By Ali Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – Republic Act 11054 may be headed towards approval in majority areas proposed for coverage by the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), but not in Lanao del Norte, according to the head of its original crafting body.
The proposed law, also known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), will be submitted to the people in a plebiscite on January 21, 2019 in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the cities of Cotabato and Isabela, the provinces of North Cotabato and Lanao del Norte.
ARMM consists of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi provinces and the cities of Marawi and Lamitan. In the May 9, 2016 polls, it had 1,863,230 total registered voters, with Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur having the largest number of voters at 634,323 and 484,435, respectively.
Ghazali Jaafar, head of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), which crafted the BOL original draft bill, said their projected ratification of R.A. 11054 was imminent across the subject areas of plebiscite.
But he said this does not hold true with Lanao del Norte because in their repeated consultations with the province’s leaders, the influential Dimaporo clan has firmly opposed the inclusion of the towns of Balo-I, Munai, Pantar, Nunugan, Tagoloan and Tangkal in the BARMM.
Jaafar noted that inclusion of these towns in the BARMM would mean a “diminution of the Dimaporos’ political clout.”