Sharriff Aguak mayoralty neophyte bet banks on honest election to win

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By Anthony S. Allada

SHARRIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao – For businessman Kalim Sula Santiago, the key for his victory lies on an honest and peaceful election.

And it seems that Santiago is more than optimistic after he and his two rivals recently signed a peace covenant, the first-ever to happen in the once conflict-stricken and the hometown of warlord Ampatuans, last January 22, 2013 before the presence of officials of the Commission on Elections, military, police and own supporters and campaigners.

He was accompanied by his more than 500 supporters at that time, the biggest number among the three candidates, wearing white shirts printed with slogan that represents KALIM, his first name and KSS, his  acronym.

KALIM stands for Kailangan, Alagaan, Lahat ng Inaapi para Matulungan and KSS means Katotohanan Sa Bayan ng Sharriff Aguak.

Santiago said he threw his hat in politics with the backing of Maguindanao Governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu to effect change in this capital town of the province, where it is still considered to be in the poorest of the poor since it was still known as Maghanoy.

“We were born here, my father and even my grandfather. But ever since we did not yet experience the kind of services that we are longing for,” he said.

He said now is the time that the people of Sharriff Aguak would unite and band together for the progress and development of the town.

Santiago said that he slowly felt that residents already braved enough to come out in the open to choose deserving leaders whom they are hoping to help them cope with poverty.

“In that little way, I am more challenged to continue our cause, the cause of our people here,” he said.

He said he was also happy that the new leadership of the military and the police is very supportive of the peace efforts to hold an honest, orderly and peaceful election.

Santiago would challenge incumbent mayor Zahara Ampatuan and board member Sarip Ampatuan. (ASA)



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