By Francis Wakefield
“A plebiscite we should all be proud of.”
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (PAPP) Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., made the remark following the successful conduct of the first round of plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law or BOL.
Galvez said last Monday, Filipinos saw how the historic democratic exercise works in the areas covered by the plebiscite.
“While there were some initial concerns, no major incident occurred to disrupt the casting of votes of our Moro and non-Moro brothers and sisters residing in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, and the two cities in Isabela and Cotabato. The casualty count at the end of the day stood at zero,” Galvez said.
“It was a successful plebiscite. We should all be proud,” he added.
At the same time, Galvez said it is also remarkable that for the first time, our brothers from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front headed by Chairman Ebrahim Murad Al Haj cast their vote — a noble act that signifies the MILF’s commitment to decommission and transform from a revolutionary group to a democratic political party.
“I congratulate the men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, and the Commission on Elections as well as the public-school teachers, and civil society groups for guarding the sanctity of ballot and for ensuring the safety of the voters,” Galvez said.
“Now that the people have spoken, we should respect the outcome of the plebiscite,” he added.
Galvez said now that the first day of plebiscite is done, it is now time for us to mend the broken relationships as a result of the division created during the campaign period.
“We campaign. We accept the result. And we move on. That is how democracy works. Ultimately, we all aspire for a peaceful Mindanao,” Galvez said. (Francis T. Wakefield)