WATCH: Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces troops choose peace through the ballot

SULTAN KUDARAT, Philippines – Battle-scarred they might be, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front faces on Monday, January 21, their toughest campaign yet.

Armed with nothing but a first-time vote, young troops from the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces prayed they would win the decades-old struggle for autonomy and independence through the ballot. 

Over 150,000 former combatants of the MILF are among the 2.8 million who have registered to vote in Monday's plebiscite, where the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law and the creation of a new, expanded Bangsamoro region will be decided. 

Sofia Tomacruz reports. – 

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Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at