Two political clan members of the Mangudadatus will be battling it out for the Maguindanao gubernatorial seat.
On Thursday morning, Governor Bai Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu, who is seeking her second term as provincial executive, filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) before Provincial Election Supervisor Udtog Tago at his office inside the Bangsamoro government center here.
The governor was accompanied by her husband, Sultan Kudarat Gov. Suharto “Teng” Mangudadatu, and several supporters.
Speaking to reporters, the governor, who is running under the Nacionalista Party, said her advocacy will continue, “especially on the aspect of peace and development.”
Bai Ainee Limbona-Sinsuat, wife of incumbent Maguindanao Vice-Gov. Lester Sinsuat, is the governor’s running mate.
Bangsamoro Member of Parliament Sittie Shahara “Bai Dimple” Mastura also filed her COC for Maguindanao’s first congressional district that includes this city.
A few hours after the governor’s filing, Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu led his team in filing their COCs before the Commission on Elections office here.
Mangudadatu’s group is backed and endorsed by the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP).
“It would be the people who will decide during the upcoming polls on who is the better person to serve them in the next three years,” Rep. Mangudadatu said.
Rep. Mangudadatu and Sultan Kudarat Gov. Suharto Mangudadatu are first-degree cousins.
Other UBJP candidates in Maguindanao are former Rep. Bai Sandra Sema, who is vying for the province’s vice gubernatorial post; Maguindanao 1st District Rep. Datu Roonie Sinsuat, who is running for reelection; and former Rep. Zajid G. Mangudadatu, who is eyeing the province’s second congressional seat.