President’s aunt only Christian running in ARMM polls

President’s aunt only Christian running in ARMM polls

By Anthony S. Allada

COTABATO CITY – Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco, an aunt of President Benigno Cojuangco Aquino III, made history in the 20-year-old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to be the only Christian running an elective post in the region.

ARMM gubernatorial bet Datu Pax S. Mangudadatu (second from right) and running mate Margarita "Tingting" Cojuangco (second from left) entertain questions from media during a press conference Sunday afternoon at Estosan Hotel in Cotabato City. Photo taken by Anthony S. Allada.

Cojuangco, a former governor in Tarlac and the wife of former Rep. Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, the brother of the late President Corazon Aquino, filed her Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for vice governor on Sunday afternoon, May 22, 2011, under the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban Party (PDP-Laban) at the Commission on Elections regional office in Mabini Street here.

She partners with gubernatorial candidate Datu Pax S. Mangudadatu, a former governor and congressman in Sultan Kudarat province in Mindanao.

The Mangudadatu-Cojuangco tandem is viewed to be sure winners since the two are the supposed Malacañang-backed candidates in the August 8, 2010 elections.

In the ARMM polls history, no candidates supported by the Palace were lost.

Former governors Zacaria Candao, Lininding Pangandaman, Nur Misuari, Dr. Parouk Hussein and Zaldy Ampatuan had all the backing of the Malacañang when they sought the ARMM top post.

Cojuangco, who boosted to own a residence in Datu Odin Sinsuat and already a registered voter there since last year, promised change and reforms to the Muslim region.

“I run embracing an agenda of good governance, education and honesty,” she told reporters in a press conference at Estosan Hotel Sunday afternoon.

She said she maybe a Christian but she is one with the Muslim people’s aspirations and sentiments to achieve peace and development, economic progress, and transformation for the ARMM region.


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