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Ampatuan reelected as ARMM gov - Comelec

August 13, 2008 4:57pm

(Updated 6:35 p.m.)MANILA, Philippines - Incumbent Governor Zaldy Ampatuan on Wednesday retained his post as the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao's (ARMM) top chief executive after besting six other gubernatorial candidates, including detained Indanan, Sulu Mayor Alvarez Isnaji.

During the proclamation rites held at the Comelec head office in Manila, the ARMM Board of Canvassers said Ampatuan obtained 1,017,179 votes or 93.06 percent of the total votes cast.

A total of 1,307,117 or 85.49 percent of the 1,531,622 registered voters participated in the August 11 ARMM elections.

Ampatuan is the Arroyo administration's candidate. There were seven candidates for ARMM governor, including Isnaji who is detained on kidnap-for-ransom charges.

Isnaji (independent) was a far second receiving 22,446 votes; followed by Ali Omar (independent) with 16,902 votes; Guimid Matalam (Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino), 15,283; Jupakar Arabani (independent), 11,648; Ismail Ibrahim (independent), 7,223; Ahmad Nooh (independent), 2,280.

There were no other proclamations made by the ARMM BOC as winning reelectionist Vice Governor Ansaruddin Adiong, who received 1,011,791 votes or 93.99 percent of the total votes, was not in Manila.

Adiong's counsel, lawyer Mabdi Abedin, manifested to the ARMM BOC that his client's proclamation be reset Thursday 11 a.m.

He said Adiong was still in the ARMM as he waited for the provincial board of canvasser to finish its canvassing of votes.

Adiong's closest rival, Kadra Masihul (Kilusang Bagong Lipunan) received 26, 336 votes. He was followed by Kursid Sampang (independent) with 20,335 votes and Ailani Susulan Jr (independent) with 17, 931 votes.

Priority

In an interview with reporters after the proclamation, Ampatuan said the region's security and peace and order situation will be his top priority.

He also said that there should be more consultation with the people with regards to the plans to expand the areas covered by the ARMM.

"Dapat me consultation, more consultation para mas malinaw sa kanila if ever, ano ang advantages at disadvantages kung sakaling masakop sila ng ARMM (There should be consultations, more consultations so that the people will understand better the advantages and disadvantages if they will be covered by the ARMM)," Ampatuan said.

He also called on the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to sit and discuss with the government the issues they are raising.

"Dapat pag-usapan ang mga problema upang magkaroon ng tunay na kapayapaan sa rehiyon ng Mindanao. Hindi pwedeng idaan sa dahas ang pamamaraan, lalong hindi tayo magkakaintindihan (We should discuss the problems in order to solve them and for Mindanao to finally achieve peace. We should not use violence as it will just lead to further misunderstanding)," Ampatuan said.

Being the first official to be elected through automated election, the governor said the whole country should use automation in order for the polls to be more credible. - GMANews.TV
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