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63 barangays in North Cotabato agree to be part of BARMM

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By Keith Bacongco and Junar Fenequito 

MIDSAYAP, Cotabato Province– Sixty three of the 67 barangays from seven towns of this province have voted for their inclusion in the incoming Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) following a plebiscite last February 6.

Muslim residents check their names at a voting precinct during a plebiscite at Rajamuda Elementary School in Pikit, Cotabato Province. (Keith Bacongco / MANILA BULLETIN)

Muslim residents check their names at a voting precinct during a plebiscite at Rajamuda Elementary School in Pikit, Cotabato Province. (Keith Bacongco / MANILA BULLETIN)

Commission on Election (Comelec) provincial officer Atty. Jay Gerada told The Manila Bulletin that amid the low turnout, the “yes” votes have prevailed in the 63 barangays from the towns of Carmen, Kabacan, Midsayap, Pigkawayan and Pikit.

In its breakdown, seven barangays each from the towns of Carmen and Kabacan, 13 in Midsayap, 12 in Pigcawayan and 22 in Pikit elected to join the new Moro entity.

Only two of four barangays in Aleosan, which petitioned to be included in BARMM, have earned the double majority votes.

Tulunan town rejected the inclusion of Galidan village.

An overwhelming number of affirmative votes was expected in the town of Pikit as it is a known turf of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). However, Barangay Balatican failed to earn the double majority vote.

Gerada, on the other hand, disclosed that he could not yet release the actual number of votes as of this time pending the official proclamation by the Comelec National Office.

But he bared that seven towns only recorded 55 percent voting turnout from the total number of 321, 489 registered voters.

He said the certificates of canvassed votes will be sent to the National Plebiscite Board Canvassers this weekend.

These 63 barangays will official become part of the BARMM by 2022 as stated in the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

The inclusion of six municipalities in BARMM was not approved by voters in Lanao del Norte.

The Plebiscite Provincial Board of Canvassers (PPBOC) completed its canvass past 3 p.m. Thursday, and officially pronounced the result in favor of “no” votes from the towns of Balo-i, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar Tagoloan and Tangcal.

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