Plebiscite to create 8 towns in BARMM successful—Comelec

Plebiscite to create 8 towns in BARMM successful—Comelec

Plebiscite to create 8 towns in BARMM successful–Comelec

File photo of BARMM logo

COTABATO CITY, BARMM, Philippines — Voters in 63 former villages of Cotabato province that now make up the Special Geographic Area (SGA) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) ratified on Saturday the creation of eight new SGA towns in a quiet and peaceful electoral process that stood in sharp contrast with the bloody and violent village elections last year.

According to the Commission on Elections (Comelec), voters’ turnout in the plebiscite reached 81.10 percent, which means that of the 89,594 registered voters in the SGA area, 72,660 actually voted. Majority, or 72,358, voted in favor of the creation of the eight towns while only 273 voted “No.”


BARMM Parliament Member Mohammad Kelie Antao, who voted “Yes,” said the voting was the culmination of the people’s aspirations to be part of BARMM.


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“The event today is indeed historical as this represents the aspirations of our people,” Antao said.

The 63-village SGA was carved out of the Cotabato towns of Carmen, Kabacan, Pikit, Midsayap and Pigcawayan, whose constituents voted to be included in the BARMM in a plebiscite that coincided with the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law in 2019.

Based on the bill passed by the Bangsamoro Transition Authority Parliament on April 17 last year, a “Yes” vote would give way to the creation of eight new towns in the SGA to be named Pahamuddin, Kadayangan, Nabalawag, Old Kaabakan, Kapalawan, Malidegao, Tugunan and Ligawasan.

“It was a successful, peaceful and orderly conduct of plebiscite,” Cotabato provincial election supervisor lawyer Mayla Luna-Bayao told reporters.


Maureen Lacuesta, senior program manager of the Council for Climate and Conflict Action Asia, said on Sunday the “peaceful holding of the plebiscite beckons hope for new citizens of the BARMM.” —WITH A REPORT FROM DREMA QUITAYEN BRAVO

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TAGS: BARMM, BARMM plebiscite, Comelec

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