Military sees no pall in voter turnout after Mindanao blasts


Posted at Feb 05 2019 08:57 AM

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MANILA - Voters in the towns and villages in Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato that petitioned to be part of the new autonomous region in Mindanao will troop to the polls despite the recent deadly bombings in the south, a military spokesperson said Tuesday.

The first Bangsamoro plebiscite last month saw a record-high voter turnout of about 90 percent when residents of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao ratified the law giving wider autonomy to their regional government, according to Col. Gerry Besana, spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command.

"Yan din ang nakikita natin sa North Cotabato and Lanao del Norte. At the same time, nanawagan na po 'yung iba’t ibang stakeholders dito," he told radio DZMM.

Days after the Jan. 21 vote, twin explosions rocked a cathedral in Jolo, Sulu--a province, which rejected the Bangsamoro Organic Law, but will still be part of the new region because it is part of the original ARMM. At least 23 people died in the attack, while about 100 were injured.

The incident was closely followed by a grenade blast in a mosque in Zamboanga City, where 2 people were killed.

Suspects in the Jolo blasts, supposedly members of a subgroup of the Abu Sayyaf Group, are currently in police custody.