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Why Mangudadatu is out of Magic 12? Pacquiao cites lack of popularity

/ 06:21 PM May 16, 2019
Why Mangudadatu is out of Magic 12? Pacquiao cites lack of popularity

Maguindanao Rep. Zajib “Dong” Mangudadatu speaks at a rally in Laoag, Ilocos Norte. (File photo by CATHY MIRANDA / INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippine — The low ranking of one of the candidates in the ruling party’s senatorial slate may have been because of the “difference” between Christians and Muslims, Senator Manny Pacquiao, campaign manager of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), said.

Among the five candidates of the PDP-Laban senatorial slate, Maguindanao Rep. Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu is way outside the winning circle, ranking 19th  in the latest partial unofficial tally of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).

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“Siguro, may problema kasi tayo sa ganyan kaya…yan ang solusyonan natin. Mahirap sabihin eh, ‘yung difference ng Christian and Muslim, dapat alisin natin yung pagiging ano natin yung, ganung pag-iisip na, ‘Muslim kasi siya, Christian kami’,” Pacquiao said in a press briefing in Manila on Thursday.

However, Pacquiao clarified that it was not because of Mangudadatu’s Muslim identity but rather the lack of time during the campaign to introduce him to the Filipino voters.

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“Hindi naman talaga,” the senator said when asked to explain further.

“Ang problema dito is nagkulang sa oras para ipakilala, nagkulang sa oras para ipakilala si Dong Mangudadatu, kasi unlike (Ronald) Bato (dela Rosa), (Francis) Tolentino, kilala na eh, nakilala na ‘yan eh…si Bong Go, kilala ng tao. Pero itong si Dong Mangudadatu, hindi pa siya kilala so kulang ang oras para ipakilala siya ng husto…,” he added. “Pero baka sa susunod makilala na siya ng tao, pagkatiwalaan na ng tao.”

READ: Mangudadatu banking on Mindanao voters’ support 

The senator said that Mangudadatu’s inclusion in the Senate would have given the Muslim community a representative in the legislative body.

“Kailangan din natin ng representative ng Muslim sa Senado, yun ang gustong ipaalam sa taong bayan na kailangan natin yan, para balanse ba, para may representative sila na nandiyan sa Senado,” he said.

While Pacquiao expressed regret over Mangudadatu’s fate in the Senate race, the senator said he is thankful that the majority of PDP-Laban’s slate made it in the so-called “Magic 12.”

“Although masakit siya sa amin na natalo yung isa, panalo yung apat pero, at least, pasalamat pa rin kami dahil yung majority nanalo,” he said.

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In the latest partial unofficial results from the PPCRV transparency server, Mangudadatu’s slate mates – former presidential aide Bong Go, former police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa,” former presidential adviser Francis Tolentino and re-electionist Senator Aquilino Pimentel III – are well entrenched in the winning circle.

See the bigger picture with the Inquirer's live in-depth coverage of the election here https://inq.ph/Election2019

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TAGS: 2019 elections, Maguindanao Rep. Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu, Manny Pacquiao, Mindanao, Senate
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