Maguindanao PDP-Laban chapter plans campaign sans intrigue, mudslinging PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:32

Maguindanao political leaders that have recently joined the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan are set to use a campaign pitch that seeks a wider support to the peace process and the Islamic concept of consensus-building as basis for good governance.

Members of the PDP-Laban are considering a campaign pitch centered on free flowing opinions and ideas and getting rid of “fitna’, the Arabic for upheaval and chaos. The tactic is seen to counter the usual mudslingings between rival politicians, which often result in bloody confrontations.

Sultan Kudarat Mayor Hadji Mastura, the PDP-LABAN provincial leader and who is set to run for governor of Maguindanao, along with running mate Datu Ali Midtimbang and their followers vowed to adhere to a common maxim of “religious awakening” as a common agenda in pushing forward the political objectives of the party in the province.

Governance and religion are one in Islam and politics, according to Quranic teachings. They should be based on trust by communities and premised on the involvement of all sectors, including women, in the community’s decision-making.

Mastura, Midtimbang, and their followers were jointly sworn in as new PDP-Laban members in Manila Wednesday by Vice-President Jejomar Binay and the party’s secretary-general, Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr.

A new party member, Datu Manawut Sinsuat, who will run for mayor of Datu Blah town in Maguindanao, said he should drop his long-time hobby of raising fighting cocks, which their group has prohibited among members to ensure moral ascendancy in introducing “religious awakening”.

Sinsuat said he also has to pray five times a day now, facing the direction of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in keeping with a local policy of the provincial PDP-Laban chapter to propagate spiritual consciousness among members.

Sinsuat said they believe that “victory” is a form of blessing from Allah, and that one cannot win an electoral post without divine approval.

Ustadz Jaafar Kantar, a preacher, said religion and politics are not separate under Islamic doctrine, which teaches its followers to trust their leaders, and for community stewards to repay public trust with dedication, honesty and fair application laws regardless of religions and racial identities.

Mastura, originally the Liberal Party provincial party chairman for Maguindanao, was touted as the “engineer” of President Aquino’s victory in the province during the 2010 presidential election.

He resigned from LP about a week prior to the oath-taking of Maguindanao mayors as new administration party members in Buluan, the hometown of Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu.

Members of Maguindanao’s PDP-Laban chapter said one challenge they face is how to show their support to the government’s peace overtures with Moro groups even though they might have to vacate their posts if a peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front paves the way for the creation of a new governing mechanism for Muslim areas in the South.

Midtimbang, the PDP-Laban’s official candidate for Maguindanao vice governor, and his relatives, who exercise political influence over the towns of Guindulungan,Talayan and Datu Anggal, all in the second district of the province, have expresed their support to the on-going GPH-MILF talks.