Terrorists can’t scare voters in BOL plebiscite: Palace

MANILA Terrorist groups cannot scare voters from participating in the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite, MalacaAang said on Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued his comment after three blasts rocked Lanao del Norte on Tuesday, the eve of the second plebiscite for the ratification of the BOL.

"No amount of bombing or terroristic act will scare, intimidate nor threaten the voters from participating in today's plebiscite," Panelo said in a message to reporters.

Panelo said the military will be on full alert to assure safety in the conduct of the plebiscite.

"We assure the electorate in that part of Mindanao that the Armed Forces of the Philippines have provided safeguards for their safety and will be in full alert to thwart any attempt from any armed group or terrorists to derail the present democratic process," he said.

Panelo, also Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, called the bombings "acts of cowardice."

"The road to lasting peace in that region is not without obstacles strewn by those who foment disunity and who purvey the status quo. We shall not be waylaid by the twin forces of obstruction and destruction," he said.

Three separate bomb explosions occurred in the towns of Lala, Kauswagan, and Sultan Naga Dimaporo in Lanao del Norte.

The three towns are not part of the six municipalities proposed for inclusion in the Bangsamoro area.

No casualty has been reported in the three blasts that prompted the authorities to further intensify the conduct of checkpoints in the area.

The second plebiscite is ongoing in the province of Lanao del Norte, except Iligan City; the municipalities of Aleosan, Carmen, Kabacan, Midsayap, Pikit, and Pigcawayan in the province of North Cotabato; and the 28 barangays to be included in the region.

The first plebiscite was held on Jan. 21 in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) provinces Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and cities of Cotabato and Isabela.

The ARMM and Cotabato City voted 'yes' to ratify the BOL while Isabela City opted not to join the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), which replaces the ARMM.

The BOL, considered as one of President Rodrigo R. Duterte's biggest legislative achievements, seeks to give the Moro people the basic legal tools to chart their own destiny within the country's Constitutional framework. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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