Blocs choose Sulu governor for BARMM chief minister in 2025 midterm polls

John Unson - Philstar.com
Blocs choose Sulu governor for BARMM chief minister in 2025 midterm polls
Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan was endorsed on Saturday as bet for chief minister of the regional parliament by a bloc of politicians from different parties comprising the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Grand Coalition.
Philstar.com / John Unson

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — An influential bloc of politicians on Saturday anointed Sulu Gov. Hadji Abdusakur Tan Sr. as bet for chief minister of the 80-member regional parliament during next year’s first ever parliamentary elections in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Tan, who had served as congressional representative of Sulu in the late 1980s before he got to the helm of the provincial government in the island province, is president of the regional Sallam (peace) Party that belongs to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Grand Coalition, or BGC.

The BGC is a confluence of regional political parties that are to pit candidates for the Bangsamoro parliament during the 2025 elections.

Tan was named official bet for BARMM chief minister by leaders of the BGC, Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman, Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong, Jr. and his son, Vice Gov. Mohammad Khalid Rakiin Adiong, Maguindanao del Sur Gov. Mariam Sangki Mangudadatu and her spouse, Suharto Mangudadatu, who is executive-director of the Technical Education and Skills and Development Authority, during a sortie in Maimbung town in Sulu on Saturday.

Hataman, former governor of the now defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, is founder of the Bangsamoro People’s Party while the Mangudadatus are top officials of another bloc, the Al-Ittihad, now registered with the Commission on Elections too.

The Adiongs of Lanao del Sur have their Serbisyong Inklusibo Alyansang Progresibo Party that has more than 200,000 members in BARMM’s Maguindanao del Norte, Maguindanao del Sur, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi provinces.

Tausug local executives and senior members of the Islamic religious community in Sulu told reporters that no fewer than 15,000 people from different towns in the island province and from Tawi-Tawi participated in the BGC’s activity in Maimbung, the hometown of Tan.

The present members of the BARMM parliament, organized in 2019 after the creation of the Bangsamoro region via a plebiscite as part of the peace overture between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, are all presidential appointees, including its present figurehead, Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim, who is chairman of the MILF’s central committee.

The selection of a chief minister for the BARMM parliament is only through an election among its 80 members, where a nominee shall only need at least 41 votes to win the race.

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