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MNLF, MILF to help ensure orderly and clean BOL plebiscites – Muslim solons

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By Ben Rosario

With two of their fiercest combat adversaries actively joining hands with government forces to achieve peace in Mindanao, the forthcoming plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law will be the most orderly and peaceful election exercise the region will experience in decades.

Bai Sandra Sema (Photo by Rocky Nazareno | Manila Bulletin)

Bai Sandra Sema (Photo by Rocky Nazareno | Manila Bulletin)

Deputy Speaker Bai Sandra Sema (LP, Maguindanao), together with Reps. Amihilda Sangcopan (Anak Mindanao) and Mauyag Papandayan (NUP, Lanao del Sur) made this prediction as they aired the optimism of a landslide victory for supporters of the measure.

Sema told a press conference that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front have joined the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in helping guarantee orderly polls to be held on January 21 and February 6.

“Our Army and our PNP (Philippine National Police) are on top of the situation, and considering that the MNLF and the MILF are also part of those securing the areas, we have here a combined effort of the state forces and the MILF,” said Sema.

The administration lawmaker filed House Resolution No. 2404 urging Muslims, together with Christians, Lumads and other Faith “to pray for peace in the Bangsamoro Homeland” as the voters prepare to ratify Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

Sangcopan and Mauyag are confident budgetary issues have already been addressed.

Earlier, House Majority Leader and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. assailed the Departmetn of Budget and Management and the Commission on Elections for failing to allocate over P850 million to cover the election expenses.

Sangcopan said the Comelec has made assurances that there will be no financial constraints that will prevent the holding of a successful poll exercise. She said the poll body will be using its savings to finance the elections.

The plebiscite dates fall on January 21 to be conducted in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Isabela City and Cotabato City and on February 6 in Lanao del Norte, except Iligan City and North Cotabato municipalities of Aleosan, Carmen, Kabacan, Midsayap, Pigcawayan and Pikit.

Sangcopan said voters will decide on January 21 whether or not they approve of the implementation of RA 11054, explained Sangcopan.

ON February 6, voters living in territories not covered by the BOL will decide whether they want to be part of the Bangsamoro region.

According to Papandayan, Sulu is the only area where they expect opposition to BOL.

He said they anticipate a landslide victory notwithstanding the sparse objection in Sulu.

“We are not only positive, optimistic, we are also very happy that the BOL is being welcomed and embrace by our people on the ground,” Sema said.

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