cotabato City voted for inclusion in the BARMM with 36,682 ‘Yes’ votes the 24,994 dissenting votes.

“Proclaims that the city of Cotabato shall form part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao or the BARMM, considering that the votes cast in the city is in favor of the city’s inclusion,” Abas said.

Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi voters were asked the question: Payag ba kayo na pagtibayin ang Batas Republika Blg.11054 na kilala din bilang “Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao?”


Basilan province voters, meanwhile, answered two questions, namely: Payag ba kayo na pagtibayin ang Batas Republika Blg. 11054 na kilala din bilang “Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao?” and Payag ba kayo na isama ang lungsod Isabela, Basilan sa Rehiyong Awtonomo ng Bangsamoro?

The second question for the residents of Basilan province got 144,640 ‘yes’ votes.

Only 8,487 said that they don’t want the city and the province to be included in the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

The NPBOC has also directed the supervisory committee to prepare a resolution regarding the result of the plebiscite.

It would be submitted to the Office of the President, the Senate President, and the Speaker of the House, Abas said.

Another BOL plebiscite would be held on February 6, this time for residents of Lanao del Norte (except Iligan City) and six municipalities in North Cotabato. /kga, gsg

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