SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao (MindaNews/ 12 October) — Sajid Islam Uy Ampatuan, the youngest son of the late Andal Ampatuan, Sr. who was freed on bail in March this year after nearly five years of detention as one of the co-accused in the 2009 massacre in Ampatuan, Maguindanao, is running for mayor of Shariff Agua.
Sajid Islam Uy Ampatuan, said his father, who succumbed to liver cancer on July 17, had tasked him to lead the reunification of the Ampatuan clan and restore political leadership in the area.
“Now that I’m out on bail, I acceded to calls from family members, relatives and friends. I want to revive the Ampatuan clan. My father, when he was still alive, tasked me to bring to life the Ampatuan clan and restore Maguindanao where he labored to what it is now,” said Sajid.
Sajid had served as provincial board member of Maguindanao, Vice Governor and OIC Governor.
“I spent my childhood here and it was in this town that our family became known politically,” he said.
Sajid was temporarily released from prison after paying P11.6 million bail bond.
Sajid was detained along with his late father, his brothers Zaldy, Anwar and Andal Jr., and brother-in-law Akmad – all of them elected officials at the time of their arrest in 2009 – for the November 23, 2009 massacre of 58 persons, 32 of them media workers.
He filed his COC for mayor of Shariff Aguak under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
He will be running againt his cousin, Mayor Datu Maroph Ampatuan, and former mayor Zahara Ampatuan, wife of Sajid’s brother, Anwar, mayor of Shariff Aguak at the time of the massacre, who reportedly is considering to run for mayor.
But Shariff Aguak Vice Mayor Bai Anhara Ampatuan, daughter of Anwar and Zahara, is seeking reelection as Sajid’s running mate.
After filing his COC for mayor, Sajid accompanied his wife, Shariff Saydona Mustapha mayor Zandria Sinsuat-Ampatuan in filing her COC for a third term as mayor.
While Sajid said he was tasked by his father to lead the “reunification” of the caln, Sajid explained he is aware he is running against relatives.
“Politics is like that, families seeking political positions against relatives. But at the end of the day, whoever is chosen by the people, he or she should be honored. After election, everything is over,” he said.
Sajid also said he is expecting that the the 2009 Ampatuan Massacred will be used as political issue against him. “But I am ready to face the issue head on,”he said… (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)