ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat (MindaNews / 10 May) – From husband and wife to son and mother tandem.
The political saga in the neighboring provinces of Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao, which is between relatives with the same family names, is headed to fall on the same Mangudadatu clan, partial and unofficial election results showed Tuesday.
According to the Comelec transparency server as of 8:02 a.m. Tuesday, Datu Pax Ali Mangudadatu and his mother, reelectionist Gov. Bai Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu, will hold the top posts in Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao provinces, respectively.
From 2019 to 2022, Sultan Kudarat has been headed by Datu Pax Ali’s father, Gov. Suharto “Teng” Mangudadatu, while his wife Bai Mariam, Datu Pax Ali’s mother, ruled Maguindanao, her first term.
Teng served as Sultan Kudarat governor from 2007 to 2016, first district representative from 2016 to 2019, and governor again from 2019 to 2022.
For the May 9 polls, Datu Pax Ali (Lakas CMD) clobbered his only rival, former beauty queen Sharifa Akeel Mangudadatu. The former garnered 249,077 votes against the latter’s 81,429 votes, based on 94% (752 of 800 clustered precincts) of the partial and unofficial results.
Datu Pax Ali’s certificate of candidacy was earlier canceled by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) after Akeel Mangudadatu filed a petition questioning his residency status in Sultan Kudarat province. Last Friday, Datu Pax Ali obtained a temporary restraining order against the Comelec ruling.
Akeel Mangudadatu (Aksyon Demokratiko) is the wife of Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, who is challenging the reelection of Bai Mariam in Maguindanao.
Bai Mariam (Nacionalista) gathered 307,271 votes while Toto mustered 199,241 votes with 92% of the election results transmitted from 1,202 of the 1,306 clustered precincts, the partial and unofficial results showed.
Toto, former three-term Maguindanao governor (2010 to 2019), and Teng are cousins.
The three other candidates for governor in Maguindanao province lagged far behind.
Although they are adjacent provinces and both used to part of the original undivided Cotabato province, Maguindanao is part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao while neighboring Sultan Kudarat belongs to Soccsksargen or Region 12. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)