Lanao del Norte explosions acts of cowardice, Palace says
Malacanang condemned on Wednesday explosions in Lanao del Norte, saying they were "acts of cowardice" of those who were opposing the Bangsamoro Organic Law.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo expressed optimism that residents in Lanao del Norte as well as in North Cotabato would participate in the plebiscite for the BOL held on Wednesday.
"The explosions on the eve of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite stem from acts of cowardice on the part of those who resist change and want to perpetuate the climate of fear, hopelessness and poverty among the Bangsamoro people and the Christian inhabitants in Mindanao," he said.
Panelo acknowledged that the road to lasting peace in some areas in Mindanao is not easy.
"The road to lasting peace in that region is not without obstacles strewn by those who foment disunity and who purvey the status quo. We shall not be waylaid by the twin forces of obstruction and destruction," he said.
Panelo, also chief presidential legal counsel, believed residents of Lanao del Norte, as well as North Cotabato, would exercise their right of suffrage in favor of the ratification of Republic Act No. 11054, otherwise known as the Organic Law for Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
"No amount of bombing or terroristic act will scare, intimidate nor threaten the voters from participating in today's plebiscite. We assure the electorate in that part of Mindanao that the Armed Forces of the Philippines has provided safeguards for their safety and will be in full alert to thwart any attempt from any armed group or terrorist to derail the present democratic process," he said.
Three explosions rocked Lanao del Norte on Tuesday, the eve of the BOL plebiscite. No one was hurt in the incidents.
Six municipalities in Lanao del Norte wanted to be included in the BARMM. These include Tagoloan, Balo-i, Pantar, Munai, Nunungan, and Tangcal. In North Cotabato, a total of 67 villages were proposed for inclusion to BARMM.
The leadership of Lanao del Norte has been opposing the inclusion of its six municipalities to BARMM.
Lanao del Norte Governor Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo had said that the six towns are essential in maintaining peace and order in the province and would affect not only the security but as well as their steady economic growth if separated from the province.
North Cotabato Governor Emmylou “Lala” Tali?o-Mendoza, on the other hand, had urged the residents to base their decisions regarding the BOL on waht is best for the next generations. Celerina Monte/DMS