Relatives battle in 2022 local polls

By Ali G. Macabalang

Online-generated framed image of relatives in Singson and Mangudadatu families who are slugging it out for local posts in Ilocos Sur, Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat provinces, respectively, in this year’s polls.

COTABATO CITY – The “blood is thicker than water” adage does not hold ground all time in all ventures, especially in the divisive sphere of political exercises such as the upcoming 2022 local elections.

In Ilocos Sur, for example, former Governor and now Narvacan town Mayor Luis “Chavit” Singson is running for vice governor against his own son Ryan.

Ryan teams up with wife, Patch Sevillano-Singson, who is gunning for governor against Chavit’s running-mate and brother, Jerry, the incumbent vice governor.

Ryan’s camp runs under a local political party called Bileg, while Chavit’s team is the National People’s Coalition’s ticket in Ilocos Sur.

Chavit was quoted in media reports as asserting that a father’s discretion should “prevail over the son’s.”

All Singsons were reported as supporting the presidential bid of Bongbong Marcos, but the irony is Chavit – who acts as national adviser of the BBM campaign – does not want the former senator to raise hands among the battling kin.

In Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat, the political battle is between and among Mangudadatus.

Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu has fielded his wife, former beauty queen Sharifa Akeel as gubernatorial candidate in Sultan Kudarat under the Aksyon Demokratiko party of presidential aspirant Francisco “Isko Moreno” Moreno, incumbent mayor of Manila.

The incumbent Sultan Kudarat governor is Suharto “Teng” Mangudadatu, second cousin of the lawmaker. But Teng has fielded his son, Datu Pax Ali, current elected mayor of  Datu Abdullah Sangki in Maguindanao to vie for Sultan Kudarat’s top elective post.

Gov. Teng has reportedly transferred residence and voter’s registration in Abdullah Sangki town to assist fully in the reelection bid of his wife, Maguindanao Gov. Mariam Sangki and participate with greater latitude in the politics of the infant Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Rep. Toto is gunning for the Maguindanao gubernatorial post he had held for three terms from 2010 to 2019.

The lawmaker is the official standard bearer in Maguindanao of the BARMM officialdom’s United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP), but his team and that of his wife-candidate Sharifa are rallying actively the candidacy of Isko Moreno.

The combined forces of couple governors Teng and Martiam, running under a local coalition called “family alliance,” are backing the candidacy of Bongbong Marcos. (AGM)

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