Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sulu Vice Governor Abandoned By Mayors, Legislators Loses Critical Support Ahead Of 2010 Polls

SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / November 8, 2009) – At least a dozen municipal mayors and eight provincial legislators have withdrawn their support to Sulu vice governor Nur Ana Sahidulla as a congressional candidate in next year’s polls.

Sahidulla is said to be eyeing the 2nd congressional district and was previously endorsed by some mayors, who are senior members of the ruling coalition Lakas-Kampi-Christian-Muslim Democrat parties.

Those who withdrew their support have sent a signed manifesto to President Gloria Arroyo who heads the coalition and was also furnished to Muslim autonomous regional governor Zaldy Ampatuan and Sulu governor Sakur Tan, both chairman of the Lakas-Kampi-Christian-Muslim Democrat parties.

A copy of the manifesto was sent to Arroyo’s Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, who is the current president of the Lakas-Kampi-Christian-Muslim Democrat coalition.

“We, the undersigned, incumbent Provincial and Municipal Officials of Sulu, and representing the provincial party leadership and the vast majority of members of the Sulu Lakas-Kampi-CMD, after due consultations among ourselves, taking into account the higher interest of the party and the necessity for the party to be solidified and strengthened for the political debacle in 2010, do hereby withdraw our collective support and earlier endorsement for Vice-Governor Hajja Nur-Ana I. Sahidulla as the party standard-bearer for the 2nd Congressional District of Sulu, nor will we endorse her for any elective post in the coming elections.”

“The Provincial Party Hierarchy is in the process of selecting the best candidate to represent the Lakas-Kampi-CMD for the 2nd Congressional District seat who is truly representative of the ideals and principles of the party and will make representation to the National Party hierarchy on the matter in due time,” the manifesto reads.

The mayors who signed the manifesto were Hussin Amin, of the capital town of Jolo; Hussin Ahajan, of Indanan; Munib Estino, of Panglima Estino; Kabir Hayudini, of Patikul; Gafur Abdurajak, of Panamao; Nedra Burahan, of Panglima Tahil; Arthur Muksan, of Siaisi; Sitti Raya Tulawie, of Talipao; Hatta Berto, of Pandami; Riza Tingkahan, of Parang; Mansul Aradais, of Lugus; and Nurmina Burahan, of Pata town.

Sulu has 19 municipal mayors and 14 legislators and those who withdrew their support to Sahidulla represent 70 percent of the more than 200,000 votes in the province, one of five that made up the Muslim autonomous region, said Hector Buclao, a member of the Sanguniang Panlalawigan, who was among those who signed the manifesto.

The other legislators who also withdrew their support to the vice governor were Khalil Hajibin, Al-Khadar Loong, Al-Bakir Jikiri, Nurhata Salahuddin, Basaron Burahan, Bhydil Sarapuddin and Malcolm Tulawie.

Buclao said Sahidulla’s defection to Sulu Representative Munir Arbison, of the 2nd District, has triggered their withdrawal of support to the vice governor. “That is the reason. Sahidulla’s defection to Arbison’s camp will not be tolerated and loyalty is very important so we can continue what we pledged to our people – that is our service for the larger interest of the people and the party, the Lakas-Kampi-Christian-Muslim Democrat,” Buclao told the Mindanao Examiner before flying Sunday to Saudi Arabia for his annual pilgrimage.

He said Arbison is not allied with the majority of the mayors in Sulu.

On May 14, about 45.5 million Filipinos will be called to choose among 87,000 candidates vying for 17,000 national and local positions, which include the 250 House of Representatives seats and half of the 24 in the Senate. (Mindanao Examiner)

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