SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao (MindaNews/13 May) — Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu and Ismael “Dustin” Mastura continued their lead in the gubernatorial and vice gubernatorial race with election returns from 32 out of 36 towns already in, their opponents Datu Ombra Sinsuat and running mate Andal Ampatuan, Sr., a far second.
The Ampatuan patriarch, so used to giving his opponents or opponents of his allies “zero” vote, got zero this time, along with another vice-guernatorial bet, Marouph Candao, in the town of Mangudadatu.
The Mangudadatu-Mastura tandem began taking the lead on the 23rd town as of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
As of 3p.m. today, and with nine more towns to make 32, Mangudadatu is leading by 12,425 votes, with 141,277 votes against Datu Ombra Sinsuat’s 128,852 and Midpantao Midtimbang’s 66,118.
But it is the 39-year old Mastura who is enjoying a big lead over the 68-year old fallen political warlord, Datu Andal Ampatuan, Sr.. Mastura is leading by 29,712 votes against Ampatuan’s 131,781.
The four towns which have yet to transmit its returns are Buldon, South Upi, Datu Blah Sinsuat and Pagalungan which have a combined voting population of 57,281.
Of the additional nine towns canvassed after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and today, Mastura won in five, Ampatuan in four.
Mastura won in the towns of Northern Kabuntalan (3,080 to Ampatuan’s 502), Paglat (1,000 to 326), Parang (9,693 to 1,662), Mangudadatu (7,412 to 0) and Datu Anggal Midtimbang (9,018 to 123).
Ampatuan won in Datu Unsay town (771 votes to Mastura’s 331),. Shariff Saydona Mustapha (10,292 to 429), Datu Odin Sinsuat (35,468 to 4,943) and Matanog (2,966 to Mastura’s 2,058).
In the nine towns, Mangudadatu and Sinsuat won in four towns each while Midtimbang won in Datu Anggal Midtimbang (10,142 votes against Mangudadatus 41 and Sinsuat’s 35).
Mangudadatu won in Northern Kabuntalan (3,479 to Midtimbang’s 922 and Sinsuat’s 652), Paglat (1,545 to Midtimbang’s 358 and Sinsuat’s 206), Parang (11,341 to Midtimbang’s 3,707 and Sinsuat’s 2,281), Mangudadatu (7,501 to Midtimbang’s 0 and Sinsuat’s 1).
Sinsuat won win Datu Unsay (645 to Midtimbang’s 250 and Mangudadatu’s 360), Shariff Saydona Mustapha (8,688 to Midtimbang’s 1,761 and 514), Datu Odin Sinsuat (45,461 to Midtimbang’s 240 and Mangudadatu’s 785), and Matanog (2,983 to Midtimbang’s 424 and Mangudadatu’s 2,270).
vActing provincial election supervisor Renault Macarambon, also head of the provincial board of canvassers, told MindaNews as of 5:20 p.m. Thursday that the results from Pagalungan, 2.5 hours away from the provincial capitol here, contained in a compact disc because the machine malfunctioned, “are on the way.”
He said canvassing is presently going on at the ground floor of the provincial capitol (the session hall where the provincial canvassing is done is on the second floor) for Datu Blah Sinsuat town.
In South Upi, an election officer was sent there to look into the situation. Macarambon said a group whom he did not identify, is protesting that “flying voters” were allowed to cast their votes last Monday. The group wants the Commission on Elections to declare a failure of elections. Macarambon says it’s Comelec in Manila that decides on this.
In Buldon, he said, a defective card that was crediting votes to another candidate, was replaced this afternoon. (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)