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Political Personalities

‘BisMus’ for Senator

KP Visayas endorses ‘Bisayang Muslim’

CEBU CITY- If Pres. Rodrigo Duterte is Bisayang Daku (Bisdak) and won, then welcome another Bisaya like him, and perhaps win too, in the polls. His name Congressman Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu (Maguindanao, 2nd district), the Bisayang Muslim (BisMus).

Some 2,000 members of the Kilusang Pagbabago witnessed the official announcement of five senatorial candidates the KP-Visayas is supporting.

Mangudadatu called himself,  “Bismus”, when he graced yesterday the Visayas congress of the Kilusang Pagbabago (KP) which earlier passed a resolution endorsing him along with four others in the forthcoming May 2019 midterm elections.

“Ang tawag sa ako sa Davao, BisMus, Bisayang Muslim,” Mangudadatu told the sizable crowd at the provincial capitol grounds here led by KP Visayas lead convenor Doris Mongaya and co-convenor lawyer Rex Fernandez. Mangudadatu who arrived with his beauteous wife, Geraldine, gamely spoke with the audience who earlier was also visited by Sen. Cynthia Villar in the morning.

Dong Mangudadato, KP

U.S. Takosa

Not only that he is a proud BisMus, Mangudadatu, a scion of the influential Mangudadatu clan in South Central Mindanao, also described himself a “U.S. Takosa” which elicited laughter from those around which were composed of KP community leaders all-over the Visayas regions. The Maguindanao congressman recalled a conversation he had with presidential daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, in describing himself.

“Ako, ingon ni Mam Inday, nga myebro daw ko sa  takosa. Alam ninyo ang takosa, takot sa asawa. Ang sabi ko kay Mam Inday Sara, dili lang takosa, U.S. Takosa. So unsa nang U.S. takosa, Under de Saya, takot sa asawa,” the Davao City educated lawmaker said.

Geraldine Mangudadato
Geraldine Mangudadato (seated at right corner), the wife of Zajid ‘Dong’ Mangudadato, quietly shows support.

Geraldine who hails from Pangasinan could give some upstart movie stars a run for their money,  a female KP member from Lapu-lapu City commented. “Ka-gwapa man niya oi, mura man siya ug artista,” the woman in her forties described Ms. Mangungudatu from a hearing distance of  this writer. Clad in maong pants and sneakers, the pretty wife of the Mindanao congressman wore a black t-shirt printed with “I am Dong Mangudadatu”  in its back like her husband with the words “Imagine PEACE” in the front.

KP endorsement

Cong. Mangungudatu along with Villar and former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go were endorsed by the 300,000 strong KP Visayas.

Doris Isubal-Mongaya of Kilusang Pagbabago (KP)
Doris Isubal-Mongaya is the KP Visayas lead convenor.

KP Visayas lead convenor Mongaya, who hails from Cotabato City, knew the congressman’s brother, Maguindanao Gov. Ismael “Toto” Mangudadatu. She said, KP Visayas members principally endorsed Mangudadatu and company on the basis of supporting federalism which is being pursued by Pres. Duterte.

Along with Mangudadatu, Go and Villar, those endorsed were former Presidential Spokesman lawyer Harry Roque and former PNP Chief and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.

“Karong hapon, atong i-anunsyo ang pipila ka mga kandidato alang sa pagkasenador nga atong gituhuang mosuporta sa pederalismo. Magpasalamat kita karon nga nia mismo uban kanato ang pipila kanila- Senador Cynthia Villar ug Congressman Zajid Mangudadatu,” Mongaya said in her welcome speech.

Candidate of Pres. Duterte

In his impromptu speech, Mangudadatu told the audience that he was asked by no less than Pres. Duterte to run for Senator. He said the President wanted him to unite the muslims  and christians, along side the indigenous tribes all over the country.

“Mao na si Dong Mangungudatu gisugo ko sa atong Presidente nga motuyok sa atung nasud kay ang gusto niya para magkahiusa ang Muslim-Kristyano at indigenous peoples sa ating bansa,” Mangungudatu said.

In jest, he said that while his religion is Islam, he also knew what the Christians are doing, him being educated in Davao, a predominantly Christian region, the home turf of Pres. Duterte.

“Ako gitawo ko sa Maguindanao pero didto ko magdako sa Davao. Didto na ko nag eskwela sa high school. Didto ko nag college. Mao nga si Dong Mangungudatu kabalo gani ko mangadye. Kabalo gani ko mangurus, mag novena, mag rosaryo. Pero dili lang mokaon og humba,” drawing giggles from the KPians around.

Turning serious the Maguindanao lawmaker appealed for unity and not resort to ostracizing people because of religious beliefs.

“Let us avoid segregation because segregation of such religious attachment sometimes is the cause of the trouble of our country,” he said.

Philippines as next Dubai

Largely credited for pursuing the discovery of the Maguindanao methane gas,  Mangudadatu aired his optimism that once fully explored the discovered oil deposit in Liguasan Marsh could propel the Philippines as the next “Dubai.”

The Maguindanao legislator said that as per estimates the oil found in the area which sprawls along Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato could reach 1 trillion U.S. dollars.

“Ito ay bibigyan tayo ng pagkakataon yung hanapbuhay, kabuhayan natin not only in Maguindanao but the whole country so ito masasabi ko ito na ang Pilipinas is the next Dubai so pwede natin itong ipamamalaki sa buong mundo,” Mangungudatu said in an audio-video presentation of the Maguindanao methane gas.

Mangungudatu described the oil deposits in Liguasan Marsh as more than what has earlier been found in Alegria, Southern Cebu. “Mas malaki pa yan, mas malaki pa yan sa Alegria, hindi ko inaano ha, hindi ko gina kunti yung Alegria pero mas malaki yung Maguindanao province.”

In May this year, Pres. Duterte and Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi attended the ceremonial valve-opening of the Alegria Oilfield exploration ran by China International Mining Petroleum Company Ltd. with its partners Skywealth Group Holdings Ltd. And Phil-Mal Energy International Inc. with a US $30.80-million (about P1.61 billion) investment.

Love for Country

Mangudadatu capped his speech by telling those present his love for the country.

Beside his brother Ismael, Cong. Mangudadatu has Sultan Kudarat Govenor Pax Mangungudatu as uncle while a cousin, Teng (Suharto), the son of Pax, is the congressman for Sultan Kudarat (1st district). Cong. Dong said he could opt to seek reelection in his district but President Duterte prevailed on him and importantly- his love of country.

“Kahit ako isang Muslim, Pilipino ako at dito ako ipinanganak sa ating bansa at mahal ko ang ating inang bayang Pilipinas.” -30-

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