COTABATO CITY (UPDATE) - Votes favoring the Bangsamoro Organic Law's ratification dominated the plebiscite in several provinces of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, authorities said Thursday.
Below is the breakdown of votes according to the provincial board of canvassers:
Yes: 599, 581
Lanao del Sur
The measure also pulled off a victory in Cotabato City, dubbed as the “crown jewel” of an expanded Bangsamoro region, where 36,682 voted for the measure, while 24,994 voters voted nay.
ARMM's Sulu province, however, rejected the proposal with 163,526 "no" votes and 137,630 "yes."
Majority of voters in Isabela City, Basilan also voted against inclusion in the Bangsamoro region at 22,441, while 19,032 favored it.
The national board of canvassers in Manila will verify the plebiscite results likely until Friday, Commission on Elections spokesperson James Jimenez earlier said.
The Bangsamoro law is the product of a 2014 peace deal between the government and the MILF, which has sought self-governance for the Moro people since the 1970s.
Under the measure, Bangsamoro will get $950 million in development funds over the next 10 years, as well as a chunk of the tax revenue generated within its borders.
The national government will keep control over the police, though the leadership of the autonomous area will be closely involved in security matters.
Final results are expected to be released within 4 days of the voting, with an approval triggering the demobilization of a third of MILF's fighters, which it says number 30,000.
-With a report from Agence France-Presse