COTABATO CITY – Candidates for mayor and vice mayor in 12 out of 36 towns in Maguindanao are running unopposed and are sure winners in the May 2019 local polls.
Based on the list of candidates from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Maguindanao, the towns where mayoral and vice mayoral aspirants have no rivals are Buluan, Pandag, Mangudadatu, Paglat, Datu Anggal Midtimbang, Datu Blah Sinsuat, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Kabuntalan, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura, Datu Paglas, and Ampatuan.
The unopposed mayoral candidates are Babaydats Dingcong-Mangudadatu (Buluan); Mayor Zihan Mamalinta-Mangudadatu (Pandag); Elizabeth Mangudadatu-Tayuan (Mangudadatu); Abdulkarim Langkuno (Paglat); Mayor Joy Uy-Midtimbang (Datu Anggal Midtimbang); and Marshall Sinsuat (Datu Blah Sinsuat).
Also running unopposed for mayoral positions are Ombra Sinsuat (Datu Odin Sinsuat), Salaban Diocolano (Kabuntalan); Shameem Mastura (Sultan Kudarat); Rauf Mastura (Sultan Mastura); Abubakar Paglas (Datu Paglas); and Rasol Sangki (Ampatuan).
“Running unopposed is not new to Maguindanao politicians. They have been into it in the past and local leaders described it as a good practice to prevent violence and divisiveness, outgoing Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu, said in an interview on Friday.
The governor is running for the province’s second congressional district post with outgoing Datu Anggal Midtimbang Municipal Mayor Nathaniel Midtimbang as a political rival.
Mangudadatu said he believes in democracy, thus having wide choices of leaders will also be good for the electorate.
“Good politicians win because of good track records and not due to guns, gold, and goons,” he said.
The campaign for local elections begins March 29 and ends on May 11.
Maguindanao is traditionally a “hot spot” during elections due to intense political rivalries, the presence of private armed groups and loose firearms.
It was in this province that the infamous Maguindanao massacre in 2009 that left 58 persons dead, including 32 journalists, have transpired in what was listed as the country’s worst single election-related violence.