Comelec cancels COC for governor of Mayor Datu Pax Ali Mangudadatu

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 20 January) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) first division under Commissioner Maria Rowena Guanzon has canceled the certificate of candidacy of a mayor in Maguindanao who is running for governor of Sultan Kudarat province.

Mayor Datu Pax Ali Mangudadatu and Sharifa Akeel-Magudadatu. Photos from FB

The Comelec upheld the petition against Datu Ali Pax Mangudadatu, incumbent mayor of Datu Abdullah Sangki town in Maguindanao, filed by another gubernatorial candidate, Sharifa Akeel-Mangudadatu, for alleged lack of residency.

“Let the records of the case be forwarded to the Law department of the Commission for the conduct of a preliminary investigation relative to the election offense aspect of this case,” the Comelec said in the decision dated Jan. 18.

Commissioner Marlon Casquejo, another member of the first division, issued a dissenting opinion on the decision.

The decision means a sure victory for Sharifa Akeel-Mangudadatu as no other candidate is vying for the post.

Mayor Mangudadatu has yet to issue a statement on the ruling as of Thursday afternoon.

The petitioner, a former beauty titlist, is the wife of Maguindanao Second District Representative Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu.

The mayor is the son of Maguindanao Gov. Bai Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu and Sultan Kudarat Gov. Suharto “Teng” Mangudadatu, cousin of Rep. Mangudadatu.

The congressman is challenging the reelection bid for Maguindanao governor of his cousin’s wife. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews)