Bangsamoro region has 8 new towns

John Unson - The Philippine Star
Bangsamoro region has 8 new towns
This file photo shows the executive building of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The STAR / John Unson

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — A majority of 89,594 registered voters in 63 barangays in Cotabato province voted for the creation of eight new municipalities in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) during a plebiscite on Saturday.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec)  office in the BARMM yesterday said that of the 72,658 who cast their ballots, 72,358 voted in favor of the creation of the towns of Kadayangan, Kapalawan, Ligawasan, Malidegao, Nabalawag, Old Kaabacan, Pahamudin and Tugunan.

Only 103 voted against the ratification of the Bangsamoro Autonomy Act Nos. 41 to 48, which seek to create eight towns in the special geographic area of the autonomous region.

The Comelec said the plebiscite had a voter turnout of 81.1 percent.

Mayla Luna Bayao, Cotabato provincial election officer, said the electoral exercise was peaceful and orderly.

The BARMM and Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos) police as well as the Armed Forces of the Philippines deployed officers to secure the plebiscite.

In a referendum in 2019, voters in these 63 barangays voted for the inclusion of their villages in the proposed core territory of the BARMM.

BARMM parliament members Mohammad Kellie Antao and Kadil Sinolinding Jr. welcomed the results of the plebiscite.

The Comelec said the new municipalities would have their own local government units for the people to have better access to essential services. — Mayen Jaymalin

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