Press Release
January 23, 2019

Koko commends Comelec, PNP on successful conduct of BOL plebiscite

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III today commended the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the successful and peaceful conduct of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite held last January 21 in Muslim Mindanao.

"Despite some untoward incidents and delays in the opening of polling precincts in Cotabato City, we can consider the BOL polls a huge success," said Pimentel, co-author of Republic Act No. 1105, otherwise known as the "Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao."

The Comelec hoped to finish canvassing the ballots initially cast in the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi as well as Cotabato City and Isabela City amid a survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) that nearly eight in 10 Muslims wanted to support the measure.

The BOL seeks to create an autonomous Bansamoro region that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The second BOL plebisicite will be conducted on Feb. 6 in Lanao del Norte except Iligan City and in the towns of Aleosan, Carmen, Kabacan, Midsayap, Pikit and Pigkawayan in North Cotabato.

"The plebiscite is one of the legal challenges that we need to hurdle since the enactment of the Bangsamoro Organic Law. With its successful conduct, we have reached another milestone on the road to peace in the country," said Pimentel, president of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban).

Pimentel expressed confidence that the second BOL plebiscite would even be more successful and peaceful based on the outcome of the first plebiscite and results of the SWS survey reflecting the Muslim's desire to end violence and establish lasting peace in Mindanao.

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