Home | Mindanao | MILF members register for next year’s plebiscite
The Commission on Elections starts the three-day voters registration on Tuesday inside Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao for members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, most of whom are first-time registrants. MindaNews photo by Ferdinandh B. Cabrera

MILF members register for next year’s plebiscite

By Richel V. Umel
Correspondent .

 

ILIGAN City — Thousands of Moro Islamic Liberation Front combatants registered as voters for the plebiscite next year to determine whether the six municipalities of Munai, Tangkal, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan, and Balo-i towns would be included or not in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Lawyer Joseph Hamilton Cuevas, Lanao del Norte provincial election supervisor said the registration which started Tuesday will end on Thursday through the special registration team of the Commission on Election head office in Manila.

Cuevas said three registration centers has been established by Comelec. These are located in Pacalundo Multipurpose Hall in Balo-i, Panggao Elementary School in Munai, and Masibay Evacuation Center in Nunungan.

He said that during the registration a representative of the MILF shall vouch for the veracity of the MILF member who wish to register.

Mga rebelde gud ni sila nga ga tago-tago sa kabukiran sulod sa hataas nga katuigan ug dili ta mag dahum nga naa silay valid document nga ika pakita pag pamatuod sa ilang personalidad. So let’s be very reasonable and bend a little to pave way for the registration process,” said Cuevas.

The registration result, he added, will be reviewed by the Election Registration Board. The plebiscite is slated on Jan. 22, next year.

Meanwhile in Camp Darapanan, Maguindanao, MILF combatants also trooped to the satellite registration center of Comelec to enlist as voters.

The satellite registration center here is one of the 15 such centers put up by the poll body for the three-day special list-up in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato.

Comelec officials manning the registration center were awed at the turn up of registrants.

Lawyer Udtog Tago, Maguindanao election supervisor, said the three-day list-up is part of the poll body’s support to the government’s peace initiatives in southern Philippines.

Tago said the Comelec is recognizing legitimate MILF-issued identification cards for registration purposes.

“We are doing this to show the commission’s commitment to help the government in the peace process,” he added.

For those who registered for the first time, participating in a government political process was a memorable one.

“I am excited. To my relatives please go out and register for this is now the time that we can participate in the electoral process,” Basir Amilo, an MILF combatant said.

“This registration is important so we can vote yes for the Bangsamoro government,” Udtadz Salahuddin Salabi, commander the MILF 105th base command said.

Sammy Al Mansoor, MILF chief of staff, was one of the top MILF officials who showed up on the first day of registration.

Like the poll officials, Al Mansoor was also amazed at the turnout of registrants. The combatants brought with them their wives and children.

“As if in real battle, this is now the last battle of our combatants which is political and legal in nature so they need to come out and register,” he said.

MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim was scheduled to register for the first time on Tuesday so he can participate in the plebiscite and succeeding elections. (with reports from mindanews)

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