Lakas-Kampi bets for gov, mayor complain of flying voters in Datu Unsay town

SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao (MindaNews/10 May) — Lakas-Kampi’s candidate for governor, Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu and his mayoral bets in Shariff Aguak, Datu Saudi Ampatuan and Datu Unsay have written the Joint Security Coordinating Center (JSCC) here to “intervene” and stop the alleged flying voters from neighboring provinces from casting their votes today, Monday.

Hundreds of persons have massed up in front of the usually vacant Datu Unsay public market, allegedly from other places, since two days ago, the vice mayoral bet for Datu Unsay said.

In their joint letter, Mangudadatu, Datu Peka  Mangakop, mayoralty bet for Shariff Aguak; Kindatu Datucali, mayoralty bet for Datu Saudi Ampatuan; and Said Salik, mayoralty bet for Datu Unsay Ampatuan, requested the JSCC to “monitor the entry of flying voters oming from the mujniciaplities of Lake Sebu, T’boli, Surallah, Santo Nino in South Cotabato and some  coming from Sultan Kudarat, City of Cotabato, Parang (Maguindanao) and City of Tacurong (Sultna Kudarat).

The mayoralty bet of Datu Unsay has been disqualified by Comelec for not being a registered voter  of Datu Unsay.

The letter  said the wife of Datu Andal Ampatuan, Sr., who is running for mayor, is “behind the operation and promised the involved voters the sum of P1,000 to P2,000 in consideration of their participation.

Bai Reshal Santiago-Ampatuan, the wife of Ampatuan, Jr., could not be reached for comment. Her husband was elected mayor of Ampatuan town in 2004 and 2007.

The joint letter was handed over to the JSCC by Datu Unsay vice mayoralty bet.Kamarudin Kabib Ibrahim (Independent when he filed his candidacy, now with Lakas-Kapi) who has also been disqualified.

But Ibrahim told MindaNews their names are still on the ballot “so let the people choose.”

He said the “hakot” (hauled) voters started massing at the public market of Datu Unsay “about five days ago” but their number increased in the last two days.

Their number increased tremendously by Monday morning.

At the Datu Unsay Central Elementary School, voting this morning started only at 8 a.m. as members of the Board of Election Inspectors had to be escorted to their precincts by the military. (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)