Bangsamoro law plebiscite set on January 21

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 04 2018 09:04 PM

Muslim men belonging to the Coalition of Moro Youth Movements (CMYM) wear messages on their T-Shirts as they call for government not to water-down the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) as they gather at the EDSA Shrine, Quezon City, July 11, 2018. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - A plebiscite will be held on January 21, 2019 for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), according to a Commission on Elections (Comelec) memorandum released Tuesday.

In a memorandum dated August 31, the Comelec informed Regional Election directors in Northern Mindanao, Soccsksargen, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao that the Commission en Banc decided on the date of the plebiscite in a meeting held on August 29. 

“For the said purpose, the plebiscite period shall be 45 days before and 15 days after the said plebiscite or on 07 December 2018 until 05 February 2019, and the campaign period shall be 45 days until 2 days before the plebiscite or on 07 December 2018 up to 19 January 2019," it read.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the law late July, paving the way for wider self-rule to the Muslim minority in the south.

The Bangsamoro Organic Law is one of the requirements under a 2014 peace agreement between Manila and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the country's largest Muslim rebel group.

It will install a Bangsamoro political entity in place of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and is envisioned to grant wider self-rule to predominantly Muslim provinces and cities.

Duterte is banking on the bill's passage to heal "historical injustices" suffered by the Moros.