BSKE: 300 bets with links to MNLF win

Philippine Tribune
Philippine Tribune

John Unson – The Philippine Star

November 1, 2023 | 12:00am

The Bangsamoro regional government is still monitoring the outcome of the elections in the six provinces and three cities under its jurisdiction

Philstar.com / John Unson

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — At least 300 candidates identified with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) are among the winners in the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Local government officials said they expect the proclamation of an initial 200 winners, who are either children or relatives of MNLF leaders, at the latest by tomorrow.

In this city, a senior member of the MNLF, Datun Diocolono, ran unopposed as village chief in Barangay Tamontaka 5.

Mohammad Ali Jawawi Sema, son of MNLF chairman Muslimin Sema, was proclaimed winner in Barangay Tamontaka Mother, also in this city.

“The election of candidates who are either from the MNLF or who are close to us and understand the peace and development goals of our group is a blessing,” Hatimil Hassan, deputy speaker at the BARMM parliament, said. ”It augurs well with our efforts to expand our peace initiatives down to the barangays.”

Hassan said a number of candidates in Basilan who are actively supporting the peace efforts of the MNLF and the national government also won.

Meanwhile, in Central Luzon, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it proclaimed all the winners in six of the seven provinces before noon yesterday.

Elmo Duque, Comelec-Central Luzon spokesman and assistant regional director, said that as of 11:44 a.m. yesterday, only four barangays in Bulacan have yet to proclaim newly elected village and SK officials.

On the plebiscite to ratify the conversion of San Jose del Monte from a component to a highly urbanized city, Bulacan provincial election supervisor Mona Ann Aldana-Campos said the results have yet to be collated.

The BSKE in San Jose del Monte City was held simultaneously with the plebiscite.

EcoWaste pushes cleanup drive

As this developed, Environmental watchdog EcoWaste Coalition urged all candidates to lead cleanup operations to manage the wastes they produced during the campaign period and on election day.

The group said its monitoring teams cited sample ballots, campaign materials as well as single-use food and beverage packaging in polling centers.

EcoWaste said only four of 20 polling centers monitored were found litter-free.These are the Matagbak Elementary School in Alfonso, Cavite; Marbel 7 Elementary School in Koronadal City, South Cotabato; Benguet State University in La Trinidad, Benguet, and Flora Ylagan High School in Quezon City.

Apart from littering, EcoWaste said it observed several other violations of environmental laws during the campaign period. It cited the posting of campaign materials on trees, electric posts and walls.

EcoWaste also lamented the candidates’ use of plastic for their campaign materials such as polyvinyl chloride tarpaulins.

“We suggest upcycling election campaign materials gathered from the cleanup drives. For example, PVC tarpaulins can be upcycled as tote bags and other items not for food or children’s use. Upcycling can decrease garbage volume, lower disposal cost, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve resources,” Tolentino said. — Ramon Efren Lazaro, Rhodina Villanueva

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