Palace assures public’s safety after 3 explosions rock Lanao del Norte
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang assured the safety of public on Wednesday as three explosions hit Lanao del Norte on the eve of a plebiscite that would decide on the inclusion of the province’s six towns in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
The first explosion happened in Barangay Maranding in Lala town while the other occurred at the back of the municipal hall in Kauswagan town past 4 p.m.
The third explosion happened in Sultan Naga Dimaporo.
“No amount of bombing or terroristic act will scare, intimidate nor threaten the voters from participating in today’s plebiscite,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“We assure the electorate in that part of Mindanao that the Armed Forces of the Philippines have provided safeguards for their safety and will be in full alert to thwart any attempt from any armed group or terrorists to derail the present democratic process,” Panelo added.
He said the explosions “stem from acts of cowardice on the part of those who resist change and want to perpetuate the climate of fear, hopelessness, and poverty among the Bangsamoro people and the Christian inhabitants in Mindanao.”
“The road to lasting peace in that region is not without obstacles strewn by those who foment disunity and who purvey the status quo. We shall not be waylaid by the twin forces of obstruction and destruction,” he said.
“Even as we find yesterday’s explosion as deplorable, we continue to have faith in our vibrant democracy and that the peace-loving residents of Lanao del Norte (except Iligan City) and the municipalities of Aleosan, Carmen, Kabacan, Midsayap, Pikit, Pigkawayan and Tulunan, all in the province of North Cotabato, will courageously exercise their right of suffrage in favor of the ratification of Republic Act No. 11054,” he added.
The first BOL plebiscite was held on January 21 for voters in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Isabela City in Basilan and Cotabato City. Those in Lanao del Norte, except Iligan City, and six North Cotabato municipalities will have their plebiscite on February 6. /muf