Cotabato Mayor to file protest vs BOL plebiscite result

Published January 23, 2019, 2:36 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Armando Fenequito Jr.

DAVAO CITY- Cotabato City Mayor Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi is set to file a protest on the result of the Bangsamoro Organic Plebiscite (BOL) where the Yes vote won for the inclusion of the city in the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Muslim women look for their names at a voting precinct in Maguindanao, on the southern island of Mindanao on January 21, 2019, the plebiscite to ratify the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL). - A decades-long push to halt the violence that has claimed some 150,000 lives in the southern Philippines culminates with a vote on giving the nation's Muslim minority greater control over the region. (Photo by Noel CELIS / AFP)
Muslim women look for their names at a voting precinct in Maguindanao, on the southern island of Mindanao on January 21, 2019, the plebiscite to ratify the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL). – A decades-long push to halt the violence that has claimed some 150,000 lives in the southern Philippines culminates with a vote on giving the nation’s Muslim minority greater control over the region. (Photo by Noel CELIS / AFP)

Sayadi said the votes being canvassed were not the real voice of the people of the city since many of them did not vote due to fear and harassment.

“It did not reflect the true will of the people of Cotabato City. What were those outsiders doing inside Cotabato City? Is it not that reactionary forces are prohibited under the omnibus election code?” she said.

She said teachers who were supposed to serve as members of the plebiscite committee did not show up for election duty because of the threats they have received.

Sayadi added that the grenade blast at the Rasalan residence and another one found in Rojas High School were meant to scare the voters.

She claimed that thousands of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) supporters allegedly blocked the voters from voting in some areas.

Sayadi said there were also massive disenfranchisement which added to the statistical improbability in those areas where the “MILF outsiders dominated’.

“T he military and the PNP were not able to control. We have lots of irregularities to mention,” she said.

“Those who voted ‘no’ were harassed. Where will they go? Who can protect them?” Sayadi added.

The mayor said her lawyer friends are now preparing the documents and will possibly submit them before the next BOL plebiscite on February 6.

On Tuesday night, the Commission on Election (Comelec) Cotabato City bared the votes that were in favor of the inclusion of the city in the BARMM were 36,682 over the “No” votes with
24,994.

A total of 61, 676 people cast their votes out of the 113, 751 registered voters in the city.

 
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