Sulu Vice Gov Tan claims support in ARMM, but…
BULUAN, Maguindanao – Sulu Vice-Governor Abdusakur Tan boasts of gaining support in a region-wide campaign to wrestle the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s top post from incumbent Governor Mujiv Hataman.
But his visit in Maguindanao last Friday came almost unannounced even to local reporters covering the 2016 election campaign.
Tan was met by Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu and his siblings, Second District Representative Zajid Mangudadatu, ARMM Assemblyman Khadafe Mangudadatu and former Buluan town Mayor Ibrahim Mangudadatu.
Governor Mangudadatu confirmed to reporters that he and his brothers had hosted Tan but that they hardly committed support for Tan’s ARMM gubernatorial bid against Hataman, their fellow Liberal Party member.
“He (Tan) came to campaign, and we assured him that we will protect whatever was it that rightfully belonged to him (in terms of votes). But I reminded him also that I am a member of the Liberal Party, which is supporting the candidates of the administration. I told him I am a party man and so I support ARMM Governor Hataman,” Governor Mangudadatu said in Filipino.
Tan’s supporters said Moro officials, including the Adiongs of Lanao and the Sahalis of Tawi-Tawi, were cordial to him, as shown in photos they uploaded on Tan’s campaign Facebook account which were taken in political sorties around ARMM’s five provinces and two cities.
But commenting on Tan’s campaign photos on FB, Executive Director Amir Mawallil of the Bureau of Public Information (BPI-ARMM) said welcoming guests with traditional hospitality was nothing new to Moro communities and families.
Tan is also a member of the LP but he has been silent on whether he has bolted from the administration party as he has been rarely heard openly endorsing LP standard bearer Mar Roxas and his running-mate, former Naga City Rep. Leni Robredo.
One picture showed Tan with former Tawi-Tawi Governor Sadicul Sahali, and his children—incumbent Governor Nurjay Sahali; Panglima Sugala Mayor Reggie Sahali, and Rep. Ruby Sahali-Tan, who are also LP members.
Tan also said that the Ompia Party has also declared support for him. In all his campaign sorties, however, it was only in Lanao Sur that Tan was conspicuously endorsed by a potential political ally— Ompia’s former Lanao Sur Governor Aleem Bashier Manalao, who raised Tan’s arm.
Tan said: “(The leaders of) the OMPIA Party, one of the most influential political organizations in the ARMM, have pledged their all-out support for his (bid) for ARMM (governorship) during (ceremonies) at the Mindanao State University Conference Hall on April 17, 2016 in Marawi City.”
Ompia is the Moro political party founded by the late Lanao Sur Governor Mahid Mutilan, which also became the political vehicle of his successor, then Governor Manalao. JE/rga
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