True Mindanao partylist wins 2 seats in Congress PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 21 May 2016 11:19

With two representatives in the partylist bloc they supported for being interfaith-focused and tribally-pluralistic, voters in five southern provinces now have a louder voice in Congress.

The Anak Mindanao (AMIN) Partylist, which scored 706,698 in the partylist election summary matrix obtained from the Commission on Elections, is sure now of two seats in the House of Representatives.

The AMIN was pioneered more than a decade ago by Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), who won a second term during the May 9 regional polls.

The ARMM covers the geographically-scattered, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, which are both in mainland Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

The camp of the defeated ARMM gubernatorial candidate Sakur Tan, now outgoing vice governor of Sulu, campaigned for the neophyte Kusug Tausug Partylist, which was widely perceived as solely for Tausugs by voters in the autonomous region.

Peace activists, among them Catholic priests and nuns in ARMM, said apprehensions of voters on the goals and objectives of the Kusug Tausug made AMIN win overwhelmingly in the autonomous region and nearby provinces that belong to administrative regions.

Besides its incumbent representative, Sitti Djalia Hataman, AMIN now has Makmod Mending, Jr., who had served as ARMM’s agriculture secretary prior to his nomination as second representative of the group.

Upi Mayor Ramon Piang, Sr., a chieftain in ARMM’ indigenous non-Moro Teduray community, said he and his constituents voted for AMIN owing to its being a genuine “tri-people” partylist.

Tri-people is a technical parlance for Mindanao’s Muslim, Christian and Lumad communities.

The AMIN is also serving the members of Mindanao’s Muslim, Christian and indigenous communities thriving outside of Mindanao. That is why we voted for AMIN,” said a public school teacher in Parang, a predominantly Iranon town in the first district of Maguindanao.

Officials of ARMM’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on Friday said AMIN supported extensively in the past 36 months the agency’s programs meant to improve the productivity of farmers and fisherfolks in the autonomous region.

“Nowhere in the history of ARMM has a partylist group ever extended such kind of support to the marginalized Muslim, Christian and Lumad sectors in the area the way AMIN did,” said Myra Borja Mangkabung, secretary of the science and technology department in the autonomous region.

Dondoh Paguilidan, a Teduray farmer in Datu Blah Sinsuat town in Maguindanao, said members of his clan decided to vote for AMIN for its being identified with non-Muslim hinterland tribes.

“Merong partylist na para sa mga makakaliwa, hindi naman kami mga komunista, meron namang para lang sa mga taga Luzon, eh taga Mindanao naman kami kaya dito kami sa AMIN,” he said.