Mindanao’s unopposed: 4 governors, 2 city mayors, 6 representatives

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 26 March) – Voters in four provinces, two cities and six legislative districts in Mindanao need not wait for May 9, 2022 to determine who will be their Governors, Mayors and Representatives: those who are running for these posts are unopposed. 

Mindanao has 27 provinces, 33 cities and 60 congressional districts. 

Agusan del Sur Governor Santiago Cane (National Unity Party) and Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan (PDP-Laban) are assured of yet another three-year term as no one dared run against them.  

In Davao Oriental,  Rep. Corazon Malanyaon is assured of a comeback as Governor while in Davao Occidental, Vice Governor Franklin Bautista is certain of victory as Governor.

Two incumbent city mayors are sure winners:  Kirk Asis (NUP) of Bayugan City and Judy Amante (PDP-Laban) of Cabadbaran.  And so are their running mates, Kim Lope Asis and Rey Jamboy. 

In the House of Representatives,  candidates in six congressional districts have no opponents, four of them reelectionists:  Agusan del Sur’s Alfelito Bascug of the 1st district  and Adolph Edward Plaza of the 2nd district; Sulu’s 1st district Rep. Samier Tan and 2nd district Rep. Munir Arbison. 

The two other candidates assured of a congress seat are Governors Claude Bautista of Davao Occidental and Nelson Dayanghirang of Davao Oriental, who are returning to Congress, unopposed. 

In Davao Oriental, it’s a swap of seats. Rep. Malanyaon is running for Governor, unopposed, while Governor Dayanghirang is running, also unopposed, for the legislative post Malanyaon is vacating.  Both also ran unopposed in 2019. 

Malanyaon was Governor from 2007 to 2016 and 1st district Representative from 2001 to 2007, and  2007 to 2016. Dayanghirang was 1st district Representative from 2007 to 2016. 

In Sulu, it’s still the Tan family dominating as all three reelectionist Tans are unopposed: Governor Abdusakur Tan and his sons Abdusakur II (Vice Governor) and Samier (1st district Representative). Tan’s daughter, Shernee, is incumbent Kusug Tausug party-list representative. 

In Davao Occidental,  it’s still all in the Bautista family with Vice Governor Franklin Bautista running unopposed for Governor, like his siblings. Governor Bautista filed his certificate of candidacy for representative of the lone district, a post currently held by sister Lorna Bautista-Bandigan who is now running for Vice Governor.  

Claude represented the second district of Davao del Sur from 2001 to 2007, was elected as the first Governor of Davao Occidental in 2016 and was reelected in 2019. Franklin served the 2nd district of Davao del Sur from 1998 to 2001 and 2007 to 2016 while sister Lorna is running for the post that will be vacated by Franklin. 

Aside from the unopposed candidates for Vice Mayor in Bayugan and Cabadbaran cities, another vice mayoralty bet is a sure winner: Councilor Melchor Quitain, Jr of Davao City. Quitain substituted for Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte who was supposed to run unopposed for the same post but substituted for his sister, Sara, when the latter opted to withdraw her candidacy for mayor to run for Vice President. 

Four candidates for Vice Governor are also running unopposed: Enrico Corvera of Agusan del Norte (PDP), Samuel Tortor (NUP) of Agusan del Sur,  Lorna Bautista-Bandigan of Davao Occidental and Abdusakur Tan II of Sulu. 

In Sultan Kudarat province,  the Commission on Elections’ 1st Division canceled the certificate of candidacy for Governor of  Datu Pax Ali Mangudadatu, mayor of Datu Abdullah Sangki town in Maguindanao, for lack of residency.  DPA as he is known, is the son of reelectionist Maguindanao Governor Bai Mariam Sangki Mangudadatu and incumbent Sultan Kudarat Govenor Teng Mangudadatu. The petition for cancellation was filed by Sharifa Akeel-Mangudadatu, who is running against DPA. 

Sharifa is the wife of 2nd district Rep. and former three-term Maguindanao governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu who is seeking to return as Governor and is running against five other candidates, including DPA’s mother, Bai Mariam, who is seeking a second term. 

Datu Pax Ali filed a motion or reconsideration. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)