COVENANT. Candidates for local positions in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao, took an oath Friday (March 22) to work for peaceful polling by electorates in connection the May 2019 elections. (Photo by 6ID)
CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao -- Military and local officials foresee a peaceful and orderly local election in the Maguindanao town of Datu Saudi Ampatuan after candidates signed a peace covenant Friday.
The candidates -- from mayoral down to municipal council hopefuls -- trooped to the municipal covered court to express their willingness to participate in the peace covenant signing event.
Datu Saudi Ampatuan, a town known for its Pink Mosque, has gained notoriety over the years for election-related fraud and violence.
The initiative was facilitated by the Army’s 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade (MIB), the 57th Infantry Battalion, the Commission on Elections, and the local interior and local government office.
“We were elated at the commitment shown by six mayoralty candidates, three vice mayoral aspirants and 36 town councilor hopefuls ‘rubbing elbows’ with one another during the covenant signing,” Major Jocelyn Mangadlao, 1st MIB executive officer, said in a statement.
Mangadlao said candidates showed their commitment in the presence of town election officer Rohaida Khalid; local government operations officer Bai Anisa Abdulkarim; Major Mangadlao; 57th IB executive officer Major Mark Anthony Tornalejo; and Major Abdulbassit Kulod, chief of the Datu Saudi Ampatuan town police.
Also present were members of a local poll watchdog and other concerned citizens. Mangadlao said the activity was conducted to encourage the local candidates to commit themselves to a peaceful and credible election, and to invoke the intervention of the Almighty for an honest, orderly and peaceful election 2019.
Major Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, lauded the initiatives of the 1st MIB and 57th IB to ensure peaceful balloting in its area of assignment. (PNA)