ISABELA CITY, Basilan (Mindanews/28 September) – The Liberal Party (LP) has officially declared its candidates in this province as the period for the filing of certificate of candidacy (COC) for the 2013 election nears.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has declared the period from October 1 to 5 as the dates for the filing of COCs for next year’s midterm polls.
The declaration was led by Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao acting Gov. Mujiv Hataman and Undersecretary Raffy Albert , Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs following a pagduwaa (thanksgiving) for unity, peace and progress last Wednesday.
Hataman’s brother, Congressman Jim Salliman, will be the LP’s official candidate for the lone district of this province.
Gov. Jum Akbar is seeking reelection under the administration party.
With the presence of the Akbars and Hatamans in the LP, the party has become a formidable force in the province.
In June this year, the two families signed a peace covenant witnessed by the late Interior and Local Government secretary Jesse Robredo and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles.
Under the covenant they agreed not to field any candidate against each other as well as against their respective followers who are elected officials.
Meanwhile, officials who are on their last terms of office have agreed not to seek other positions and vowed to support the LP bets.
One of them is Vice Gov. Alrasheed Sakkalahul, who is the provincial chairman of the United Nationalist Alliance, the coalition between the PDP-Laban of Vice President Jejomar Binay and the Partido ng Masang Pilipino of former president Joseph Estrada.
However, the Akbars and Hatamans have chosen Sakkalahul’s son, Teemhar, to be their candidate for vice governor.
The incumbent mayors, vice mayors aand councilors have also joined the LP.
Albert said the unification of the two political clans was a breakthrough in the political history of Basilan “where leaders of powerful clans have agreed to end their grievances and misunderstandings with the principal aim of having a peaceful province.”
With the development, Albert said he foresees that the province would be removed from the list of election hotspots in the country. (MindaNews)