Isabela City rejects Bangsamoro law

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 23 2019 08:50 PM

Residents in Cotabato City take part in the plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law. In Isabela City, meanwhile, residents there voted against their inclusion in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA—A majority of Isabela City residents in Basilan voted against their inclusion in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), as canvassing of remaining plebiscite returns concluded Wednesday.

The final and official result showed 22,441 voted against the law, while 19,032 favored it.

At least 20 plebiscite returns were earlier contested due to alleged discrepancies and irregularities committed by the plebiscite committee. 

Supporters for the city's inclusion in the BARMM staged a protest on Tuesday night in front of the Isabela city hall, where the canvassing of plebiscite returns took place.

The teachers were dismayed but denied accusations that they influenced the vote. Some of them even threatened not to serve in the May elections as a sign of protest.

The protesters eventually left the premises after the military and police intervened. 

Despite the incident, the Commission on Elections in Isabela declared the Bangsamoro plebiscite as generally peaceful with no violent incidents intended to disturb the plebiscite.

Cotabato City and Lanao del Sur have opted to join the BARMM, which will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. 

-- Report from Noning Antonio, ABS-CBN News