By Masiding N. Yahya
COTABATO CITY— Bangsamoro interior and local government minister Naguib Sinarimbo said more than 200,000 constituents of the 63 Special Geographic Areas (SGA) are deprived of their right of suffrage and equal protection of the law, a report said.
Lawyer Sinarimbo said this 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, the Bangsamoro Information Office (BIO) said.
Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) officials now appeal to the Commission to recourse its decision, it said.
Sinarimbo, also BARMM Spokesperson, said 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. (With BIO)