In photo- Atty. Najib Sinarimbo (with eyeglasses), Lead Legal Consultant of Cotabato City new-registrants-petitioners with the MTC

Cotabato City disapproved new registrants to file petition with MTC for reconsideration

COTABATO City –The Cotabato City COMELEC Office has disapproved about 2,122 new voter-applicants in Cotabato City after having conducted thorough validation most of them are presumed supporters of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL). 

Yesterday, November 7, they gathered at the Al-Burhan Masjid here in the city to comply with available valid documents to prove that they are indeed bonafide residents of the city. 

Through the assistance of a pool of volunteer Bangsamoro lawyers they will file a petition with the Regional Trial Court to be able to vote during the plebiscite for the ratification of BOL slated on January 21st next year.

Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo serves as the lead legal consultant of the disapproved new-registrants. 

“They want to register because they want to participate in the upcoming plebiscite, he said. 

Sinarimbo disclosed that said new-registrants have not participated in any of the electoral process in the country for many years.

“This is part of the peace agreements entered into by the government and the MILF, these MILF members must have to register,” he stressed.

“How can they participate in the democratic process if it is not open to them, so what are the options of the people, they will go back to armed struggle?” asked Sinarimbo.

The law said that after 15 days of filing, the result will be known to public, Sinarimbo said referring to the petition with the MTC.

The affected registrants, Sinarimbo said, are not necessarily present in the court.

He said the court will look into the documents, “if the court will approve their application, the court will direct the Election Registration Board (ERB) to include their names to the list of permanent registered voters in the barangay where they are residing, and they can vote.” 

Sinarimbo said that after the decision of court they are expecting to receive the official list of qualified voters of Cotabato City.

Sinarimbo also said that, the petitioners for inclusion in the list of voters for Cotabato City have complied with all the requirements needed. 

“Sinasala natin sila, tinatanong natin sila kung ano ang proyeba na talagang residente sila ng Cotabato City,” he said.

Reports that reached Luwaran from November 6 up to the last day of filing of petition for inclusion on November 7 said that there were hundreds of Cotabato City residents who were included in the list of disqualified voters not able to submit complete documents due to limited time of preparation.

In a previous interview by online news Politiko Mindanao with MILF Central Committee on Information Chair Mohagher Iqbal, he disclosed that there is a politician in Cotabato City behind the petition for disqualification of at least 4000 voters, but he did not identify the said politician. 

Iqbal is also one of those the politician wanted to be disenfranchised.

Politiko Mindanao however, said that the incumbent Cotabato City Mayor Atty. Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi is allegedly behind the massive disqualification efforts of over 4,000 voters to “neutralize” her political opponents, as well as to defeat the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in the city during the plebiscite.