COTABATO CITY—A day after the Commission on Election (COMELEC) released its Minute Resolution Number 21-0953 on January 3, 2022, barring registered voters from 63 Special Geographic Areas (SGA) to exercise their rights to vote in the upcoming 2022 local elections, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) officials now appeal to the Commission to recourse its decision.
In his statement, Minister Atty Naguib G. Sinarimbo of Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG) said that the subject resolution “deprives over 200,000 SGA constituents of their right of suffrage and of equal protection of the law”.
The BARMM Spokesperson added that while the 63 barangays from North Cotabato have become part of the Regional Autonomous Government and no longer part of Region XII, they have not been reconstituted into appropriate Local Government Units (LGUs) pursuant to the Organic Law.
He underscored that in the computation of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of North Cotabato and respective SGA municipalities, the population, land area, and income of the 63 barangays still form part of North Cotabato and their municipalities, hence constituents are still entitled to be represented and their voices be heard.
Based on the recent COMELEC resolution, constituents of SGA may only be allowed to vote for the national positions pending the determination of the constituent’s local government units until the holding of the 2022 elections. (Bangsamoro Information Office)