Halal governance needed in ARMM


By Anthony S. Allada

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) gubernatorial candidate Datu Pax Mangudadatu is pushing for “Halal” governance to realize an honest-to-goodness peace and development in the region.

For Mangudadatu, “Halal” is not only limited to allowed  food for Muslims but should be applied to governance, especially in Muslim-dominated ARMM region, which is identified as the poorest of the poor in the entire country.

“This means, as elected officials we should not use the government fund for our own interest. We should use them for projects, livelihood, education, health, among others,” he told Davao reporters over the weekend when they chanced upon him at his favorite tennis court in Koronadal, South Cotabato.

Mangudadatu, the undefeated three-term governor of Christian-dominated Sultan Kudarat province, said that ARMM badly needs a transparent government to test a real economic growth.

“When I was elected as a political official, I never pocketed the people’s money. In fact, I turned the province of Sultan Kudarat to become the one of the most progressive provinces in the country and to have the most beautiful capitol ever,” he said.

He said that if given a chance, he could do better for the five provinces that composed the autonomous region. They are Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi.

Mangudadatu said his platform agenda is anchored on President Benigno Simeon Aquino III’s “matuwid na daan” program.

He said he has high regard with the leadership of Aquino and that the latter has his full support on his development initiatives for the country.

This came even as he was not the choice of the Palace to be its candidate for ARMM gubernatorial race as it picked Mujiv Hataman, who was earlier chosen as the caretaker following the ouster of former ARMM governor Zaldy Ampatuan.

Ampatuan and the rest of his clan, including his father, former Maguindanao governor Andal Sr. and brother, former Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Jr., were tagged to have masterminded the infamous Maguindanao Massacre that killed 53 people, including the wife of Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu and more than 30 journalists.

Pax Mangudadatu said that he was happy though that the rest of the President’s sisters are all behind to support his candidacy, adding that another relatives, Jose “Peping” Cojuangco and his wife, senatorial candidate Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco, have also promised to actively campaign for him. (ASA)


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