ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat (MindaNews / 11 May) – Despite the controversy hounding his gubernatorial bid, Datu Pax Ali Mangudadatu was proclaimed winner Tuesday night over former beauty queen Sharifa Akeel Mangudadatu.
The Sultan Kudarat Provincial Board of Canvassers declared Mangudadatu at 11:47 p.m. Tuesday as the winner in the province’s gubernatorial race, which was hounded by electoral protest.
Akeel Mangudadatu, the 2018 Ms Asia Pacific titlist, earlier petitioned the Commission on Elections (Comelec) about the residency status of her rival, the mayor of Datu Abdullah Sangki in Maguindanao.
The Comelec en banc favored Akeel Mangudadatu’s petition cancelling Mangudadatu’s certificate of candidacy, but the latter managed to get a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court last Friday stopping the poll body’s order.
“This is the proclamation of the empowered Sultan Kudarat’s choice,” Mangudadatu said, thanking his supporters.
Mangudadatu vowed to continue the “excellent service” that his predecessors rendered to the Christian-dominated province that his elders served for a long time.
In his 20s, Mangudadatu is the son of incumbent Gov. Suharto “Teng” Mangudadatu, who served as Sultan Kudarat governor from 2007 to 2016, first district representative from 2016 to 2019 and governor again from 2019 to 2022.
Teng is the son of Sultan Kudarat political juggernaut, Sultan Pax Mangudadatu, Pax Ali’s grandfather. Sultan Pax served as governor of Sultan Kudarat from 1998 to 2007, first district representative from 2007 to 2010 and governor again from 2016 to 2019.
Pax Ali Mangudadatu is also the son of reelected Maguindanao Gov. Bai Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu.
Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao are adjacent provinces.
During his proclamation, Pax Ali Mangudadatu’s father and mother flanked him.
Based on the official count of the Comelec provincial office, Mangudadatu (Lakas) gathered 262,854 votes versus Akeel Mangudadatu’s 86,868.
April Mitchor-Miguel, Comelec – Sultan Kudarat officer, said that voter’s turnout was 78.34%, out of the 497,690 total registered voters. At least 24,475 ballots were rejected.
Mangudadatu’s uncle and running mate, Raden Sakaluran, was reelected as vice governor.
Mangudadatu’s cousin, Rep. Bai Rihan Sakaluran (Lakas) of the first congressional district, was also reelected. She garnered 143,596 votes against the 35,600 votes of Botog Valdez (Aksyon Demokratiko).
Second District Rep. Horacio “Toto” Suansing, Jr. (NUP) defeated Lakas bet Joseph Ortiz, 101,042 against 68,759. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)