Duterte happy with BOL plebiscite result
President Rodrigo Duterte expressed relief on Wednesday the "Yes" votes ratifying the Bangsamoro Organic Law apparently won in the plebiscite in some areas in Mindanao.
In a speech in Pasay City, Duterte said Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año informed him of the plebiscite turnout in the Automomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Cotabato City, and Isabela City.
"It's good that General Año told me that everything went well and I think the 'yes' vote for BOL won," he said
Duterte personally asked people in ARMM and Cotabato City to vote for the ratification of Republic Act No. 11054, otherwise known as the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao when he went to Cotabato City prior to the plebiscite on January 21.
"I'm very happy we are a step nearer to a peaceful Mindanao," Duterte said in an ambush interview after the event.
After the BOL, Duterte said the government would again refocus on the western side of Mindanao, involving the group of Nur Misuari, founder of the Moro National Liberation Front, which forged a peace deal with the Ramos administration.
He noted that Sulu where Misuari came from voted "No" in the plebiscite.
"So that is something I have to take into account, otherwise they will say that I'm ignoring their feeling," he said.
Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan II has petitioned the Supreme Court to declare the BOL as unconstitutional.
While "no" votes won in Sulu, its inclusion in the BARMM would depend on the overall votes in ARMM.
In Cotabato City, "yes" votes won based on an unofficial tally, while in Isabela City, people rejected to be part of BARMM.
Similar political exercise will be held in Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato on February 6. Celerina Monte/DMS