DATU PAGLAS, Maguindanao—Like the beauty contestant who redeemed herself after tripping onstage, former Senate President Ernesto Maceda promptly stood up after stumbling on the platform during a campaign rally here Sunday afternoon.
Maceda, who is running under the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), tripped on a microphone wire as he was walking toward the podium.
Sultan Kudarat Mayor Tucao Mastura, the opposition coalition’s gubernatorial candidate, helped the former senator and ambassador get up, then raising the latter’s arms in front of thousands of supporters.
The 78-year-old Maceda was not hurt in the incident.
There was no mention of his fall during his speech. Immediately after regaining his composure, he joined the crowd in chanting “Mabuhay si (Long live) Maceda!”
It was Mastura who surprised the crowd when he publicly declared his support for President Aquino’s candidate for Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor, Mujiv Hataman.
“I will support Mujiv Hataman in his quest to become the elected regional governor,” said Mastura of the acting ARMM governor.
“My support is anchored on the acting governor’s peace and development initiatives and I want this pursued until 2016 when the new Bangsamoro political entity shall have been established,” he said.
Mastura claimed to be “an organic Liberal Party man” before joining UNA as a result of the ruling party’s selection criteria based on the “equity of the incumbent.”—Charlie C. Señase and Jeofrey Maitem, Inquirer Mindanao