By Ahmet Furkan Mercan and Sena Guler
Sixty-three out of 67 villages in North Cotabato voted Yes to join the newly-formed autonomous region for Muslims in
The second phase of the referendum on the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) on Feb. 6 covered six towns -- Tagoloan, Balo-i,
The Philippines Election Commission (COMELEC) announced that while 63 residential areas voted to be part of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (
The Philippines' landmark BOL was officially ratified on Jan. 25 following the results of the first round of voting on Jan. 21 which granted comprehensive autonomy to Moro Muslims.
More than 1.54 million people -- over 85 percent of the electorate -- voted in favor of the BOL, while some 190,000 voted against, according to official results.
President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his pleasure at the results.
“I'm glad that it has succeeded and I am inviting everyone here ... to join us in government," Duterte was quoted as saying by Philippine news site Rappler.
“Be part of it. You can bury your weapons. You won't need them,” he was quoted.
Members of the interim government that will govern the BARMM for three years are expected to be appointed by Duterte in the coming weeks.
Under the BOL, courts of Islamic law will be established in the region, and the Philippines’ central government will transfer its administrative authorities in Mindanao to the Bangsamoro government.
The waters in the Bangsamoro region will be simultaneously managed by the national government as well as the Bangsamoro government.
The autonomous government will be responsible for the management of energy resources.
Muslims will be free in their internal affairs, while they will be bound to the Philippines in foreign policy, with some flexibility.
In addition, former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters will be eligible to join official armed forces.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.