Final tally on plebiscite for new Bangsamoro areas postponed anew

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THE NATIONAL Plebiscite Board of Canvassers (NPBOC) postponed yet again its session in the final tabulation and proclamation of results on the Feb. 6 North Cotabato and Lanao Del Norte plebiscite. During its session on Tuesday, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sheriff A. Abas said the session will be resumed on Wednesday. “With reports from the working group, it is clear we cannot finish the tabulation and the audit today. We will declare a recess and reconvene tomorrow at 2 p.m.,” he said. Six municipalities in Lanao Del Norte and 67 villages in seven municipalities of North Cotabato were involved in the Feb. 6 plebiscite for inclusion to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The seven North Cotabato Municipalities are Aleosan, Carmen, Kabacan, Midsayap, Pigkawayan, Tulunan, and Pikit. As of this reporting, the certificate of canvass of votes (COCVs) for the municipality of Cabacan, Pigkawayan, and Midsayap are pending with the audit group. Only Pikit was already set for tabulation. Aleosan, Carmen, and Tulunan are the only municipalities so far whose votes have already been declared canvassed by the NPBOC with no corrections in their COCVs. The COCVs of Lanao Del Norte have also been deemed canvassed but a “formal error” was detected in the number of registered voters stated in the COCVs and the number of registered voters listed in the summary of statement of votes (SOV). NPBOC said this error does not affect the outcome of the canvassed votes. — Gillian M. Cortez