MANILA The successful conduct of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite on Monday shows "democratic rights" are alive and well in the Philippines.
This was stated by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana when sought for a comment on the success of the polls and what the government is planning to do next.
"Yesterday's (Monday) successful BOL plebiscite is an exercise of democratic rights by our Muslim brothers and sisters and they have spoken. We shall respect their decision," Lorenzana said in a message to the Philippine News Agency Tuesday.
Citing partial and unofficial results, Lorenzana said that he does not consider the apparent lead of the "yes" vote a slap to those opposing it.
Lorenzana also urged everyone in the BOL area to accept the results and unite to make it a success.
"It would be best for everyone in the BOL area to accept the result and that everyone unite to make this new BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) a success. After all, the objective of this exercise and the BOL is to benefit all the people there. That should be the primary goal of the new set of officials of the BARMM," the DND chief added.
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 in Cotabato City and Isabela City.
Another plebiscite is scheduled on Feb. 6 in the province of Lanao del Norte, except Iligan City; the municipalities of Aleosan, Carmen, Kabacan, Midsayap, Pikit, and Pigkawayan in the province of North Cotabato and the 28 barangays to be included in the region. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency