Thursday Sep, 28 2023 06:15:20 AM

Gov. Toto pushes for reconciliation, healing after polls

NDBC BANTAY HALALAN 2023 • 12:00 PM Fri May 17, 2019
Edwin O. Fernandez
Outgoing Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Toto Mangudadatu speaks to reporters after he was proclaimed as incoming House representative of Maguindanao's second district. (Photo courtesy of Ella Dy)

COTABATO CITY – Outgoing Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, elected as Congressman for Maguindanao’s second district, yesterday said he will push for reconciliation of the Mangudadatu clans in Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat.

“This is just politics, there should be no hatred, there should be no division,” Mangudadatu said after he was proclaimed by the Maguindanao provincial board of canvassers, headed by Atty. Ernie Palanan, Thursday morning.

“The discourses and issues raised during the campaign period should not be the reason for us not to unite,” he added.

“We should move forward for the betterment of Maguindanao,” he added.

“Both happy and sad” was Mangudadatu’s first reaction after he was proclaimed winner in the congressional race.

Happy becaue I hit the mark of victory and, of course, lonely sad because my brother did not make it,” he said, referring to Mangudadatu town Mayor Freddie Mangudadatu who was trailing by huge margin as against rival, Mayor Bai Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu in the gubernatorial race.

Mangudadatu said she will support the programs of the new leadership of Maguindanao and assured there will be smooth turnover of the province to the new leader.

“We all still belonged to one family – Mangudadatu, there’s no reason for us to fight, elections come and go but our good relationship should stay,” Mangudadatu added.

As House of Representative member, Mangudadatu said he will ask President Duterte to declare “moratorium” on war in the province.

He went emotional as he narrated how difficult life had been for poor Maguindanaons who were repeatedly displaced by armed hostilities, especially the children.

On Thursday afternoon, the board of canvassers also proclaimed Mayor Bai Mariam Mangudadatu as governor-elect who earned 256,338 votes and Vice Governor-elect Lester Sinsuat who got 326,797 votes.

Datu Ronnie Sinsuat, former speaker of the Regional Legislative Assembly of the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) was proclaimed representative of Maguindanao’s first district with Cotabato City. (Edwin O. Fernandez)

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