By Francisco E. Dosdos, Jr.
ILIGAN City — Maigo, Mayor Rafael Rizalda led groups in Lanao del Norte in campaign for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in the province of Lanao del Norte.
In a chance interview in Maigo town, Rizalda said he respects the right of the people to self-determination.
He said the voters of Lanao del Norte should support the people of the six municipalities of the province: Tagoloan, Baloi, Pantar, Munai, Tangkal, and Nunongan who expressed their intention to join the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao through their votes in two previous plebiscites years ago.
“Many lives had been lost and properties destroyed in the long conflict between the government and the Moro rebels. Now that a formula to stop the bloody war has been reached, all must support the BOL,” he said.
It was learned that Rizalda risked his life years ago in defending his town against a band of Moro rebels during a simultaneous attack in Kauswagan, Maigo, ang Kolambugan, years ago.
He said he had talked with MILF leaders in Camp Darapanan and he believes that the BOL will achieve a lasting peace in Mindanao.
Unless the people of the six Lanao del Norte towns are supported in their desire to join the Barmm, the possibility of trouble in the province may erupt anew, he said.
He emphasized that he want to dispel allegations by some anti BOL groups that the Provincial Capitol of Lanao del Norte will be transferred to Cotabato if the people of the province will vote “yes” in the plebiscite because the law is very clear that only the six municipalities mentioned will be included in the Barmm.