CITY Legal Officer Jesus Carbon, Jr. advised any registered voter in Zamboanga City not to file a petition for voluntary inclusion in the January 21, 2019 plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), citing none of this city’s 98 villages is contiguous to any of the areas under the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm).
Carbon cited an en banc decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Tan, et al vs. the Commission on Elections and the Provincial Treasurer of Negros Occidental on July 11, 1986, wherein the meaning of word contiguous was explained as physical contact, touching along all or most of one side, and near, next, or adjacent.
He said the high tribunal also cited Webster’s New World Dictionary, 1972 Edition, page 3017, that “contiguous, when employed as an adjective, as in the above sentence, is only used when it describes physical contact, or touching of sides of two solid masses of matter.”
So far, three villages have filed petition for inclusion in the holding of the plebiscite in January.
Councilor Cesar Jimenez, Sr., chairperson of the City Council’s Committee on Ordinances and Resolutions, earlier said the committee discovered that the resolution from the villages of Busay Landang Gua and Tumalutab were falsified.
Busay Village Chief Antonio Abdulla declared during the hearing conducted by Jimenez-led committee that they have not held a barangay session on October 21, 2018.
Abdulla and his village councilors said their signatures were falsified.
Landang Gua Village Chief Benjamin Adjulla said what they have signed was a petition paper seeking the implementation of a solar power and water system project in their village.
Tumalutab Village Chief Jailun Abunawas has also denied they adopted similar resolution seeking the inclusion of the village into the proposed Bangsamoro territory.
Meanwhile, Carbon stressed the City of Zamboanga will strongly oppose any petition for inclusion in the Bangsamoro plebiscite, whether filed by the local government unit itself or any one of its registered voters, as this is contrary to law and will lead to the dismemberment of the city’s territorial jurisdiction. (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)