COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/16 May) — Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu rode a Simba armored personnel carrier, escorted by a military convoy, to his proclamation as Governor of Maguindanao on May 15, 2010 at the provincial capitol built by the Ampatuan patriarch, Andal Ampatuan, Sr. in Shariff Aguak town. He arrived at 2:34 p.m. with the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) still awaiting transmission of results from the last two of 36 towns: South Upi and Datu Blah Sinsuat.
He and running mate Ismael “Dustin” Mastura were proclaimed winners three hours later – at 5:40 p.m.
Three years and one day later, on May 15, 2013, Mangudadatu rode a Simba armored personnel carrier escorted by a military convoy, to his proclamation as reelected governor at Maguindanao at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Center at the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao compound here. He arrived at 5:15 p.m. with the PBOC still awaiting transmission of results from three towns: General SK Pendatun, Parang and Sultan Kudarat.
He and running mate, Datu Lester Sinsuat, and other provincial officials including Mangudadatu’s brothers Zajid (2nd district congressman) and Khadafeh (2nd district ARMM Assemblyman) were proclaimed six hours later – at 11:09 p.m.
The 44-year old Mangudadatu, arrived with his brothers Zajid and Khadafeh, and his 38-year old running mate Lester, mayor of Datu Odin Sinsuat town and son of one of two opponents Mangudadatu defeated in the 2010 gubernatorial race: Datu Ombra Sinsuat, who is returning as mayor when his son assumes the post of Vice Governor on June 30.
The other man he defeated in that election was Ali Midtimbang, this year’s running mate of his lone opponent, Sultan Kudarat mayor Datu Tucao Mastura, uncle of his 2010 running mate, Dustin.
Mangudadatu did not need to wait for results from the three towns as he was leading by at least 90,000 votes against his lone opponent, Sultan Kudarat mayor Datu Tucao Mastura, uncle of Dustin, in 33 of 36 towns. He said his running mate was also leading but would still need the results of the remaining towns.
The three towns have a total of 83,603 registered voters, 40,058 of which are from Mastura’s bailiwick, Sultan Kudarat.
After the votes of Northern Kabuntalan were canvassed at around 5 p.m., PBOC member-secretary Paharudin Akot announced that in 33 of 36 towns, Mangudadatu got 180,756 votes against Mastura’s 86,651 or a lead of 94,105.
When the results from Parang town were transmitted at around 7:20 p.m. Mangudadatu got 14,717 votes against Mastura’s 8,027, making their total number of votes at 195,473 and 94,678, respectively or a lead of 100,795.
35 of 36, 34 of 36 towns
At 4:14 p.m. of May 14, 2010, acting provincial election supervisor and PBOC chair Renault Macarambon announced that the results of South Upi had been “successfully transmitted.”
When the Mangudadatu-Mastura lawyers asked the PBOC to already proclaim them winners since the Datu Blah Sinsuat votes would not affect their candidates’ standing, the Comelec’s Macarambon asked at around 4:30 p.m. for an hour’s recess to seek written permission from the regional director to lower the threshold from 100% or all 36 towns, to 35 towns.
With 35 towns already canvassed, Mangudadatu and Mastura were proclaimed at 5:40 p.m., Mangudadatu winning 153,706 votes against Sinsuat’s 141,001 and Midtimbang’s 68,586 votes.
Mangudadatu’s running mate, Dustin Mastura, who ran against Andal Ampatuan, Sr. won 173,111 votes against Ampatuan’s 142,783.
The Ampatuan patriarch by then had been detained for his alleged involvement in the November 23, 2009 massacre of 58 persons, including Mangudadatu’s wife, sisters and relatives and 32 other from the media.
The 58 victims were on their way to Shariff Aguak town from Mangudadatu’s hometown in Buluan to file his certificate of candidacy when stopped by about a hundred armed men believed led by Andal Ampatuan, Jr., who was then running for governor.
It was the worst pre-election violent incident in Philippine history and the worst worldwide in terms of the number of media workers killed in a single incident.
At 10:10 p.m. of May 15, 2013, acting provincial election supervisor and PBOC chair Nasib Yasin announced that he had received the authority to lower the canvassing threshold to 34 towns and allow the proclamation of Mangudadatu and Sinsuat because even if the votes of the two towns – 52,206 registered voters, assuming a 100% voter turnout — were all given to Mastura and Midtimbang, Mangudadatu and Sinsuat would still win the race.
Mangudadatu and Sinsuat were proclaimed winners at 11:09 p.m., the hands-raising rites done thrice – the PBOC’s area on the platform first and the main stage twice.
Allies and turfs
The political foes in 2010 had become allies by 2013.
In the 2013 polls, Mangudadatu allied with the Sinsuats, while Tucao and Dustin Mastura, who is running for Assemblyman in the Regional Legislative Assembly, allied with the Midtimbangs and Ampatuans.
In 2010, based on the results of 35 towns, Mangudadatu won in 17 towns – in Ampatuan, site of the November 23, 2009 massacre; Buluan, the Mangudadatus’ hometown; General SK Pendatun; Kabuntalan, Mangudadatu, Northern Kabuntalan, Pagagawan, Pagalungan, Paglat, Pandag, Parang, Rajah Buayan, South Upi, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura, Sultan Sa Barongis and Upi.
In 2013, based on results of 34 towns, Mangudadatu won in 22 towns – in Ampatuan, Barira, Buldon, Buluan, Datu Abdullah Sangki, Datu Blah Sinsuat, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Datu Paglas, Datu Piang, Datu Salibo, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Mangudadatu, Northern Kabuntalan, Pagagawan, Paglat, Pandag, Parang, Rajah Buayan, South Upi, Sultan Sa Barongis, Talitay and Upi.
Mastura won in 12 towns with Sultan Kudarat, his bailiwick, as the 13th. Sultan Kudarat was able to transmit its results at 7:48 p.m. but these were not read anymore as the results from Parang, which were transmitted a few minutes earlier, were enough to ensure victory for Sinsuat.
The results from Gen. SK Pendatun were not transmitted to the PBOC. The town has 12,148 registered voters.
Earlier, Sultan Kudarat was not able to transmit the results because of defective memory card in a clustered precinct in Barangay Simuay comprising 905 votes, Acting Election Officer Normida Umpar told MindaNews early Wednesday morning.
But since the number of votes would not affect the results at the local level, Umpar proclaimed Tusday night the winners led by mayor-elect Shameen Mastura, daughter of Tucao Mastura.
In the gubernatorial race in Sultan Kudarat, where Mastura was completing his third term as mayor, Mastura won 37,797 votes against Mangudadatu’s 399, according to the municipal canvass report from 55 of 56 clustered precincts, a copy of which Umpar showed to MindaNews.
In the electoral contest for vice governor in 2010, Dustin Mastura won in 22 towns – in Ampatuan, Buluan, Datu Abdullah Sangki, Datu Anggal Midtimbang, General SK Pendatun, Guindulungan, Kabuntalan, Mangudadatu, Northern Kabuntalan; Pagagawan, Pagalungan, Paglat,Pandag, Parang,, Rajah Buayan, South Upi, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura, Sultan Sa Barongis, Talayan, Talitay, Upi.
His opponent, the Ampatuan patriarch, won in 13 towns – in Barira, Buldon, Datu Hoffer Ampatuan, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Datu Paglas, Datu Piang, Datu Salibo, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Datu Unsay, Mamasapano, Matanog, Shariff Aguak, Shariff Saydona. (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)