NO VOTE FATAL IN SAYADI REELECTION
The Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) shall influence voters’
choice in the race for mayor in Cotabato City in the May 13 mid-
Whoever supported BOL, the law that created the Bangsamoro
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), shall have an
edge over those against the legislation that expanded the
Bangsamoro territory in Mindanao.
In the January 21, 2019 plebiscite on the BOL, Cotabato City—the
“crown jewel” of the new autonomous region — 36,682 voted YES
as against the 24,994 NO votes.
Two candidates with opposing positions on the BOL are running
for mayor in Cotabato City in the coming May 13 contest.
Incumbent Mayor Cynthia Sayadi is against BOL and campaigned
hard against its ratification.
Maguindanao Rep. Bai Sandra Sema, who is challenging the
reelection of Sayadi, is for BOL.
Last year months ahead of the January 21, 2019 plebiscite, a
Mindanao scholar said the results of the plebiscite in Cotabato
City could indicate the outcome of the mayoral election.
If a no vote on the BOL wins in January, Cynthia’s victory in the
May elections is sure, said Fr. Eliseo Mercado, a senior policy
adviser of the Cotabato City-based think tank, Institute for
Autonomy and Governance (IAG).
A Yes vote for BOL would translate to a win for Sema, said
For her support for BOL, Sema was also expected to get the
support of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro
National Liberation Front (MNLF), particularly the faction headed
by Sema’s husband Muslimin Sema.
Both the MILF and the MNLF supported BOL that created the
BARMM that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslims