PNP says plebiscite for ratification of BOL is “peaceful’’
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said they foreseen the plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) as “peaceful”.
“Based on the assessment of the PNP Regional Director for ARMM, Chief Superintendent Graciano Mijares, the BOL plebiscite is foreseen to be peaceful because majority of the electorate is in favor of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL),” PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde said in a press briefing at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
Albayalde said based on their monitoring no groups expressed strong or active opposition to the BOL except former Gov. Abdusakur Tan of Sulu province.
“However, we cannot discount the possibility that threat groups such as the Abu Sayyaf Group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter, Maute and local terrorist groups might create atrocities to disrupt the peaceful conduct of the plebiscite,” he added.
The PNP chief said they are investigating Sunday’s bombing incident in Cotabato City.
“Seemingly, we are looking into something personal on the (case) of Judge (Angelito Rasalan), something not related to the ongoing plebiscite,” Albayalde said.
He said if it’s is to sow fear in the people, it should be conducted in a public place not inside the residence of Rasalan.
At least one grenade was thrown at the house of Rasalan around 9pm while they are preparing to sleep.
Witness said they saw two unidentified male person in a motorcycle who threw the grenade. No casualties were reported by police.
On the morning of January 21, authorities found a hand grenade around 20 meters from the Rojas High School in Barangay Rosary Heights 1.
The police bomb squad immediately defused the grenade.
The PNP chief said the plebiscite for the ratification of the BOL went underway as scheduled with 1,157 voting centers in the ARMM provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi; and in 71 voting centers in Cotabato City and Isabela City in Basilan.
A total of 6,698 police personnel is deployed to provide security and police assistance to an estimated 2,165,316 registered voters who will troop to polling centers in 2,572 barangay until the close of polling hours in the afternoon.
Albayalde said another 3,209 police personnel will be fielded at the BOL plebiscite on February 6, 2019 in six municipalities of Lanao del Norte and 39 barangay in North Cotabato.
A military contingent of 10,441 troops from five Armed Forces of the Philippines Joint Task Forces stationed in Mindanao is also providing security to the plebiscite, with reserve forces from other AFP units.
“Nonetheless, PRO-ARMM has mobilized its Police Provincial Offices to implement target hardening measures and proactive police actions particularly in the areas of concern to ensure the safe conduct of the BOL plebiscite,” he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS