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Maguindanao vice governor vows support for Hataman candidacy

John Unson (Philstar.com) - October 29, 2015 - 8:59pm

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines - The reelectionist vice governor of Maguindanao on Thursday rejected the candidacy of Sulu Vice Gov. Hadji Sakur Tan for governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Liberal Party (LP) stalwart Lester Sinsuat, seeking reelection as Maguindanao’s vice governor, said he and his elders in the Sinsuat clan can only support the bid for a second term of ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman, whom he described as the only “authentic” administration candidate for regional governor.

Tan filed his candidacy for ARMM governor without any certificate of nomination and acceptance (CONA) from LP, in what many mayors in the autonomous region said was a serious infraction of party rules.

Hataman had submitted a party CONA to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) when he filed his candidacy for ARMM governor, via emissaries, at the Comelec regional office in Cotabato City on October 15.

“I don’t know him (Tan) personally and has not met him personally either ever since so how can rumors stating that provincial vice governors in the ARMM now have a bloc supporting him can be true? There is no truth to that,” Sinsuat said.

Sinsuat clarified to reporters his position on the political contest between Tan and Hataman when asked to comment on rumors purporting that the Sinsuat clan of Maguindanao supports the candidacy of the Sulu vice governor.

“I am a loyal member of the Liberal Party and so is my father.  We can only be for Gov. Hataman,” Sinsuat told reporters Thursday, at the sideline of an official engagement with ARMM officials in his hometown.

Sinsuat’s father, Ombra, most known as the “Datu sa Dinaig,” a geographical seat of royalty in Maguindanao, is the incumbent mayor of Datu Odin Sinsuat, which has more than 40,000 registered voters.

Sinsuat, who is still in his early 40s, is presiding chairman of the Association of Lumad, Iranun and Maguindanaon (ALIM) leaders’ bloc, whose members are mostly elected officials from the first district of Maguindanao.

Sinsuat said ALIM can conveniently deliver no fewer than 200,000 votes for Hataman and LP’s presidential bet, Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, during next year’s synchronized local, regional and national electoral exercise.

Sinsuat is seeking reelection with running mate Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, also an LP member.

“ALIM will also help make Gov. Mangudadatu win a third term,” he said.

Mangudadatu’s reelection bid is being challenged by Kagui Ali Midtimbang of Talayan town in the second district of Maguindanao.

Hataman and Sinsuat were together on Thursday in the town proper of Datu Odin Sinsuat, where they jointly launched an ARMM-funded P10 million water system project designed to supply clean drinking water to thousands of residents in the municipality.

 

ACIRC ARMM ASSOCIATION OF LUMAD AUTONOMOUS REGION COMELEC COTABATO CITY DATU ODIN SINSUAT HATAMAN LIBERAL PARTY MAGUINDANAO SINSUAT
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