Cotabato voters favor city’s inclusion in BARMM

BOL PLEBISCITE. A resident of Barangay Lugay-Lugay, Bagua 1 in Cotabato City casts his vote for the Bangsamoro Organic Law Plebiscite on Monday morning. Armando Fenequito Jr.

COTABATO CITY — Despite the opposition of Cotabato City’s top official, the path is clear for its inclusion in the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Cotabato City, whose mayor, Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi, is a staunch oppositor of the Bangsamoro inclusion, voted overwhelmingly for the ratification of Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL). On Tuesday night, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Cotabato City bared the unofficial final results of the canvassing at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Center inside the Office of the Regional Governor complex.

At 8:42 p.m. of January 22, the YES votes in favor of the inclusion of the city in the BARMM amassed 36,682 over the No votes which tallied 24,994. A total of 61, 676 people cast their votes out of 113, 751 registered voters in the city.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said earlier the results of the city canvassing will be immediately transmitted to the national office.

The Comelec official clarified that the results are not yet official pending official canvass by the National Board of Canvassers.

He said after the canvassing in the national level it will take four days before the official results will be released.

The results came at the heels of Mayor Sayadi threatening to lodge a protest over poll irregularities, threats and violence which she claims betrayed the true voice of the people of Cotabato City (see separate story).