Comelec holds plebiscites in Marawi
CHRISTIAN CROW MAGHANOY
The Manila Times
THE Commision on Elections (Comelec) will hold plebiscites in Marawi City today, March 18, which aims to create at least two barangay or villages. Comelec Chairman George Edwin Garcia said the plebiscites were intended for the creation of Barangay Boganga 2 and Barangay Datu Dalidigan as provided by the ordinance. He said this will historically mark the first exclusively local electoral exercise in Marawi City since its liberation in 2017 after a siege by local terrorists. Garcia explained the conduct of plebiscites in Marawi City stemmed from an increase of internally displaced individuals or “bakwit”. “In just two hours, the results of the plebiscites will be released and it will be known immediately if the residents will agree to the creation of two villages in Marawi,” said Garcia in a radio interview on Friday. The plebiscites will start at 10 a.m. and will end at 3 p.m., he said. According to Garcia, the Comelec is ready for the referendum in cooperation with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Department of Education, and Bureau of Fire Protection. “We should always think that we must not fear anything because democracy cannot be obtained by intimidation because it is obtained by the voice of the people,” Garcia said. He explained the recent violence in Lanao del Sur does not mirror the entire situation in the province. More than 400,000 residents were reportedly displaced while 1,000 terrorists and 160 soldiers died in the terrorist attack.