MANILA — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has 10,000 troops at hand to secure the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscites, Chief-of-Staff, Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal said Tuesday.
“We already have troops on the ground, around 10,000 troops. We also have what we call follow-on forces if in case it is necessary. But for now, we have sufficient troops there,” Madrigal said in Filipino at the sidelines of the New Year’s Call.
The first BOL plebiscite that will be held on January 21 will cover the entire Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and the cities of Isabela and Cotabato, while the second, to be held on February 6, will cover the provinces of Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato.
On July 26, 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the BOL, or Republic Act No. 11054, which seeks to establish a new Bangsamoro political entity to replace the ARMM. (PNA) By Priam Nepomuceno