After 30 years and three plebiscites, Cotabato City is now part of the autonomous government.  Since the birth of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in 1989, the city has been its ‘provisional’ seat of government.

The plebiscite on January 21, according to security officials, was generally peaceful.  Though there were reports of minor incidents but it did not affect the outcome of the the plebiscite.

Thousands of residents queue outside the Cotabato City Pilot Central Elementary School during the plebiscite for the ratifcaton of Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) on Monday. (Keith Bacongco)

Philippine Army troopers impose tight security measures in Cotabato City Central Pilot Elementary School during plebiscite for the ratification of Bangsamoro Organic Law. (Keith Bacongco)

A young Muslim woman assists her grandmother as she casts her vote during the plebiscite for the ratification of Bangsamoro Organic Law in Cotabato City on Monday. (Keith Bacongco)

Election canvassers on Tuesday tally initial results of the plebiscite in Cotabato City for the ratification of Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).. (Keith Bacongco)

Where’s my name?

Ready for the day!

Election canvassers on Tuesday tally initial results of the plebiscite in Cotabato City for the ratification of Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).. (Keith Bacongco)

Ensuring peace and order.

Election canvassers on Tuesday tally initial results of the plebiscite in Cotabato City for the ratification of Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).. (Keith Bacongco)

SAF operator outside the ORG Compound.

Excitement and hope fills the atmosphere outside the canvassing venue in Cotabato City as these Muslim women flash peace sign upon learning the overwhelming results of the plebiscite for the ratificaiton of Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL). (Keith Bacongco)

Election canvassers on Tuesday tally initial results of the plebiscite in Cotabato City for the ratification of Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).. (Keith Bacongco)