LANAO DEL NORTE, Philippines – As part two of the Bangsamoro plebiscite draws closer, tensions between groups for and against the inclusion of Lanao del Norte towns near breaking point.
Residents who are for the exclusion of Lanao del Norte territories from the proposed Bangsamoro region confront observers from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front's social welfare committee and United Bangsamoro Justice Party along the national highway that cuts across Barangay Sto Niño, in the municipality of Balo-i.
While both groups want peace, neither will budge in the tense standoff.
Cops step in to ease tensions and help the groups reach a compromise. Meanwhile, Sto Niño Barangay Captain Rhizie Sularte says this has left residents nervous for the vote on Wednesday, February 6.
The confrontation underlines the high-stakes vote that will decide the next chapter for the province.
Sofia Tomacruz reports. – Rappler.com