THE National Plebiscite Board of Canvassers (NPBOC) has finished canvassing the votes for the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite from Cotobato City, Isabela City in Basilan, and Basilan, with unofficial results leaning towards the creation of a new Bangsamoro region.
As of press time, the Comelec has yet to formally proclaim the results of the plebiscite.
The NPBOC on Friday reconvened for the national canvassing of the certificate of canvass of votes (COCV) for the plebiscite to ratify the BOL. All COCVs from the areas that were included in the Jan. 21 BOL Plebiscite — the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Cotobato City — were complete by Friday.
The NPBOC, composed of the chairman and commissioners of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), proclaimed the results of all COCVs submitted on Friday.
For ARMM, 1,540,017 voters voted “Yes” for the ratification of the BOL while 198,750 voted “No.” ARMM also had the highest voter turnout with 93.35% of voters participating in Maguindanao, 92.56% in Lanao Del Sur, 81.98% in Sulu, and 77.17% in Tawi-Tawi,
Over in Basilan’s Isabela City — while the island province of Basilan is part of the ARMM, Isabela City is not — its plebiscite ballots asked if the voters want the city to be part of the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to which 19,032 voters voted “Yes” while 22, 41 votes were counted for “No.” Isabela City had a voter turnout of 58.70%.
In Basilan City, the ballots asked voters if they were in favor of the ratification of the BOL and if they were in favor for the inclusion of Isabela City in BARMM. Since Basilan is part of ARMM whose majority already voted for the BOL’s ratification, the NPBOC announced the votes for the second question — 144,640 voted “Yes” for Isabela’s inclusion while 8,487 voted “No.”
In Cotobato City, 36,682 voted to be part of the BARMM while 24,994 voted “No.” The NPBOC had to retabulate the city’s votes after it was said there are discrepancies in the reported number of voters.
“Based on the report of the audit and tabulation group, there is no discrepancy. But as to the issue of the number of registered voters who actually voted, it is stated in the report it is incomplete,” said Comelec Chairman Sheriff A. Abas, saying that the Comelec declares this a “Formal Defect.”
The total BOL Plebiscite Voter turnout is 1,844,873 out of the 2,167,244 registered voters in the areas for a participation rate of 85.13% in the BOL plebiscite. — Gillian M. Cortez