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Violence seen as unlikely in Bangsamoro law plebiscite

MANILA — A former official of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) said violence is unlikely in Monday’s plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law. 

Lawyer and peace advocate Algamar Latiph, who was a former legal counsel of the BTC said this is because there are no candidates involved in Monday’s polls, and it was a simple yes or no vote. 

Around 2.8 million voters are expected participate in the January 21 plebiscite on the measure, which is part of a peace deal between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2014.

Latiph added that despite opposition from some politicians and a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front, he was confident that the BOL will be ratified in the plebiscite. 

He added that it was unlikely that the Supreme Court will stop the polls, despite petitions asking the tribunal to issue a temporary restraining order on the plebiscite. 

“We believe that there is no merir to those petitions,” Latiph said in an interview with ANC.

Latiph said that by not issuing a TRO on the plebiscite, the High Court had already ruled that there was no urgency to stop the BOL.