Maguindanao’s Hataman loyalists deny Tan of support PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 02 May 2016 11:26

Sulu Vice Gov. Sakur Tan failed to secure support for his candidacy for governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao from Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu and his constituent-mayors whom he personally tried to woe last Wednesday in Buluan town.

Mangudadatu, provincial chairman for Maguindanao of the Liberal Party, on Friday announced over a local station of ABS-CBN that the hospitality they extended to Tan during his visit to Buluan town does not mean he will support his bid for ARMM’s governorship.

Mangudadatu and his siblings, Zajid, an incumbent congressman, Freddie, who is mayor of Mangudadatu town and current president of the Maguindanao league of mayors and Khadafeh, a reelectionist member of the ARMM’s 24-seat Regional Assembly, are staunch political allies of Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman.

Hataman, elected on May 13, 2013 as ARMM’s eighth duly-mandated chief executive since the region’s creation via a plebiscite in 1990, is aspiring for a second term as administration candidate.

All of Maguindanao’s 36 mayors have openly been campaigning for Hataman for having implemented costly infrastructure projects in their municipalities in the past three years and for his overt support to the current peace overture between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

“I am an LP, I belong to the party of LP and I’m a party man and I definitely support the candidacy of Mujiv Hataman,” Mangudadatu told the ABS-CBN station in Cotabato City via a phone patch interview Friday.

He told reporters on Saturday it is un-Islamic not to extend hospitality to a visitor like Tan.

“As Muslims, we ought to extend cordiality and hospitality to visitors, regardless of status in life, religion and race. That doesn’t constitute deviations from our religious and political convictions. We are for Mujiv Hataman,” Mangudadatu said.

Local officials who were in Buluan town during Tan’s visit there said Mangudadatu met the Sulu vice governor only in a private function room, where they talked about domestic political and security issues.

“We just assured him the votes he will garner from the province will be tabulated correctly and shall be credited to him properly. That was our only commitment to him,” Mangudadatu told reporters on Saturday.

Tan, who had served as governor of the impoverished and politically-hostile Sulu province for three consecutive terms prior to his election as vice governor in 2013, also belong to LP.

He filed his candidacy for ARMM’s highest elective post last year without any permission from the party’s national directorate.

“He went to Maguindanao empty-handed, he left the province empty-handed,” a local executive in Maguindanao, who witnessed the Tan-Mangudadatu meeting, said in Filipino.

Tan’s visit to Maguindanao was preceded by the April 26 “solidarity conference” among governors and mayors from across ARMM to show their unity and their cohesive support to the Southern Mindanao peace process.

Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong, Jr., local executives from Basilan and Mayor Rejie Sahali-Generale of Panglima Sugala town in Tawi-Tawi were present in the gathering.

Accompanied by other mayors from Tawi-Tawi, Generale, also an LP member, was the representative of her siblings, Nurbert, the governor of the island province, and Ruby, a reelectionist congresswoman, to the conference, held in Buluan, the capital of Maguindanao. —JFU