EIGHT more areas will participate in the forthcoming plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), bringing the final list of inclusions to 28.
This after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) approved their respective petitions for voluntary inclusion in the referendum for the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
The eight areas are Barangays Pamalian and Fort Pikit in Pikit; Barangay Galidan in Tulunan; Barangay Tumbras in Midsayap; and Barangays Pedtad, Buluan, Simone, and Tamped in Kabacan.
All newly-approved areas are in Cotabato province.
“We have already decided on all 103 petitions for voluntary inclusion. And our final list of inclusions has 28 approved,” said Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez in a media briefing.
Earlier, the Comelec already announced the approval of 20 areas, all of which are also in Cotabato, in the Bangsamoro plebiscite.
These are Barangays Libungan Torreta, Upper Pangankalan, Datu Mantil, and Simsiman in Pigcawayan; Barangay Pagangan in Aleosan; and Barangays Langogan, Pebpoloan, Kibayao, Kotulaan, and Tupig in Carmen.
Also approved were Barangays Rajahmuda, Barungis, Gli-gli, Nalapaan, Palicupan, Nunguan, Manaulanan, Bulol, Bualan, and Nabundas, all in Pikit.
Jimenez said the 75 other applications were thumbed down by the commission en banc.
“Those that were not included were because of failure to meet the requirements, including whether or not they are actually contiguous areas. In some cases, they just absolutely had no contiguous border with existing territories. So those had to be denied,” said the poll official.
“In some cases, the petitions had none of the requirements at all. They just amounted to essentially an expression of their intent to participate in the plebiscite but they did not submit any requirements. So they were obviously denied also,” added Jimenez.
To recall, the Bangsamoro plebiscite is set to be held on January 21 and February 6. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)