Troops to be more concentrated in 2nd BOL poll areas

SINCE the second Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite will be held in a smaller area compared to the first plebiscite, it would be easier to concentrate the troops.

This was bared by Col. Noel Detoyato, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, when asked Wednesday if there are changes in the military’s overall plan to secure the second BOL polls next month.

"The area for (the) February 6 (polls) is smaller, and it's scattered, especially in (North) Cotabato towns where only barangays will be voting. Security operations and deployment will be adjusted accordingly to address the prevailing security needs in the specified areas," Detoyato said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

On Monday, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) conducted the plebiscite for the ratification of the BOL, which seeks to create the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The provinces included are Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi; as well as Cotabato City; and Isabela City.

The February 6 BOL plebiscite will be in the province of Lanao del Norte, except Iligan City; the municipalities of Aleosan, Carmen, Kabacan, Midsayap, Pikit, and Pigkawayan, and 28 barangays in the province of North Cotabato.

"Since it (area) will be relatively smaller, concentration of troops will be higher. AFP troops are pre-deployed so there will be minimal movement to secure the plebiscite on February 6," Detoyato added.

The military allocated more than 10,000 troops and support units to help secure the BOL plebiscites, along with the Philippine National Police. (PNA)


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