Another Ampatuan is now mayor in Maguindanao

Datu Andal “Datu Aguak” Santiago Ampatuan V takes his oath of office before Senator Nancy Binay. Photo courtesy of Jessie Ali

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/25 July) – Another member of the powerful Ampatuan family is now the mayor of Datu Unsay town in Maguindanao after both its mayor and vice mayor resigned from their posts.

Datu Andal “Datu Aguak” Santiago Ampatuan V took his oath of office Tuesday before Senator Nancy Binay in Quezon City.

Mayor Fuentes Dukay and his son Wanay Dukay stepped down from their posts citing as reason their “lack of capability to govern,” Maguindanao provincial administrator Ogi Balayman said in an interview Thursday over Brigada News FM Cotabato City.

Based on the Local Government Code, Ampatuan V, who obtained the highest number of votes for town councilor during the May 13 elections, assumed the highest local post.

Ampatuan V is the son former Datu Unsay mayor Datu Unsay “Andal” Ampatuan Jr. with his deceased wife, Reshal Santiago-Ampatuan, who also became mayor of the same town.

The elder Ampatuan is the primary suspect in the 2009 Ampatuan massacre which killed 58 persons, 32 of them media workers.

The younger Ampatuan, who had just turned 21, is the second of six siblings.

Bai Janine Mamalapat, who garnered the second highest votes for town councilor, will be the new vice mayor.

Mamalapat assumed as mayor after the death of Santiago-Ampatuan in April 2018. She won as vice mayor during the 2016 elections.

Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, who heads the Department of Interior and Local Government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao confirmed the reports about the resignations.

“We were just informed by the provincial government of Maguindanao but have not yet received the official letter communication and the reason of resignations,” Sinarimbo said in phone interview. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews)