Victorial Dulcero, vice chairperson of the Comelec printing committee, said the printing of the 600,000 ballots for the second leg of the plebiscite on Feb. 6 is expected to be finished either today or tomorrow.
Michael Varcas/File
Printing of ballots for Bangsamoro plebiscite completed
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - January 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The printing of around 2.1 million ballots for the plebiscite on Jan. 21 to ratify the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) has been completed, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) reported yesterday.  

Victorial Dulcero, vice chairperson of the Comelec printing committee, said the printing of the 600,000 ballots for the second leg of the plebiscite on Feb. 6 is expected to be finished either today or tomorrow.

“We are almost done... the printing committee is (now)... printing the ballots... for the provinces of Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato,” Dulcero told reporters who visited the National Printing Office in Quezon City yesterday.

Dulcero said the deployment of ballots for the Jan. 21 plebiscite started last Sunday.

The first leg of the plebiscite covers the areas under the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The plebiscite in 28 barangays in Pigcawayan, Carmen, Pikit, Kabacan and Tulunan in North Cotabato is set on Feb. 6. 

Dulcero said the Comelec would also start printing the ballots for the May elections on Jan. 22.  

She said they are targeting around one million a day to ensure that all the needed 60 million ballots would be printed by April 30.

Zamboanga City residents’ petitions junked

Also on the Bangsamoro plebiscite, the poll body junked petitions to include two barangays in Zamboanga City in the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, according to first district Rep. Celso Lobregat.

Lobregat said the Comelec issued a resolution on Jan. 3 denying the petitions of residents of Barangays Busay and Landang Gua on Sacol island.  

“Zamboanga will no longer participate in the plebiscite because the Comelec has decided... the decision was very clear that Zamboanga is not contiguous (to the ARMM). Contiguity should be by land not by water or air,” Lobregat said at a gathering here on Sunday. 

The poll body has yet to rule on the petition of residents of Barangays Arena Blanco and Cawit to participate in the plebiscite. 

Lobregat said Article 15 of Republic Act 11054 or the BOL states that the plebiscite might also be conducted in areas contiguous to the ARMM pending a petition of at least 10 percent of their registered voters.  

“Zamboanga is no longer included in any plebiscite with the Comelec ruling. But... even if we are not included in the plebiscite, there are still provisions in the BOL that protect the city, such as properties that are outside ARMM shall not be transferred to the Bangsamoro,” Lobregat said. – Roel Pareño

2019 MIDTERM ELECTIONS BANGSAMORO ORGANIC LAW COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
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