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Marawi mayoral bet sober as rivals escalate satirical campaigns

 • 18:11 PM Tue Apr 26, 2016
John Unson
Solitario Ali is relying on his peace via governance” pitch in urging voters to support his candidacy. JOHN UNSON

MARAWI CITY – A mayoral candidate here campaigning for peace via governance” platform remained calm despite the death of a supporter in the hands of partisans and the continuing attacks by rivals through text messages.Solitario Ali, an official of the Moro National Liberation Front now involved in peace-building projects, had even urged his campaigners to ignore the mudslinging by hostile political quarters to stave off any incident that can tarnish his peace advocacies being disseminated in their campaign sorties.Ali lost a supporter named Alemodin in an attack by gunmen at Barangay Bangolo in Marawi City more than a week ago.The Lanao del Sur provincial police announced over the weekend the culprits were partisans and that criminal cases had been filed against them. It was a serious insult to our clan pride, but we did not do anything that can escalate the trouble because our Amir (leader) does not want any trouble that can lead to waste of lives. He wants justice to take its course,” said a relative, referring to Ali.A sister of Ali, Bai Nadjema, his designated spokesperson, admitted that the continuing mudslinging by rival quarters have caused restiveness among their followers, but none of them reacted in keeping with their camp’s commitment to abide by the Omnibus Election Code.Ali’s younger brother, Fahad Salic, the now outgoing three term mayor of Marawi City, is aspiring for the governorship of Lanao del Sur, which has 39 towns.Supporters of Ali, among them students and faculty members of the Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City, said they are thankful to his clan for remaining calm amid what is for them dirty campaign” discourses by rivals moving around convincing voters to vote for them.An MSU employee said the tension after last week’s brutal killing of Ali’s supporter, who worked as traffic enforcer under the office of Engineer Casan Lazim, chairman of Barangay Bangolo, did not escalate owing to the prompt intercession of the 62-year-old mayoral wannabe.Ali is popular for his having settled bloody clan wars while he was mayor of Marawi City for two consecutive terms. The importance of restraint is always being emphasized, as a policy, by our candidates to their campaigners during regular briefing sessions,” Bai Nadjema said.

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