Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao updates
LATEST UPDATE: February 18, 2019 - 7:51am
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
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February 18, 2019

The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front have prepared socio-economic packages for combatants who will be decommissioned following the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law last month, a senior deputy peace adviser says.

Deputy Presidential Peace Adviser Nabil Tan says ratification will lead to the implementation of the normalization track of the GPH-MILF peace agreement, where 30 percent of all MILF combatants and firearms will be decommissioned.

Tan says the first batch of MILF fighters will turnover an estimated 9,000 to 12,000 firearms as part of the decommissioning process that will be overseen by a Turkey-led International Decommissioning Body.

February 15, 2019

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process welcomes the inclusion of 63 barangays of North Cotabato in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, calling it "another milestone in the Mindanao peace process."

In a statement, peace adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. says the February 6 plebiscite is an example for elections that should be emulated across the country. "The entire community of the province showed us how to assert our rights peacefully."

He adds: "North Cotabato is a highly diverse province and yet they showed us how people in a multicultural community can coexist harmoniously and act in unity."

February 11, 2019

Any lists of supposed members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority are unofficial and fake, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process says.

"To date, OPAPP has transmitted the list of nominees to the Office of the President for review," the office says, adding only President Rodrigo Duterte, who will appoint the members of the BTA, can release an official list.

"OPAPP advises the public to be prudent and judicious about what they see and share on social media."

February 7, 2019

The Plebiscite Provincial Board of Canvassers is Lanao del Norte is gathering Certificates of Canvass for the plebiscite held on Wednesday.

February 6, 2019

Residents of some villages in the provinces of Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato participate in a plebiscite for inclusion in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao on Wednesday, February 6.

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Cotabato City had voted to ratify the Bangsamoro Organic Law in a plebiscite last month.

There were reports of explosions in Lala and Kauswagan in Lanao del Norte on Tuesday afternoon, but authorities could not say whether these were related to the scheduled plebiscite.

January 30, 2019

Thousands of athletes from four provinces are in Basilan for an athletic meet never held anywhere around when the Abu Sayyaf was yet the worst threat to local security.

The January 28 to February 2 Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao regional athletic meet in Sumisip, Basilan would be the last since ARMM shall soon be replaced with a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, or BARMM.

It is ARMM's first in Basilan since the region's creation via a plebiscite in 1990 that resulted in the ratification of its first charter, the Republic Act 6734 that got amended and became RA 9054 via another plebiscite in 2001.

The contiguous venues of different events involving no fewer than 4,000 athletes from Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu, Tawi Tawi, and from this province were former bastions of the Abu Sayyaf. -- The STAR/John Unson in Basilan

January 24, 2019

The National Plebiscite Board of Canvassers has started canvassing the results of the January 21 Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite.

Although canvassing is ongoing, Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi has said she will contest the results. Citing reports of intimidation and other alleged election irregularities, she said she wants another round of voting on February 6, when another plebiscite will be held in parts of Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato provinces.

January 23, 2019

Cotabato City, which voted in two previous plebiscites against joining the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, has voted to ratify the Bangsamoro Organic Law that will make it part of the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

According to a report on News5, the Cotabato City Board of Canvassers proclaimed Tuesday night that 59 percent of voters in 374 clustered precincts in the city voted in favor of the BOL. The "Yes" votes won with 36,682 against 24,994 who voted "No".

Canvassing ended around 9 p.m. on Tuesday and the City Board of Canvassers is set to forward the statement of votes and certificate of canvass to the National Board of Canvassers in Manila, News5 reports.

According to the report, "No" votes had an initial lead during the start of canvassing but that lead began to shrink after noon on Tuesday. The "Yes" votes eventually took the lead at around 2 p.m. as canvassing continued.

January 22, 2019

The Commission on Elections en banc briefly convenes to canvass the ballots for the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite.

Canvassing is immediately adjourned, though, since no ballots have been received as of 11:30 a.m. They will resume canvassing at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

January 22, 2019

Moro activist group Suara Bangsamoro says reports of intimidation and tension during the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law "testifies to how the democratic participation of the people in the voting process is hampered by violence, intervention of local politicians and intimidation by the military."

The group says ratification of the BOL will not necessarily translate to lasting peace in the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and that the law falls short of resolving "the clamor of the Moro people for the right to self-determination, control over Moro land and resources and exacting justice for the historical and on-going injustices against the Moro."

January 21, 2019

The Commission on Human Rights office in Region XII is monitoring the situation during voting in the plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

"The Right to Political Participation is one of the constitutionally guaranteed rights, as such the Commission is mandated to monitor government's compliance with respect to this right. Today, people from the areas included under the Bangsomoro Organic Law are exercising this right," the commission says.

January 21, 2019

There have been claims of harassment in Cotabato City and in Isabela City in Basilan, areas that are not part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao where voting on the plebiscite is taking place.

Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani Sayadi has said that she is opposed to the city's inclusion in the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, saying the city had been harassed in the past by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The MILF will lead the Bangsamoro Transition Authority that will form the government of the proposed region until elections for its parliament are held.

The last Plebiscite Committee leaves the distribution center in Buluan, Maguindanao for Tamontaka in Cotabato City a little past 6 a.m. on Monday as the first day of the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law starts on Monday, January 21.

Commission on Elections spokesman James Jimenez said over the weekend that as high as 75 percent of the more than two million voters from Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), as well as the cities of Isabela in Basilan and Cotabato in Maguindanao are expected to go out and cast their votes.

A second plebiscite day is set for February 6 for areas in North Cotabato and Lanao del Norte.

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