Influx of IDPs: Comelec explains need for Marawi plebiscite


Posted at Mar 17 2023 09:09 AM | Updated as of Mar 17 2023 06:22 PM

Influx of 'bakwits': Comelec explains need for Marawi plebiscite

The Commission on Elections is all set to conduct plebiscites to ratify the creation of two barangays in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur this Saturday.

Comelec Chairman George Garcia said the increase of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in 2 barangays in Marawi after the 2017 siege necessitated the creation of 2 new villages: Barangay Boganga II and Barangay Datu Dalidigan.

"Kailangan hatiin na po," he said in an interview on ABS-CBN's Sakto. 

Marawi Mayor Majul Usman Gandamra noted most of the IDPs are former residents of "ground zero" or areas that were severely damaged during the Marawi siege. These IDPs, he said, are staying in temporary shelters that will now become permanent.

"Most of them nag re-renta lang dati prior to the siege...Wala na ho silang babalikan dun," he said. 

The plebiscite will determine if voters agree with the creation of the 2 new barangays. The manual voting will be from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 18.

Local and foreign pro-Islamic State allies seized the center of Marawi in May 2017, sparking a five-month battle that destroyed much of the city and left more than a thousand people dead, before the city was recaptured by Philippine forces with intelligence assistance from the US military.

Meanwhile, the Comelec chief said another plebiscite is scheduled in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan to create another barangay. 

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