THE European Union (EU) congratulated the Philippine government, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Commission on Elections for the generally peaceful conduct of the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite on January 21.
The second phase will be held on February 6.
The creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao is a significant milestone in the history of the Philippines, the EU said in a statement.
The European Union said it has been a staunch supporter of the Mindanao Peace Process throughout the years, expressing its political support, encouraging all sides to pursue a peaceful solution and providing substantial financial support for the process.
The EU is prepared to continue to support the implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law and to work closely with the relevant stakeholders towards long-lasting peace, development and prosperity for the benefit of Mindanao and the Filipino people.
Benefits from BOL
After the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel promised that economic growth will now be seen in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with the proper implementation of the law.
Earlier, the Comelec proclaimed that the BOL had been ratified with 1,540,017 residents voting in favor of ratification and only 198,750 rejecting the BOL.
“Regional peace and stability and complementary national measures like the Ease of Doing Business Law will fuel economic development and attract the investments Mindanao needs. Hindi lang Mindanao makikinabang, kundi buong bansa,” said the Mindanao-born legislator.
A second round of the plebiscite on February 6 will determine whether the autonomous region in Mindanao would still be expanded.
Meanwhile, Pimentel chided the Commission on Elections (Comelec) over its “delayed timetable” for the coming Midterm Elections in May 13.
“Kung merong calendar of activities, napag-isipan na ‘yan na-compute na ‘yan, na ‘yan ang kailangan nilang panahon so nangangamba tuloy tayo kung di nila na-mimeet ang kanilang calendar of activities,” Pimentel said.
Pimentel said that he will make the officials of Comelec explain on February 5 why they have been changing the schedule of activities that is related to the coming elections. He insisted that it is imperative that the people know how ready the poll body is in managing the elections.
“Tanungin natin sila gaano ba kayo kahanda? Yung physical, yung makina ready na ba lahat, yung voter verification system, ano ba yun? Makakatagal ba yun?” he stressed.
By this time, the senator said that the Comelec should have started printing ballots for the coming polls.
He said that the Comelec should not use as alibi the delay in the passage of the 2019 national budget since the activity of the poll body has been funded since last year.
With Marlon Purificacion