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S. Kudarat gubernatorial bet Datu Pax Ali Mangudadatu confident of ‘landslide’ win

LUTAYAN, Sultan Kudarat (MindaNews / 9 May) – Sultan Kudarat gubernatorial aspirant Datu Pax Ali Mangudadatu cast his vote at the Tamnag Central Elementary School here around 11:30 a.m. Monday without much fanfare, and expressed optimism he will win by a “landslide.”

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Sultan Kudarat gubernatorial candidate Datu Pax Ali Mangudadatu casts his vote at the Tamnag Central Elementary School in Lutayan, Sultan Kudarat on Monday (9 May 2022). MindaNews photo by BONG S. SARMIENTO

The 24-year-old aspirant stayed for less than 30 minutes inside the voting precinct, casting his vote under the presence of the Mangudadatu patriarch and Sultan Kudarat province political juggernaut, former Sultan Kudarat Gov. Sultan Pax Mangudadatu.
Sultan Pax, who is running as Lutayan mayor where he also previously served, and all his partymates under the Lakas – Christian Muslim Democrats were sure winners as nobody challenged them in this town.
Datu Pax Ali obtained Friday a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court involving the decision of the Commission on Elections en banc to cancel his certificate of candidacy (COC).
His only rival, Sharifah Akeel Mangudadatu, the 2018 Miss Asia-Pacific winner, earlier filed a petition with the poll body questioning the residency status of Datu Pax Ali, mayor of Datu Abdullah Sangki town in Maguindanao.
“They did not believe that I am from Lutayan, Sultan Kudarat. I just voted. I am a registered voter here,” he told MindaNews, showing his ink-stained finger, which meant he already voted.
“My father and my grandfather served as mayors of this town. I grew up here,” he added.
Datu Pax Ali is the son of Sultan Kudarat Gov. Suharto “Teng” Mangudadatu and Maguindanao reelectionist Gov. Bai Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu.
He is the grandson of Sultan Pax, who served as governor of Sultan Kudarat from 1998 to 2007, first district representative from 2007 to 2010 and governor again from 2016 to 2019.
Teng Mangudadatu, son of Sultan Pax, served as Sultan Kudarat governor from 2007 to 2016, first district representative from 2016 to 2019, and governor again from 2019 to 2022.
Datu Pax Ali said the TRO from the Supreme Court stopping the cancellation of his COC as ruled by the Comelec en banc demonstrates that “his candidacy is on the right track and that democracy still prevails.”
“My fight in the race for governor of Sultan Kudarat is still on,” Datu Pax Ali said.
He expressed optimism he can win by “landslide.”
His rival, Akeel Mangudadatu, is the wife of Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, who is challenging the reelection bid of Maguindanao Gov. Bai Sangki-Mangudadatu, Datu Pax Ali’s mother.
Toto previously served as three-term Maguindanao governor (2010 to 2019).
Toto and Teng, Datu Pax Ali’s father, are cousins. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)

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