Mayor aspiring for Lanao governorship rejects hostile campaign style PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 14:57

The mayor of Marawi City who is aspiring for the gubernatorial post of Lanao del Sur is calling on voters to make use of their right of suffrage to achieve peace and development in the province.

Relatives and campaigners of governor wannabe Fahad Salic on Tuesday told The Zamboanga Times that he had also urged his followers in Marawi City and in Lanao del Sur, which has 39 towns, to campaign for him peacefully and never engage in hostile debates with rival camps.

“That is despite his having survived an ambush about two weeks ago in Cagayan de Oro City. He remains sober to prove to his rivals he is always calm and restrained in his manners,” said a public health worker, who asked not to be identified in keeping with civil service regulations.

’s third and last term as Marawi City mayor will end on June 30, 2016.

A bloc of mixed Muslim and Christian students in the Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City assured to vote for Salic, most known as “Pre,” for his having amicably settled many bloody family feuds involving Maranaw clans, some of them locked in decades-old quarrels over land ownership, political differences and personal grudges.

“We want peace and peace-building is something we ought to support,” Ameer, an MSU student, said in Filipino, without elaborating.

No fewer than 6,000 students of MSU are registered as voters in Marawi City, professors and university employees confirmed.

A Maranaw rice trader, Ekram, said Salic had also warned his relatives to refrain from retaliating and to just leave everything to the police the resolution of the bungled attempt to kill him in Cagayan de Oro City.

“That’s the reason why I and my relatives will vote for him. We, Maranaws, have a strong `rido’ culture, but he did not do anything that can escalate the situation,” Ekram said in the Cebuano dialect, in Maranaw accent.

Rido is a generic term for clan war in most Southern Moro dialects.

Besides Salic, there are two other aspirants for governor of Lanao del Sur, Soraya Adiong, mother of the governor of the province, the third termer Mamintal Adiong, Jr., and Congressman Pangalian Balindong.

Gubernatorial candidate Adiong is from the first district of Lanao del Sur while Balindong, now in his third and last term as congressional representative, is a resident of Malabang town in the second district of the province.

The largest political bastion of Salic and his clan is the vote-rich Marawi City, capital of Lanao del Sur, whose voting population is equivalent to about three to four towns in the province, according to local officials.

“Through clan intermarriages, by blood ties and by affinities, he (Salic) is related to equally big clans based in both districts of Lanao del Sur, just like his rivals,” said Buhari Maser, a Maranaw landowner.

Maser said Salic also has supporters in the ranks of political leaders in different Lanao del Sur towns.

“By the looks of it, the contest would be between Salic and Adiong in the forthcoming May 9 gubernatorial race in Lanao del Sur,” a Maranaw career service official of ARMM said.

The ARMM official said he himself heard campaigners of Salic call on voters not to waste their vote during the May 9 elections.

“They called on us to choose candidates based on their commitments to build peace in our communities. Of course they endorsed Salic, citing his experience in governance and his having settled so many rido while a mayor,” the regional official added.