Comelec verifying reported presence of armed groups during BOL plebiscite
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is verifying the reported presence of armed groups during the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite Wenesday in Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato.
“There are some places where there are persistent rumors of armed men coming in to the territories supposedly, allegedly, MILF fighters,” Comelec spokesperson Jimenez said in a press briefing.
“We are trying or verifying these rumors,” he added.
Voters from Lanao del Norte and 39 barangays in six North Cotabato municipalities participated in the second round of plebiscite.
“The local government units are on alert and the [Armed Forces of the Philippines] and the [Philippine National Police] are checking the situation and we believe that they are taking steps to secure the ongoing voting,” Jimenez said.
During the first round of plebiscite held last Jan 21, there were also alleged cases of harassment carried out by armed groups. /gsg
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