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2 women now governors in central Mindanao provinces

NDBC BANTAY HALALAN 2022 • 14:30 PM Fri May 17, 2019
John Felix Unson
Congresswoman Nancy Catamco (center) is now governor of North Cotabato province. (Handout photo) John Felix M. Unson

COTABATO CITY --- Two women, a blue-blooded Manuvu and the other a scion of the Maguindanaon royalty, are now governors of North Cotabato and Maguindanao, respectively.

Both provinces are home to Lumad, Christian and Muslim groups, stakeholders to the peace process of President Rodrigo Duterte with Moro secessionists now in peace with government and are helping address via governance the nagging community concerns in underdeveloped communities.

North Cotabato Rep. Nancy Catamco was proclaimed Thursday as winner in the May 13 gubernatorial race in the province, where she defeated a tough and a wealthy challenger, Mayor Roger Taliño of Carmen town.

Taliño is father of the now three-termer North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza, who was elected vice governor of the province.

Catamco’s running mate, Socrates Piñol, a member of the provincial board, was not as lucky.

Piñol said his defeat will not curtail his dedication to continue serving North Cotabato’s culturally-diverse residents.

“It will not dampen my zeal to continue working for our people. I shall be serving them now in a private capacity. They will still see me around,” said Piñol, brother of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.

Taliño-Mendoza did not attend Thursday’s proclamation event at the North Cotabato provincial capitol in Kidapawan City where she and Catamco were supposed to be declared together by poll officials as elected vice governor and governor, respectively.

Officials of the Commission on Elections also declared on Thursday afternoon Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu as elected governor of Maguindanao.

She defeated a relative, Mayor Freddie Mangudadatu of Mangudadatu town with an overwhelming vote margin.

Her running mate, Vice Gov. Lester Sinsuat, was reelected to a third and last term.

Sangki-Mangudadatu is wife of reelected Sultan Kudarat Gov. Suharto Mangudadatu, cousin of Freddie, who is a younger brother of Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, now a congressman.

Gov. Esmael, whose third term as Maguindanao governor will end on June 30, shall represent the second district of the province to the House of Representatives.

In a post proclamation statement, Catamco said her Muslim, Christian and Lumad constituents shall soon witness swift improvements in the delivery of government services to all four corners of North Cotabato

The province covers 17 towns and more than 40 barangays in its capital, Kidapawan City.

“Under my stewardship, there shall be consensus-building among Muslims, Christians and the indigenous communities in addressing peace, security and governance issues. I shall listen to them. I am not their superior. I am just their servant,” Catamco said.

Catamco said she will also embark on programs complementing Duterte's peace overture with southern Moro communities.

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