Matalam, Ampatuan, Isnaji file COC for ARMM regional governor in August 11 election
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan formally began his re-election bid last May 29, 2008, entering the forthcoming August 11, 2008 political exercise in the autonomous region, home nearly two million registered voters.
The ARMM governor, through Engr. Norie Unas, regional secretariat of the Lakas Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) party for ARMM, filed his certificate of candidacy to run for re-election at the ARMM Commission on Election regional office in Zamboanga City.
Unas, accompanied by supporters including governors Sakur Tan (Sulu), Jum Akbar (Basilan), Mamintal Adiong Jr. (Lanao del Sur), and Moro National Liberation Front Vice chairman Hatimil Hassal said they chose incumbent Vice Governor Ansaruddin Adiong as Ampatuan running mate.
Lanao del Sur Rep. Faysah Dumarpa, Shariff Kabunsuan Acting Gov. Dr. Ibrahim Ibay; Jolo Mayor Hussin Amin; Lamitan Mayor Roderick Furigay; Lantawan Mayor Tahira Ismael, and Tongkil Mayor Abdulwahid Sahidulla, also appeared in yesterterday's press conference to show their strong support to Ampatuan re-election bid.
"He is (Ampatuan) is seeking another term in response to the clamor of the ARMM's six provincial governors, over 100 city and town mayors, congressmen and their constituents," he told reporters in a press conference.
The Lakas-CMD National Directorate led by President Arroyo, national chairman, on May 10 endorsed the re-election of Ampatuan, Vice Gov. Ansaruddin Adiong and the 24 members of the Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA) through Resolution No. 08-2008.
House Speaker Prospero Nograles and other party bigwigs also signed the resolution in recognition of the ARMM officials' loyalty to the Lakas-CMD and their hard work for their people.
According to Unas, the Lakas-CMD is fielding a formidable complete slate for the coming political exercise, regional governor and vice governor and 24 assemblymen.
Ampatuan, 40, began his political carrier while still adolescent, as municipal chairman of the Sangguniang Kabataan in their home town, Shariff Aguak in Maguindanao province in the 1980s. He displayed his steadfast service to the youth that led to his election to ARMM assemblyman and then mayor.
He then continued his unwavering service that catapulted him to the top post in the autonomous region. In his tenure as regional governor, the region further thrived and developed wherein the local government units have been empowered, particularly in managing their socio-economic projects.
If given the chance for a second term, Ampatuan's main agenda would be peace and security, economic development, improved delivery of basic services, and his continuing support for the Mindanao peace processes between the Philippine government and the rebels, according to Unas.
Meanwhile, after meeting with supporters at his home in Zamboanga City, gubernatorial aspirant Alvarez Isnaji proceeded on Monday to the ARMM-Commission on Election regional office here to file his certificate of candidacy.
“As a common candidate of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), I will run my campaign based on principles,” said Isnaji who was accompanied by his son assembly aspirant Haider of Sulu and their party-mates.
Isnaji was also accompanied by representatives of newly-installed MNLF chairman Muslimin Sema, other fellow MNLF leaders and some Bangsamoro women to show their strong support to his gubernatorial bid in the August 11 ARMM elections.
Fresh from Libya meeting on May 18, where he was chosen as among the six-man transition leadership and unification committee (TLUC) of the Tripoli Declaration signed by 10 MNLF top leaders, Isnaji said, “I am running under the Kampi party.”
Isnaji said his campaign will emphasize on the peace and security as well as regaining back the governance of ARMM to MNLF leadership and other advocacies such as transforming the ARMM governance into self-reliant.
In the MNLF Central Committee meeting in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur last April 1 to 3, 2008, the incumbent mayor of Indanan, Sulu was proclaimed as the “common candidate” of the MNLF for governor in the upcoming autonomous region polls.
Asked about the support of MNLF to his gubernatorial bid, he said: “It’s very overwhelming. Even today, they’re all here, even those from Palawan, Lanao, Davao, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi to show their support to my candidacy.”
The mayor added that he’s very overwhelmed by the support of the MNLF which gives him high morale to go pursue his gubernatorial bid. “From the very beginning, they (MNLF members) have been supportive of me.”
In a related development, Attorney Vidjfar A. Julie of ARMM Comelec regional office based in Zamboanga City said Mayor Isnaji was the third person so far to file his candidacy for regional governor in the August 11 ARMM election.
Isnaji, surrounded by members of his family and staff, filed his CoC at Vidjvar office at about 10:00 in the morning.
According to Julie, so far his office received the certificates of candidacies (for governor) of former ARMM Vice Gov. Guimid Matalam (Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino), re-electiopnist ARMM Gov. Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan (Lakas-CMD) and Mayor Isnaji (Kampi).
For vice governor, he said his office received the CoC of re-electionist ARMM Gov. Ansaruddin Alonto Adiong (Lakas-CMD). “So in all, we have four certificates of candidacies in the regional level.”
The regional assembly aspirants filed their respective CoC at their respective provincial Comelec office, the ARMM-Comelec regional official said. HG