300 cops, soldiers secure Mangudadatu's CoC filing

November 27, 2009 2:53 pm 

KIDAPAWAN CITY, Nov. 27 -– About 300 police and soldiers on Friday escorted Buluan vice-mayor Ismael ‘Toto’ Mangudadatu in filing his certificate of candidacy (CoC) at the provincial election office in Shariff Aguak, the capital town of Maguindanao, .

Chief Supt. Felicisimo Khu, deputy director for operations of Philippines National Police (PNP) in Region 12, said they were deployed in the area to secure Mangudadatu’s convoy.

Khu is assigned as ground commander of the PNP 12 in Ampatuan town, the site where the massacre of more than 60 individuals, including the wife of Mangudadatu, Jinalyn, two sisters, other relatives, election lawyers, and dozens of media practitioners.

Mangudadatu is running as governor of Maguindanao, a known bailiwick of his political opponent, jailed Datu Andal Ampatuan, Jr., mayor of Datu Unsay Ampatuan town.

With Mangudadatu was former Defense Secretary and Lakas-Kampi presidential bet Gilbert Teodoro, Lakas-Kampi national president and Saranggani Governor Miguel Dominguez and Lt. General Raymundo Ferrer, chief of the EastMinCom.

The convoy of Teodoro left General Santos City, around 7:30 a.m. Friday, and proceeded to Isulan town, capital town of Sultan Kudarat, where he was met by Sultan Kudarat Governor Suharto ‘Teng’ Mangudadatu and cousin Toto.

Hours later, the group proceeded to Shariff Aguak town for the filing of Mangudadatu’s CoC.

Mangudadatu tried to submit his CoC at the Comelec in Sultan Kudarat but was rejected due to lack of jurisdiction so he decided to proceed to Shariff Aguak on that day.

His plans, however, changed when Datu Andal, Jr., submitted himself to authorities for investigation on that day. Immediately, Mangudadatu proceeded to General Santos City where he met Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera.

“I am not afraid to run. I will face my opponent no matter what,” Mangudadatu earlier said in a radio interview.

Since July, Mangudadatu has been very firm in his plan to run against the Ampatuans in 2010 elections even if it was the ‘most dangerous thing to do.’

“I want to change the system of politics in Maguindanao. I want to make this province peaceful and develop it,” he said.

Meantime, hurt as they are, the Mangudadatus assured members of the Ampatuan clan they would not resort to ‘rido’ but would only prosecute those involved in the mass murder.

Rido is considered a ‘vendetta’, blood feud, or a ‘chain of killings’ provoked by an affront and disgrace to the honor of a family or its members.

Mangudadatu told media here that they will not strike back using force.

“We shall only fight them the legal way, through the court, through a legal battle, as prescribed by law,” he said.

In another related development, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front branded as “heretic” the assertions by beleaguered Datu Andal, Jr., that MILF Commander Ameril Ombra Kato and his men were responsible for the Maguindanao massacre.

“We will not dignify that statement by giving a denial to that. That’s absurd,” said MILF vice-chair for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar.

“How could Datu Andal, Jr., explain the presence of a backhoe owned by the Maguindanao provincial government at the massacre site? Does the MILF have access to that equipment? Of course, none,” said Eid Kabalu, also a top official of the MILF. (PNA)

RMA/NYP/MCM/mec

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