6 towns to remain in Lanao Norte after BOL plebiscite

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TUBOD, Lanao del Norte — The six contested towns in this province will remain under its jurisdiction after the “no” vote won the February 6 Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite.

During Thursday’s final canvassing, results showed that the six towns that vied for inclusion in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao voted “yes” but all other towns in the province voted against it.

The provincial office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said the province’s 22 towns have a total of 352,518 registered voters, but only 242,667 actually cast their ballots.

The results are as follows:

“Yes” to inclusion: 8,553
“No” to inclusion: 3,038
All other towns on Balo-i’s inclusion:
“Yes” to inclusion: 73,164
“No” to inclusion: 154,553

“Yes” to inclusion: 10,765
“No” to inclusion: 4
All other towns on Munai’s inclusion:
“Yes” to inclusion: 71,148
“No” to inclusion: 158,025

“Yes” to inclusion: 1,802
“No” to inclusion: 1,004
All other towns on Nunungan’s inclusion:
“Yes” to inclusion: 79,935
“No” to inclusion: 156,630

“Yes” to inclusion: 7,840
“No” to inclusion: 256
All other towns on Pantar’s inclusion:
“Yes” to inclusion: 73,992
“No” to inclusion: 150,705

“Yes” to inclusion: 2,760
“No” to inclusion: 1,373
All other towns in Tagoloan’s inclusion:
“Yes” to inclusion: 78,849
“No” to inclusion: 156,605

“Yes” to inclusion: 6,276
“No” to inclusion: 0
All other towns on Tangkal’s inclusion:
“Yes” to inclusion: 75,364
“No” to inclusion: 157,417

Comelec Provincial Election Supervisor Joseph Hamilton Cuevas said they will transmit the results to national headquarters for an official declaration.

“This is so far the safest and peaceful plebiscite that ever happened,” Cuevas said.

Cuevas has also confirmed that in the whole province the “no” votes have prevailed over the “yes” votes, which would mean Lanao del Norte will retain the six towns as part of its jurisdiction, namely, Balo-i, Pantar, Munai, Tangcal, Nunungan, and Tagoloan.

Lanao del Norte Governor Imelda Dimaporo said she hopes that the results would be respected.

Dimaporo reiterated that she and her husband, 2nd District Rep. Abdullah Dimaporo, and son Khalid Dimaporo, who is 1st District representative, supported the BOL but only opposed the inclusion of the six towns to the BARMM.

“I do pray that the new BARMM would be a success and they will have peace,” she said.

Maigo town Mayor Rafael Rizalda, who campaigned for the inclusion of the six towns into the BARMM, said he respects the plebiscite results even if his own constituents voted “no.”

In a statement it posted on social media on Thursday, Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. said the result of the plebiscite in both Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato was a “victory” as it has proven that “by working hand in hand, we can surmount all challenges in our collective quest to achieve enduring peace in Mindanao.”

With the culmination of the plebiscite, Galvez has urged the people of Mindanao “to pool our energies together to ensure the smooth and seamless transition from the current regional government to the future [BARMM], as we simultaneously address the root causes of armed conflict and other pressing issues confronting the region.” -PNA

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