63 out of 67 barangays in Cotabato to join Bangsamoro region

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangsamoro won additional territory in Cotabato, with the "yes" vote winning in 63 out of 67 barangays that petitioned to join the new region. 

This was based on the final unofficial results monitored by the United Bangsamoro Party (UBP) of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), executive director Naguib Sinarimbo said on Friday, February 8. 

The Commission on Elections was expected to start canvassing the votes in Manila on Friday to make the results official.  

The affirmative vote won in all barangays in Midsayap (13), Pigkawayan (12), Kabacan (7), and Carmen (7). It also won in 22 barangays in Pikit and in two barangays in Aleosan.  

All these barangays, as well as Cotabato City, will join the provinces of the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to establish a new autonomous region with wider powers and control over resources. It will be called the Bangsamoro Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Sinarimbo said the plebiscite was lost in two barangays in Aleosan, one in Pikit, and the lone barangay that petitioned for inclusion in Tulunan. 

The Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) was ratified after the January 21 vote with landslide victory in ARMM provinces and a majority win in Cotabato City. The plebisicite was lost in Isabela City. 

The ratification triggered the February 6 vote to allow other areas to join BARMM. 

The vote was also held in Lanao del Norte for 6 towns that wanted to join BARMM. The "yes" vote won in all 6 towns, but majority of the voters in the rest of the province voted "no" to losing these towns. They will stay within the jurisdiction of Lanao del Norte, a victory of the ruling Dimaporo clan that aggressively campaigned for the "no" vote.

The members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) that will govern the new region until the next elections in 2022 are expected to be appointed this week. (READ: Now that the Bangsamoro law is ratified, what comes next?) – Rappler.com