Former governor Pax Mangudadatu returns to SK capitol

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/10 May) — After a six-year break from politics, former Sultan Kudarat Gov. Datu Pax Mangungudatu is returning to the provincial capitol.

Mangudadatu, who ran under local political party Partido Tinig ng Masa (PTM), is currently leading the gubernatorial race with 134,443 votes based on the partial tally of the Commission on Elections as of 2 pm on Tuesday.

His closest rival, outgoing Isulan Mayor Diosdado Pallasigue of the Liberal Party (LP), only received 77,177 votes, or a margin of 57,266 votes. Bagwis Europa of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan got 954 votes.

Mohammad Donde, staff member of Comelec-Sultan Kudarat, said the provincial board of canvassers (PBOC) has so far processed results from nine of the province’s 12 localities.

He said they are still waiting for the transmission of official tallies from the municipal boards of canvassers of the municipalities of Columbio and President Quirino.

“We’re having a technical problem with our system right now and it has been affecting the transmission of the results to the PBOC,” he told MindaNews on the phone.

Donde said their office already relayed the matter to the Comelec’s national technical support center in Manila and was awaiting for its advice.

He said the PBOC’s convening has been put on hold but will immediately proceed once the technical problem was resolved.

Mangudadatu was provincial governor from 1998 to 2007, and representative of the first congressional district from 2007 to 2010.

He decided to forego re-election in the 2010 elections to make a run for the gubernatorial post of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) that was initially scheduled in October 2011.

But he withdrew his plans after the ARMM election was reset by Congress to go with the 2013 local and national mid-term elections.

In the vice gubernatorial race, Mangudadatu’s running mate, outgoing first district Rep. Raden Sakaluran, is holding a comfortable lead with 115,919 votes over LP’s Miguel Domingo Jacalan III who got 76,017 votes.

Sakaluran is husband of Mangudadatu’s daughter Ruth, the outgoing mayor of Lutayan town.

Mangudadatu’s son, outgoing governor Suharto, is widely leading in the first congressional district fight with 68,878 votes against the LP’s Botog Valdes, who got 27,773 votes.

In the second district, former Customs deputy commissioner Horacio Suansing of LP is slightly ahead with 38,310 votes over Kahirup Ang of PTM’s 37,211 votes.

Suansing is husband of incumbent Nueva Ecija first district Rep. Estrellita and son-in-law of outgoing Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat Mayor Bernardia Bito-onon. (MindaNews)