Comelec announces split of Maguindanao into two provinces

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 18) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Sunday announced the division of Maguindanao into two provinces, Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur.

More than 99% of those who took part in the plebiscite on Saturday voted in favor of ratifying the law that divides the province into two.

Comelec spokesperson Rex Laudiangco said out of the 711,767 registered voters in Maguindanao who joined the plebiscite, 706,558 or 99.27% voted "yes" in favor of splitting the province into two while only 5,209 or 0.73% voted "no."

The voter turnout is 86.93%, the highest in a province-wide plebiscite based on percentage. The creation of Compostela Valley from Davao Del Norte in 1998 ranks second.

“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,” Laudiangco added. “This dream has now become a reality with the success of the plebiscite and the ratification of Republic Act No. 11550.” 

RELATED: What you need to know about the Maguindanao plebiscite

Poll watchdog National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) earlier reported the plebiscite was generally “smooth, organized, and peaceful.”