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COTABATO CITY — In anticipation of the upcoming 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (BSK) Elections 2023 scheduled on October 30, the Minister of the Interior and Local Government (MILG), Atty. Naguib G. Sinarimbo, announced on the eve of the political exercise a Red alert status for the region.
The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) had its first taste of a regular BSK elections this year after its establishment in January 2019.
Established in 2018 by the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) to implement the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), the BARMM is made up of the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Norte, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, the cities of Cotabato, Lamitan, and Marawi, as well as the Special Geographic Area’s (SGA) 63 barangays or villages that voted “Yes” in a plebiscite in February 2019 to be under the BARMM jurisdiction.
According to the Philippine Atlas BARMM has 4,404,288 people. It has 116 municipalities: Basilan, 11 municipalities; Lanao del Sur, 39; undivided Maguindanao, 36; Sulu, 19; and Tawi-Tawi, 11. Its component cities are Cotabato (the regional center and capital) in Maguindanao; Lamitan in Basilan; and Marawi in Lanao del Sur.
Effective 5 p.m. today, October 29, the alert status has been raised from Blue to Red at the Bangsamoro Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence (READi) Operation Center.
The heightened alert status signified that operation went on an around the clock, 24/7, mode with a full complement of staff to ensure there are sufficient personnel to closely monitor and rapidly respond to emergencies.
Rescue teams were ready for dispatch to areas requiring immediate assistance.
To bolster vigilance and transparency, the Election Monitoring Center (EMC) had been activated, dedicated to overseeing the conduct of the 2023 BSK Elections and promptly reporting on any developments.
Across all municipalities within the BARMM, Municipal Local Government Operations Officers (MLGOOs) served as field monitors, equipped with identification credentials duly accredited by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“We pray that the elections will be peaceful, orderly, honest, and credible,” Sinarimbo, who also heads the Bangsamoro READi, expressed in his Facebook page post.
“Walang tulugan para sa Bayan at kinabukasan nating lahat” (There will be no sleeping for the nation and our future),” Sinarimbo added, underscoring that there would be no rest when it comes to serving the nation and securing the common future. (Aisah Abas/BIO) — (✓)