KAPATAGAN, LANAO DEL NORTE, 04 February 2019 – The people of Lanao del Norte affirmed their support for the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) two days before the conduct of the plebiscite in this province.

A resounding “yes” thundered in the municipal gym here with thousands of constituents attending the Peace Assembly on the BOL held today.

Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Assistant Secretary Dickson Hermoso said the landmark legislation was part of the Duterte administration’s commitment to build lasting peace in Mindanao.

“The President wants the aspirations of the Bangsamoro to materialize and he’s the only President that can understand it,” he said.

He explained that with the ratification of the BOL, combatants from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will be decommissioned. Development programs and projects will be provided for the Bangsamoro region.

MILF Bangsamoro Transition Commissioner Abdullah Camlian said the BOL may be the last chance for the Bangsamoro people to achieve their aspirations.

“I-set aside natin ang ating personal interest. We want to change the status quo and reset the mindset of the people. Now an inclusive law is in our hands, kaya naman po sa plebisito, bumoto tayo ng yes,” he said.

(Let us set aside our personal interests. We want to change the status quo and reset the mindset of the people. An inclusive law is now in our hands that is why in this coming plebiscite, let us vote for yes)

Meanwhile, Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Bangsamoro Transition Commissioner Omar Yasser Sema urged the people to stay vigilant during the plebiscite.

“BOL promises a democratic process as an alternative to the armed struggle that we have waged for the last 50 years. Take part in the plebiscite. Let us show them that the democratic process is true to its full extent and meaning,” Sema said.

The Peace Assembly in Lanao del Norte is part of the commitment of the OPAPP with the Commission on Elections to carry out a series of education campaigns across the areas covered by the polls to help voters make an informed decision in the plebiscite.

Also present were Munai Municipal Mayor Casan Maquiling and Maigo Municipal Mayor Rafael Rizalda, and Col. Aguam Malo Mutia, the mayoral representative from Tangkal; as well as representatives of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party, Lanao Youth Council, Civil Society Organization Forum for Peace, Lanao Norte Peace Advocate Alliance, and MRRD-Lanao del Norte.

The plebiscite is scheduled on February 6, 2019 for Lanao del Norte and the municipalities in North Cotabato where a total of 67 barangays are proposed for inclusion to the BARMM.

Malacañang declared the day a special non-working day in these areas for the conduct of the plebiscite. ###