By EDWIN FERNANDEZ and NOEL PUNZALAN
KIDAPAWAN CITY: Eight more villages in North Cotabato have been given the green light by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to participate in the Feb. 6 plebiscite for the ratification of Republic Act No. 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
Taher Solaiman, chairperson of North Cotabato Composite Team of Civil Society Organizations (NCCT-CSO), said the Comelec, in an en banc session, approved the petitions of Barangays Fort Pikit and Pamalian in Pikit town, Barangays Simone, Buluan and Tamped in Kabacan, North Cotabato and Tumbras in Midsayap to participate in the plebiscite.
Also approved in succeeding Comelec sessions were the petitions of Barangay Pedtad in Kabacan, and Barangay Galidan in Tulunan. Solaiman said the poll body, on the other hand, denied the petitions of Barangays Cabpangi in the municipality of Pigcawayan; Barangays Dalingaoen, Bulod, and Inug-ug in Pikit; Barangay Lanoon in Carmen, and Barangay Rangeban in Midsayap. More so, the petitions for BOL inclusion from two villages in Zamboanga City – Barangays Landang Gua and Busay – were thumbed down by the Comelec for lack of merit.
Earlier in December, the poll body approved the petitions for the inclusion of 20 villages in North Cotabato.
These are Libungan Torreta, Pangankalan, Datu Mantil, and Simsiman, all of Pigcawayan; Rajahmuda, Barungis, Gli-Gli, Nalapaan, Panicupan, Bualan, Nabundas, Nunguan, Manaulanan, and Bulol, all of Pikit; Pebpoluan, Kibayao, Kitulaan, Tupig, and Langogan, all of Carmen; and Pagangan in Aleosan.
With the latest Comelec decision, the number of villages that were allowed to participate in the political exercise on Feb. 6 rose to 28 out of 44 barangays in North Cotabato that desired to take part in the referendum.
Voters in the six municipalities of Lanao del Norte (except Iligan City) and the 39 villages in North Cotabato’s six towns plus the 28 barangays that petitioned for inclusion and were approved by the Comelec will cast their votes on February 6.
On Jan. 21, voters in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the cities of Cotabato, and Isabela in Basilan will decide whether or not they favor the BOL proposal. (PNA)