The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said that a plebiscite to decide whether to divide Maguindanao into two provinces will be conducted on Sept. 17.
This was stated in the poll body’s Resolution No. 10797 that was promulgated last June 22.
“Now, therefore, the Commission on Elections hereby sets the date of the plebiscite to ratify the division of the Province of Maguindanao into two provinces namely Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur, on Sept. 17, 2022,” the Comelec said.
It was noted in the resolution that the casting of votes on Plebiscite day will be from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Municipal and Provincial Board of Canvassers are set to convene and canvass the votes around 6 p.m. during that same day.
The Plebiscite period will be from Aug. 16 to Sept. 24, the Comelec said.
During this period, the Comelec said it is prohibited to carry firearms or other deadly weapons in public places. Also, “organization or maintenance of reaction forces, strike forces, or similar forces,” is also not allowed.
Moreover, it is prohibited to suspend local elective officials and the “transfer or detail of officers and employees in the civil service,” the Comelec said.
On May 27, 2021, President Duterte signed into law a measure (Republic Act 11550) that divides Maguindanao into two provinces.
However, the division "shall be created...upon approval by the majority of the votes cast by the voters of the affected areas in a plebiscite to be conducted and supervised by the Commission on Elections," the law states.