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Maguindanao solon urges qualified voters to take part in BOL plebiscite

A Mindanao lawmaker urged all qualified voters to participate in the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite and at the same time encouraged Muslims, Christians and other religious denominations to unite and pray for peace for the Bangsamoro homeland.

Maguindanao Rep. Bai Sandra Sema said by participating in the plebiscite, voters take part in the historic event that will “unify all the people in the Bangsamoro Homeland.”

“We urge all our peace-loving countrymen to join us in our prayer for a peaceful and successful ratification of the BOL,” Sema said in a press briefing at the House of Representatives in Quezon City on Tuesday.

The plebiscite for the ratification of the BOL is set for January 21 and February 6.

“This law, being an instrument of peace, is intended to benefit not only the Muslims but also the Christians, Lumad and other faith,” Sema said.

Some 2.8 million registered voters in the region are included in the plebiscite, the Commission on Elections said.

Sema also thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for working to  put an end to the age-old problem of rebellion in Mindanao, as she acknowledged his attendance in the peace assembly last Friday in Cotabato City.

Malacañang earlier confirmed that the President will speak before the assembly to make a final push for the ratification of the BOL.

“It actually took this President from Mindanao to put a stop to this. He really understands the necessity of already putting a solution to this problem. He is the number one supporter of BOL. We are only supporting actors,” Sema said.

“He’s really the one who pushed this. We thank the President for this legacy,” Sema added.

The BOL, one of the requirements under a 2014 peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, seeks to grant wider self-rule to predominantly Muslim provinces and cities in southern Philippines.

Once ratified, a new political entity, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, would be established, replacing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.#