MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) called the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) plebiscite as “successful” despite recording cases where some precincts did not open on time after some teachers did not report to their assigned areas.
“Overall, successful ang ating BOL. Tingnan natin kung ano ang magiging resulta (Let’s see what the results will be),” said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, who is in Cotabato City, in a telephone interview with reporters.
Jimenez said as of 9:45 am, all precincts, except for the 24 precincts that started late in Cotabato City, have opened on time.
“Number one nagkaroon ng delay opening. Two, na-delay opening dahil may mga teacher na nag-back out at the last minute. Number three, dahil may mga teacher na nag back out at last minute napilitan pumalit ang Philippine National Police (There’s been delay during the opening. Second, there’s been delay because some teachers backed out at the last minute. Third, because of that, police personnel replaced them). So about 77 members of the PNP had perform Plebiscite Committee (PlebCom) functions,” he said in a telephone interview Monday.
“We expect the voting in almost every place to end at 3 p.m., we are waiting if the Commission en banc will order for an extension on the areas that started late,” poll body official added.
Jimenez said he was told that teachers did not report to their respective assignments after receiving threatening text messages.
“Yung exact nature ng messages hindi natin alam pero nagsabi na sila na ayaw na nila (We don’t know the exact nature of those messages but they told us they won’t come anymore),” he said.
On Monday, the 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 will be held on February 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)