Mangudadatu leads Sultan Kudarat gubernatorial race

ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat (MindaNews / 15 May) – Reelectionist Gov. Suharto Mangudadatu is widely leading the gubernatorial race here. And if he wins, this will make his family dominate the provincial political landscape for about two decades until 2016.

Based on the partial and official results released by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Mangudadatu got 109,247 votes.

His closest rival, former Tacurong City mayor Lino Montilla, received only 64,462 votes, or a margin of 44,785 votes.

Jay Gerada, Comelec-Sultan Kudarat supervisor, said the transmitted votes to the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) here came from the province’s 9 of 12 localities.

As of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Tacurong City and the towns of Esperanza and Lebak have yet to transmit results of their elections to the PBOC for canvassing, reportedly due to corrupted compact flash memory cards of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.

Tacurong has 46,379 registered voters, Esperanza has 31,289 and Lebak, 41,397.

Sultan Kudarat province has total registered voters of 396,841 in 249 barangays.

The towns of Isulan, Bagumbayan, Lambayong, Lutayan, President Quirino, Columbio, Senator Ninoy Aquino, Palimbang and Kalamansig have completely transmitted results of their respective elections to the PBOC.

Mangudadatu’s looming victory will bring his family’s domination over Sultan Kudarat province close to two decades.

He was first elected as governor in 2007 and was reelected in 2010. Until 2016, he would serve a total of nine years.

His father, Datu Pax Mangudadatu, was provincial governor from 1998 to 2007, or nine years. He was representative of the first congressional district in 2007 to 2010.

The elder Mangudadatu ran for governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) during Monday’s polls but unofficial results showed him lagging behind acting ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman.

Before the younger Mangudadatu became governor in 2007, he was also the representative of the province’s first congressional district.

That district is now held by reelectionist Rep. Raden Sakaluran, brother-in-law of Mangudadatu. Both ran as independents during the May 13 polls.

Sakaluran is also widely leading the first congressional district race with 71,977 votes. His closest rival, Liberal Party’s Botog Valdez, was lagging with 31,319 votes.

Sakaluran is husband of Ruth Mangudadatu-Sakaluran, Mangudadatu’s sister, who ran unopposed as mayor of Lutayan, the hometown of the Mangudadatus.