14 run for gov, 16 for vice gov in ARMM polls; ruling party has no candidate

COTABATO CITY (Mindanews/26 May) –  The filing of certificates of candidacy for the August 8 elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) ended midnight May 25 with 14 candidates for governor and 16 for vice governor, but no official candidate from the ruling party.

Ray Sumalipao, regional director of the Commission on Elections in the ARMM said the last day for  filing of certificates of candidacy and the holding of political conventions to nominate an official party candidates  passed with no administration candidate nominated. Except for Pax Mangudadatu and Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco who are running under the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP-Laban) and a candidate of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), the rest are running as independent candidates., he said.

The Commission on Elections regional office here listed the candidates for governor as: Ashmaira Mayasa Abdullah, incumbent Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Alonto Adiong, Saad Ibrahim Amate, Pangalian Macaorao Balindong, Ephraim Baldomero Defino, former Anak Mindanaw partylist Rep. Mujiv Sabbihi Hataman, former OIC ARMM Governor Alvarez Silal Isnaji, Ansaroden Magangcong Sani Banuas Luman Moner, former Sultan Kudarat governor and representative Pax Pakung Sandigan Mangudadatu, Kadra Asani Masihul (KBL), Datu Habib Sarifuddin Samanodi Maulana, Elsie New Orejudos, former OIC Lanao del Sur Governor Saidamen Balt Pangarungan and Sahiron Dulah Salim.

Acting ARMM Governor Ansaruddin-Abdul Malik Alonto Adiong, brother of Mamintal, won the vice gubernatorial post in 2005 and 2008, as Zaldy Ampatuan’s running mate. He filed his certificate of candidacy for governor last Monday but slid down to vice governor after his elder brother filed a COC for governor.
The candidates for vice governor are: Fatani Sultan Abdul Malik, Ansaruddin Abdul Malik Alonto Adiong, Mikunug Pangcatan Ampao, Arab Dimasimpun Ampasao, Shariffa Ziola Anding Bago, Datu Pelaez Alo Carudin, former Tarlac GovernorMargarita “Tingting” Delos Reyes Cojuangco,  Bobby Manangaran Datimbang, Alikhan Awar Dimaro, Gani Usman Gaddung, Abdulbasit Ampaso Hadjinor, Omar Tani Hassiman, former Lanao del Sur governor Basher Dimalaang Manalao, Kano Pasandalan Nor, Marconi Curso Paiso Al Haj and Abdusakur II Abubakar Tan.
Candidates filed their COC accompanied by supporters except Carudin who was accompanied by only one.

Carudin insisted he is a candidate of the Liberal Party, claiming he is close to the former senator Mar Roxas.

But Comelec personnel asked him for a copy of the Liberal Party’s nomination, which he could not produce.

“It seems that the candidates are waiting for political parties,” said Udtog Tago, Maguindanao election supervisor.

Based on Comelec records, 81 filed their COCs for 24 seats in the Regional Legislative Assembly. In Sulu, six candidates filed  their COCs for assemblyman; nine in the second district; in Lanao del Sur, 12 filed in the first district, 12 also in the second district; in Maguindanao, five filed in the first district, 15 in the second; in Tawi-tawi, nine filed while 13 filed for three seats in the RLA representing Basilan.

Maguindanao Governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu’s brother, Khadafy, an incumbent assemblyman, earlier filed a COC for vice governor but later opted for a reelection as assemblyman of the second district of Maguindanao.

Hataman, whose name has repeatedly been mentioned for appointment as OIC Governor should the Senate agree to the postponement of the August 8 polls to May 2013, filed his COC for governor with no political party listed.

Sumalipao said political parties cannot belatedly nominate an official candidate. (Ferdinandh Cabrera with a report from Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)