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Maguindanao voters urge to participate in plebiscite

August 19, 2022 - Friday 5:08 PM by Angelo Espino

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) hopes that more voters will participate in the Maguindanao plebiscite set on September 17, just like they did in the May 2022 polls.

Comelec chairman George Garcia expects that many people will go out and participate in next month's plebiscite that will divide the province into two.

"If the voter turnout was 85 percent in Maguindanao during the May 2022 elections... we hope that we will have 80 percent or more than 80 percent (for the plebiscite)," he said.

"Whatever your position is, whether it's a yes or a no, the most important thing is you are able to cast their votes," the poll body chief added.

He noted that the votes of the Maguindanaoans are vital since they will decide if they want to divide or not the province.

"If you want to be split into two provinces, we will respect that. If you want to stay as a single province, we will also respect that. What is important is that your voices are heard," Garcia said.

"It is not enough that the 'yes' or the 'no' wins. We should be more concerned on is ensuring that people will be able to vote. Always, sovereignty resides in the people," he added. 

The Comelec chairman urged all election officials and personnel in the province to stay neutral in the conduct of the referendum. 

"Let us show everybody that the Comelec, under the Constitution and with our firm commitment, will be impartial and will always be neutral. Whatever is the mandate of the people, it should be the one that comes out," Garcia said.

During the plebiscite, voters will be asked  if they agree or disagree to divide Maguindanao into two provinces, namely Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur.



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