63 North Cotabato villages in BARMM to hold manual elections and vote only for national candidates in 2022


The polls to be held next year in 63 barangays in North Cotabato will be held manually and only cover national candidates, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec). 

Comelec Deputy Executive Director for Operations (DEDO) Teopisto E. Elnas Jr. said they will implement the special scheme in the said areas, which are still in the transition of being integrated to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). 

He said the conduct of the polls in the said areas will also be done through manual election instead of using Automated Election System (AES).  

“They would have to print or write the name of the candidates then the electoral boards will count the ballots and accomplish the election returns then after that this accomplished election returns will be brought to the Cotabato City, where the Special Board Canvassers will canvass the election returns coming from the 63 barangays,” Elnas said during an online press briefing of the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) last Monday.

The special board of canvassers will  then prepare the certificate of canvas and submit it to the National Board of Canvassers. 

The said barangay were previously part of the 6 municipalities in Cotabato before they decided to join the BARMM in the plebiscite conducted in 2019. 

Since BARMM has yet come out with its Electoral Code to set up its constituency in the municipal and provincial level, the voters in the 63 barangays will only be voting for national candidates in the 2022 National and Local Elections (NLE).

The pending BARMM Electoral Code was among the reasons why the election in the region was postponed from next year to 2025.  (Samuel Medenilla) 

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