Bangsamoro plebiscite generally peaceful, says analyst


Posted at Jan 22 2019 08:34 PM | Updated as of Jan 22 2019 09:19 PM

Residents in Sultan Kudarat cast their votes for the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite at the Simuay Junction Crossing Elementary School, January 21, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- Despite some scuffles that erupted in some polling precincts, the Bangsamoro plebiscite on Monday was generally peaceful, an analyst said Tuesday.

The scuffles were "a learning experience" for the upcoming second day of the plebiscite on Feb. 6, University of the Philippines Institute of Islamic Studies Professor Julkipli Wadi said.

"Despite the rather intense debate and opposition on the BOL (Bangsamoro Organic Law) in the different provinces and cities at least they (voters) have maintained their civility," he told ANC's "Beyond Politics."

Watch more in iWantTFC

Wadi added that the plebiscite showed a "strong legitimacy" on the creation of a new Bangsamoro territory in Mindanao.

"There's a relatively strong legitimacy in support on the BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) including the support on the transition that will be led by the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front), " he said.

The Bangsamoro Organic Law, which resulted from a pace pact between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, has been a hotly-contested topic in restive Mindanao.

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

If ratified, a new Bangsamoro territory will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.