Lanao Norte execs support BOL

Local government executives from the Province of Lanao del Norte visited the leadership of the MILF on September 11 at its main headquarters in Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao to express their full support to the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

Former 2nd District Representative of Lanao del Norte Abdullah 'Dabs' Mangotara and the incumbent mayors of Munai, Tangkal, and Salvador -- Hon. Casan Maquiling, Hon. Fatima Tomawis and Hon. Johnny Tawantawan, respectively --- led the delegation. 

They were joined by former members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan from Balo-i (Magsaysay Arumpac), Tangkal (Aguam Mutia), Bacolod (Nagamura Batalo), Magsaysay (Atty. Usop Omar), the former mayors of Pantar and Tagoloan, municipal councilors and barangay officials from the province. All vowed to campaign for "yes" vote in the forthcoming plebiscite on January 21, 2019.

Mangotara narrated the longstanding sentimental aspiration of the Meranaws in Lanao del Norte most especially the 6 municipalities. "I came here not to run again this 2019 elections but to express my 100% support to the ratification of the BOL," he said.

Casan Maquiling, the undefeated Mayor of Munai, shared his sentiments why he always support the MILF. "They accused me as MILF. Maybe because Munai is a stronghold camp of the MILF and I am a supporter of the revolutionary group. Camp Bilal is also in Munai."

Former members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan from the different municipalities pledged also their support to the BOL. 

A lawyer from the team proposed that a working committee and a planning session for Lanao del Norte leaders/supporters should be initiated to set plans and maximize efforts for the forthcoming plebiscite in January. A need to have a massive information drive for the BOL was also raised because several dynastic clans in the province are now very vocal in disseminating fake news or wrong information regarding the BOL. The whole team unanimously appealed to the President of the Philippines Rodrigo Roa Duterte to help them during the campaign period in letting the people of Lanao del Norte understand the BOL.

There are six towns in Lanao del Norte which is part of the territorial jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region subject to the plebiscite in January next year. These are Balo-i, Pantar, Tagoloan of the 1st district and Munai, Tangkal and Nunungan of the 2nd district. These areas are the birthplace of the MILF struggle in Lanao del Norte. There are several towns or municipalities and barangays contiguous to these areas which vowed to support and will submit petition for their inclusion during the plebiscite. 

Another batch of local government executives from Lanao del Norte is expected to visit the office of the MILF Chairman before the campaign period starts on December 7, 2018. ##3