Pimentel seeks ‘legitimate’ 12-0 win for Team PNoy in Maguindanao

April 13, 2013 1:57 am 

BULUAN, Maguindanao, April 12 — Denied by a 12-0 win allegedly tainted with massive cheating in favor of the past administration here in the 2007 senatorial elections, reelectionist senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III wants also a 12-0 victory, this time, for Team PNoy in this vote-rich province in the forthcoming May 13 midterm polls.

The Mindanao senator, however, quickly clarified he wanted get the 12-0 win from the real votes of the people of Maguindanao where, in 2007, the senatorial slate of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo got a highly-contested 12-0 sweep.

”I’m requesting you for a 12-0 win. Vote for the Team PNoy candidates (and give them) 12-0 legally and legitimately,” Pimentel appealed in front of an estimated 50,000 crowd that attended the local proclamation rally Friday at the Peace Center compound here.

Pimentel told the huge crowd that his experience in 2007 in Maguindanao brought so much sadness and pain but he fought hard and got justice on Aug. 11, 2011 when he was proclaimed the real 12th senator of the 2007 senatorial polls.

”Because of my painful experience in 2007 here in the province, can you make me happy in the coming elections. Please vote straight the Team PNoy through the right way,” Pimentel said.

In a media interview, Pimentel claimed he got 67,000 out of more than 200,000 votes tallied in Maguindanao in 2007 but still missed the last senatorial ticket which was initially awarded to former Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, now running under United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) slate.

He said if the Team PNoy senatorial candidates will be able to get 150,000 votes each out of the more than 400,000 registered Maguindanao voters, the 12-0 is possible.

“I think we can aspire for 12-0 in the proper way from the real votes of the people,” Pimentel said.

Pimentel’s fellow senatorial candidates Ramon Magsaysay Jr. said the Team PNoy is aspiring for 12-0 but “I think 10-2 or 11-1 is big enough.”

”But if we want the President to show the world that we are a united society, mature enough, then I would like also the 12-0,” Magsaysay said.

In a separate interview, Liberal Party gubernatorial candidate for Maguindanao Ismael ‘Toto’ Mangudadatu promised to President Benigno Aquino III to deliver 80 percent of the voting population of the province.

Aside from Mangudadatu, other local officials present during the local proclamation rally included: Buluan mayor Ibrahim Mangudadatu and Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao officer-in-charge Mujiv Hataman.

In response, President Aquino said at the start of his speech: “If you will increase the 80 percent, I will not get angry with you.”

The President drew big applause as if the crowd was saying they can deliver more than their governor promised to the Team PNoy.

The local officials expressed their sincerest appreciation to President Aquino for making himself the first leader of the country to visit the town of Buluan.

”You are the first President to set foot here in Buluan and we are very thankful for that Mr. President,” Buluan mayor Ibrahim Mangudadatu said.

Pimentel and Magsaysay joined other senatorial candidates that included: Sonny Angara, Risa Hontiveros, Bam Aquino and Loren Legarda.

Hontiveros and Aquino said the peace agreement that the government is pushing the Moro Islamic Liberation Front will help them carry to victory without cheating.

”There is no cheating in 12-0 of Team PNoy. I’m hoping the peace efforts of the government would be appreciated by the people and they will vote Team PNoy here in Maguindanao,” Aquino said in media interview.

”The framework peace agreement is a big factor. I am hopeful that we can win 12-0 here under the leadership of Gov. Toto and ARMM OIC Gov. Mujiv Hataman. We can see that they pushed for good governance, and this is being supported by the people on the ground,” Hontiveros said in separate interview.

Angara, son of outgoing Senator Edgardo Angara, said “the people learned the bitter experience of the past and would want to support candidates who will continue the reforms initiated by President Aquino.”

Other local leaders present were Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao officer-in-charge Mujiv Hataman who is running for ARMM governor.

After he delivered his speech where he endorsed all the 12 senatorial candidates of Team PNoy, the President endorsed the local candidates of Maguindanao.

Maguindanao is one of the five provinces of ARMM which has more than 1.5 million registered voters. Other five provinces are Sulu, Lanao del Norte, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi.

The six other senatorial candidates not present include Alan Cayetano, Francis Escudero, Cynthia Villar, Antonio Trillanes IV, Jamby Madrigal and Grace Poe. (PNA)

HBC/JFM

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