Ampatuans still win in Maguindanao | Inquirer News

Ampatuans still win in Maguindanao

/ 10:59 PM May 17, 2013

COTABATO CITY—Despite the Ampatuans’ perceived unpopularity because of several of its members’ involvement in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, six clan members went on to win elections in the province.

Questions have been raised like “Have the people forgotten?”

Some observers, however, said the Ampatuans never really lost influence in Maguindanao, even if patriarch Andal Sr. languishes in jail for allegedly masterminding the massacre of 58 people, mostly journalists.


After Monday’s balloting, Reshal Ampatuan, the wife of Andal Jr., was reelected to another term as mayor of Datu Unsay, a Maguindanao town named after her husband.



Bai Bong Ampatuan, wife of former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor Zaldy Ampatuan, also became mayor of Datu Hofer town, while another Ampatuan, Bai Sahara, was proclaimed mayor of the clan’s stronghold, Shariff Aguak.

Following their victorious paths are Benzar Ampatuan, who won in the Mamasapano mayoral race; Bai Sandria Sinsuat-Ampatuan as mayor of Shariff Saydona Mustapha; and Zamzamin Ampatuan as chief executive of Rajah Buayan town.

Bai Sandria told the Inquirer that despite fears about serious politically related violence taking place in Maguindanao due to intense rivalries among politicians in many areas, the balloting was generally peaceful.

No violence

She said Shariff Saydona was among towns where no violent incident has been reported during the elections.


“This only proved that contrary to claims, the Ampatuans are not a violent clan,” Bai Bong said.

She added that the alleged involvement of her husband, Zaldy, and other clan members in the Maguindanao massacre and other killings in the province did not discourage their supporters from voting for the clan members.

The widower of one of the victims of the massacre, reelectionist Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, also won reelection as governor of Maguindanao.

Mangudadatu, whose wife was killed in the 2009 massacre, won with 195,473 votes against Tocao Mastura’s 94,678 votes.

LP ticket

Mangudadatu, whose filing of candidacy in 2009 is believed to have been the target of the massacre, was proclaimed on Wednesday.

Lester Sinsuat, Mangudadatu’s running mate, was also proclaimed the winning vice gubernatorial candidate.

Other proclaimed candidates are the governor’s younger brother, reelectionists Pandag town Mayor Zajid Mangudadatu, second district Rep. Bai Sandra Sema and several other Mangudadatu allies.

Mangudadatu said his new mandate proves that the people of Maguindanao had grown tired of violence and iron-hand leadership. Jeoffrey Maitem and Charlie Señase, Inquirer Mindanao

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