SHARIFF AGUAK (MindaNews/02 December) – Three-term governor Andal Salibo Ampatuan, Sr. is running for vice governor of Maguindanao as an Independent candidate, against his daughter and two others.
Shaydee Ampatuan Abutazil, his daughter, is also running for vice governor, also as an Independent candidate.
Three other Ampatuans are running for provincial board member in the second district: Datu Sarip Kasan (Ind); Puti Mamasapano Ampatuan or Hadji Yasser (Ind) and Sajid Islam Uy Ampatuan aka Datu Jie (Ind).
Sajid, his son, was the running mate of Ampatuan, Sr., in the 2007 elections. The two ran unopposed.
The daughter filed her certificate of candidacy around 7 p.m., on December 1, the last day for filing, a staff member from the Commission on Elections office here said. The father’s COC was filed for him also in the evening but the staff member left behind in the Comelec office Wednesday afternoon said she does not know who filed the COC.
The names of candidates running for mayor, vice mayor and municipal legislature, were not made available. The staffmember said the list may have been brought by Comelec’s provincial supervisor, Estelita Orbase.
Several incumbent Maguindanao mayors are Ampatuans or their relatives. In the 2007 elections, when Maguindano had 22 towns, candidates in 20 towns were unopposed. Only two towns had rival candidates.
Running for governor in 2010 are Esmael “Toto” Gaguil Mangudadatu (Lakas-Kampi), Midpantao Musa Midtimbang (Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino) and Datu Ombra Quesada Sinsuat (Bagumbayan-VNP).
At least 57 persons, including Mangudadatu’s wife and several female relatives, their two lawyers and at least 30 journalists were ambushed in Ampatuan town on their way to the provincial Commission on Elections Office in Shariff Aguak on November 23. They were later massacred.
The Ampatuans’ supposed candidate for governor, Andal Ampatuan, Jr., is the principal suspect in the November 23 massacre and is presently detained at the National Bureau of Investigation in Manila.
Sources in Maguindanao told MindaNews on Sunday that the Ampatuans had decided no Ampatuan would run for governor or vice governor and that only the incumbent mayors and officials will run for the same post.
The patriarch, sources said, was willing to support Datu Ombra Sinsuat for governor and Datu Midpantao Midtimbang for vice governor.
By Monday, the same sources said Midtimbang wanted to run for governor instead and asked that Sinsuat run for vice governor. The latter did not agree. (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)