Maguindanao town faces leadership crisis
John Unson (The Philippine Star) - November 22, 2016 - 12:00am

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines – A leadership crisis is looming in this province’s town of Talitay, where the mayor is wanted for illegal drugs and the vice mayor has been detained for the same offense.

The councilors who garnered the highest numbers of votes, who are the authorized successors for the two top town posts, refuse to take over without a written order.

Residents yesterday confirmed that Mayor Muntassir Sabal has been absent from his office for more than two months now.

Sabal allegedly disappeared even before the police and the military discovered shabu and unlicensed firearms during a raid on his residence on Friday.

Sabal’s brother Abdulwahab, who is vice mayor, has been detained since September for his alleged involvement in large-scale drug trafficking.

The raiding team allegedly found drugs in the nearby residences of Abdulwahab and his relative, Assemblyman Sidik Ameril of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

President Duterte had tagged the Sabals as “narco politicians.”

Councilors Kamid Buisan and Noraisa Mato, who garnered the highest and second highest number of votes during the elections, respectively, refused to assume the posts without a written order from the provincial government and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Buisan and Mato are supposed to assume the post of mayor and vice mayor based on the rule of succession as provided under the Local Government Code.

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