Tongkil opposition unites PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 21 December 2012 14:04

The political opposition in the Municipality of Tongkil, (2nd district) Sulu, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has forged a unified front in support of the candidacy of Hadji Abdullajid Sahidulla Alih who is running for the town’s mayoralty post under the administration’s ruling Liberal Party.

Hadji Alih’s Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance was signed by Governor Abdusakur M. Tan, who is also the LP provincial chairman for Sulu.

The leaders of the political opposition groups he named as Milikan, Jailan, Hadji Ridwan, Maling, Jumma, Abulluh, Dante Undug including the brother of the incumbent vice mayor of Tongkil as well as other opposition groups who he said, do not want to be named yet, are throwing their all-out unconditional support for his candidacy in the 2013 elections, Hadji Alih said.

He also dismissed speculations that he will be withdrawing his candidacy before the elections.

“I am not and will never withdraw my candidacy for mayor in 2013,“ he strongly declared. “I am running for the democratic interest of the people of my municipality which was denied for almost 30 years now under the leadership of the incumbent mayor,” he said.

He meanwhile asked the government to look into the state of affairs of Tongkil. “I am also urging the investigative agencies of government especially the NBI and CIDG to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the real situation in Tongkil,” he said.

He said, that “several families have allegedly committed suicide because they were deprived of livelihood opportunities when economic activities especially fishing were purportedly controlled by the mayor and family” and urged the new leadership of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to dismantle the private armed groups numbering around 300 with reportedly high powered firearms including four .50 caliber machine guns, two 81mm and two 61mm mortars and disposable anti-tank RPGs.

As a legitimate candidate, Hadji Alih also asked the new PNP chief to relieve of duty and change the police personnel of Tongkil for allegedly conducting warrantless search and seizure operations in Barangay Tinutungan, considered to be an opposition stronghold, on October 10, 2010 and other areas in the town without clearance from the PNP provincial director of Sulu. Alleged searches which were aimed at illegal drugs, were also not authorized or deputized by the PDEA, he said. This (request) will also help ensure a peaceful, fair and credible 2013 elections in Tongkil, he added.

He also said that Hadji Ridwan, who is one of the opposition leaders supporting him, has filed a complaint against the incumbent mayor following the burning of some 100 residential houses in the aftermath of the attack on the village of Sigumbal in April 2007. The displaced families of about 1,000 persons, he said, have not yet returned until now fearing for their lives and are still receiving threats allegedly from the mayor and his armed group. He claimed that the affected residents have not reconstructed nor rebuilt their homes.

Moreover, he also wants an investigation on the disbursement/distribution of the government’s financial subsidy to poor families under the 4Ps Program of the DSWD which he said, were allegedly either deducted with large unscrupulous amounts or not at all released to recipients.

Hadji Alih expressed gratitude for the full support of the provincial leadership of Sulu.

“I am very thankful to Hon. Gov. Sakur M. Tan for personally choosing me as the LP candidate in Tongkil, the 10 municipal mayors of the 2nd district, former congressman Munir M. Arbison as well as the Hon. ARMM OIC Gov. Mujiv S. Hataman and the LP hierarchy,” he added. — PR