By Junex Doronio
September 18, 2022
MANILA — It was a dream come true for former Maguindanao Representative Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu after a total of 706,651 or 99.27 percent of voters chose “Yes” in a plebiscite to usher the historic creation of Maguindanao Del Norte and Maguindanao Del Sur.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Monday, September 19, that it was a landslide win for “Yes” and only 5,206 or 0.73 percent of voters cast “No” to the question of splitting Maguindanao province into two.
“Resoundingly, the creation of the two provinces of Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur had long been hoped for by the Maguindanaoans and their elected leaders,” Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said in a statement.
The poll body noted that voter turnout on Saturday, September 17, was at 80.84 percent, with 712,857 out of 881,790 registered voters casting their votes.
Mangudadatu, then representing the second district of Maguindanao, and Datu Roonie Sinsuat Sr. of the first district introduced House Bill 6314 which seeks to divide Maguindanao into two provinces.
He thanked his colleagues for approving the proposal and those who supported the measure in the Senate, including Senators Francis Tolentino, Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Christopher “Bong” Go.
To recall, then President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed Republic Act 11550 (An Act Dividing the Province of Maguindanao into Two Provinces, Namely: Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur). (ai/mtvn)