Sunday, May 16, 2010

Poll body proclaims re-elected Sulu governor

Re-elected governor of Sulu province Hajji Sakur Tan embraces his wife Hajja Nurunisah Tan after lawyer Vidzfar Julie of the Commission on Elections on Saturday night, May 15, 2010 proclaimed the politician as winner in the May 10 local and national elections. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / May 16, 2010) – Philippine elections officials have proclaimed influential politician Sakur Tan, who was re-elected as governor of Sulu, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao.

Lawyer Vidzfar Julie, the local head of the Commission on Elections, on Saturday night, declared Tan as the winner in the May 10 general elections. “The governor has won the elections,” he told reporters.

Tan, a philanthropist, won more than 24,000 votes over Sulu Rep. Munir Arbison and former Moro rebel leader Nur Misuari. Tan vowed to continue peace and development efforts in the province where security forces are fighting militants linked to the al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya, blamed for the spate of terrorism in the southern region.

“We will continue what we had begun and our priority remains the same – peace and development and progress for the province of Sulu and its people,” Tan said, adding, the critical role of different sectors and the cooperation of the public are important in achieving peace and progress in Sulu.

Various sectors and civil society groups in the province have thrown their support to Tan and pledged to continue supporting his benevolent policies.

Tan won the polls despite attempts by his political foes to cheat him by bribing voters and intimidating them in some areas in the province.

Tan praised the Commission on Elections and the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the peaceful and orderly conduct of elections in Sulu. “We are commending the Commission on Elections and our Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines for maintaining peace and order during Monday’s elections,” he said.

Brigadier General Rustico Guerrero, commander of military forces in Sulu, largely credited the cooperation of the public and the different sectors to the peaceful elections.

“The credit goes to the different sectors and the public. There was a strong cooperation from all sectors and the people of Sulu for peaceful and orderly conduct of the elections,” Guerrero said.

Police also said the peaceful elections were due to long security planning and cooperation of local politicians who signed a peace covenant even before the polls had began. “The peace covenant signed by the local politicians and their cooperation led to the peaceful elections in Sulu,” said Senior Superintendent Joseph Ramac, commander of a special police task force which covered the provinces of Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi during the polls. (Mindanao Examiner)

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