Upbeat LP Cotabato City candidates hold proclamation rally PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 April 2013 11:00

Some 10,000 supporters and potential campaigners, among them barangay leaders, participated in the proclamation sortie of Liberal Party candidates for elective positions in Cotabato City on Saturday, bolstering expectations of a clean administration sweep during the May 2013 local polls.

The engagement, held at the gymnasium Notre Dame University in Cotabato City, was led by local LP stalwarts, among them Cotabato City Vice-Mayor Muslimin Sema, who is aspiring for the city’s mayoral post, and his spouse, Sandra Sema, who is seeking re-election as congressional representative of the first district of Maguindanao.

Rep. Sema’s district also covers all of the city’s 37 barangays.

The nagging peace and order problems plaguing Cotabato City, where more than 200 people have been murdered one after another by suspected guns-for-hire in the past three years, and many other security concerns, were among the campaign issues administration candidates for local positions vowed to address during the proclamation rally.

Vice-Mayor Sema is chairman of the largest and most politically-active faction of the Moro National Liberation Front. The Sema-led MNLF group has more than 20 “revolutionary” states scattered across Mindanao, including Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and Palawan.

The vice mayor is contesting the re-election bid of Cotabato City Mayor Japal Guiani, Jr., who belong to the United Nationalist Alliance.

LP’s candidates for local positions have also been vocal of their support to President Benigno Aquino’s Southern Mindanao peace process.

The LP’s bet for vice-mayor here, lawyer Willie Bueno, is a retired official of the Commission on Elections, who had served as regional director of Comelec for Region 12.

Five incumbent members of the city council, Florante Formento, Dick Datumanong, Froilan Melendrez, Sukarno Sema, and Kus Taha, are seeking re-election under LP.

Also comprising the LP’s slate for the city council are broadcast journalist Bruce Matabalao, retired police general Mike Daulog, and three chairpersons of densely-populated barangays here, Zeny Montaner-Langco, Sumail Sekak and John Irving Mangulamas.

Matabalao and Formento, also a broadcaster for more than two decades now, both told reporters who covered the proclamation rally they are certain each of the more than 10,000 participants to the sortie can convince no fewer than 10 to 15 voters each to vote straight for the LP’s candidate for mayor, vice-mayor and councilors.

“If approximately 10,000 of them can influence even just  five to seven voters each, the LP slate, from mayoral candidate down, will garner a convenient vote lead of  70,000 or even more,” Matabalao said.

Cotabato City, temporary seat of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, only has about 100,000 registered voters.