Cotabato City hosts 'Bike for Peace' rally ahead of Bangsamoro vote

Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 19 2019 02:49 PM

COTABATO CITY - Hundreds of cyclists and bike enthusiasts held a “Bike for Peace” rally here Saturday, ahead of the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite on Monday.

Around 500 cyclists from all over Maguindanao participated in the cycling event which started at the Cotabato City Plaza to the Cotabato City City Hall, and back.

The event aims to call on plebiscite participants to help maintain peace and order on Monday, organizers said.

"Nag-request kami na para pangkapayapaan lang ang biking na ito, kasi ang mamamayan ng Cotabato City, kapayapaan ang hangad ng tao,” said Tutin Sapto, one of the organizers of the event.

(This biking event is a call for peace because that is the wish of the people of Cotabato City.)

One of those who joined the bike rally was 57-year-old one-armed cyclist Toto Nagret.

“Kung ano maging resulta ng halalan sana matanggap ng magkabilang panig,” he said.

(Whatever will be the result of the plebiscite, I hope that it will be accepted.)

“Ang gusto lang namin maidaos ang halalan ng matiwasay na tahimik at walang gulo,” he added.

(We just want a peaceful plebiscite without any trouble.)

Around 2.1 million ballots have been prepared for voters of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Cotabato City, and Isabela City in Basilan, where the plebiscite will be held on Monday.

The rest of the core territories, including contiguous areas that asked to be included in the new Bangsamoro area, will get to vote on Feb. 6.

The upcoming plebiscite will determine the fate of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which seeks to create an autonomous Bangsamoro entity, seen to help end strife in long restive Mindanao. 

President Rodrigo Duterte is banking on the law's ratification to heal "historical injustices" suffered by the Moros.