Chairman Sheriff Abas of COMELEC (Avito Dalan / PNA)

“I won’t vote in upcoming BOL plebiscite so as not to affect its integrity“-Comelec Chair Abas

Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao- Comelec Chair Sheriff Abas said that he won’t be voting in the upcoming plebiscite for the ratification Bangsamoro Organic so as not to affect its integrity. 

The conduct of plebiscite for the core territory (ARMM), Cotabato City, and Isabela City is scheduled on January 21, 2019, while those in Lanao Del Norte and Cotabato Province is on February 6.

Other areas contiguous to any of the Bangsamoro core areas where: the local government of such area, by way of a resolution, asked for inclusion in the plebiscite; or at least 10 percent of the registered voters in a local government unit, by way of a petition, asked for inclusion in the plebiscite will also be on February 6. 

According to Comelec, there are 99 villages that applied for inclusion into the new political entity Bangsamoro.

His statement was made during the signing of the memorandum of agreement for voter education and information campaign for the Bangsamoro plebiscite in Manila last Friday, December 21.

Born in Cotabato City, and a nephew of MILF Peace Implementing Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal,  Abas said that, “Nagkataon ako chairman Comelec, but I can assure you that the Comelec will be fair at hindi kami magiging bias sa resulta ng plebiscite. Trabaho lang walang personalan. Pwedeng meron ako sariling pasya, sariling pananaw pero set aside namin ito para hindi maapektuhan integrity ng plebiscite being the chairman,” he said in his speech during “Hindi naman kaila sa inyo na my uncle (Mohagher Iqbal) is the chief negotiator of the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front)…mahirap man sa personal level, but sa official, I can assure you that I will be very very fair,” added Abas.

“Para madagdagan assurance, ako mismo hindi ako boboto…From the moment I will vote sigurado ako meron na ako bias. But hindi po ako uuwi. I will remain in Manila, but I will see to it na hindi madadaya ang boto sa plebiscite whether yes or no,” he said.

In the same event, Abas also assured that they will do everything to make the conduct of the plebiscite orderly and peaceful.

“Merong mga area na magiging bloody like Cotabato City. Thats my birthplace. Hinding hindi ko hahayaan na magugulo yan dahil lang sa plebiscite,” said Abas.

“As to sa sinasabi ko na bloody, hindi naman siguro literal. Hindi naman hahayaan ng ating AFP and PNP na maging literal na bloody. Pero gitgitan dyan because gaya ng sabi ko naiimpluwensiyahan siya ng local politics,” he added. (Source: MB, December 21, 2018)