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Nation

New Maguindanao acting governor designated

- John Unson -

SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao, Philippines – The executive department of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) installed yesterday a new acting governor for Maguindanao, replacing a caretaker who functioned both as the province’s chief executive and presiding officer of the provincial board.

Ali Macabalang, director of the ARMM’s Bureau of Public Information, and the region’s executive secretary, lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, both confirmed that the region’s acting governor, Ansarrudin Adiong, appointed Gani Biruar, scion of a big ethnic Iranon clan, as the new acting governor of Maguindanao.

Biruar took over from Nariman Ambolodto, who was named last December as acting vice governor of Maguindanao by Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno after the governor and vice governor of the province were both implicated in the Nov. 23 massacre of 57 people in nearby Ampatuan town.

The positions of Maguindanao governor and vice governor have been left vacant by the detention since Dec. 6 of Gov. Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his son-in-law, Tato Ampatuan, respectively, both tagged in the massacre in Barangay Salman, Ampatuan town by armed men allegedly led by Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr.

Biruar was chosen as acting governor from more than a dozen applicants, including Ambolodto, by a selection committee composed of representatives of different ARMM agencies and the 24-seat Regional Assembly.

Mayors in Maguindanao earlier said it was improper for Ambolodto to serve both as presiding officer of the provincial board and acting chief executive of the province.

With Biruar’s appointment, Ambolodto will now function only as acting vice governor.

“She (Ambolodto) was actually named only as acting vice governor by Secretary Puno last December. The validity of that assignment was supposed to last only for 45 days,” said a DILG-ARMM senior staffer who was privy to the selection process.

ACTING

ALI MACABALANG

AMBOLODTO

AMPATUAN

ANSARRUDIN ADIONG

AUTONOMOUS REGION

BARANGAY SALMAN

BIRUAR

BUREAU OF PUBLIC INFORMATION

GOVERNOR

MAGUINDANAO

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