LUCENA CITY — Senatorial candidate Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu has vowed to give Mindanao a stronger voice in the Senate to further push the island’s peace and development efforts.
Mangudadatu expressed optimism that attaining peace in Mindanao is not far-fetched, banking on the full implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), which he supports to give the south a respite from the wars and lift the people from the bondage of poverty.
Mangudadatu said the support of the national government, Mindanaoans, and the Filipino Muslims is vital for Mindanao to catch up with the rest of the country, especially that part of the island is transitioning to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
“BARMM, if given the right implementation and full support of the people not only the Muslim Filipinos, the whole of Mindanao’s growth will accelerate and push this country into unprecedented growth and progress,” he said.
Mangudadatu said Mindanao needs another voice in the Senate so that peace and development initiatives for the island can be given a stronger push.
President Rodrigo Duterte has endorsed the candidacy of Mangudadatu, who is currently the representative of the second district of Maguindanao.
The President has described him as “one of the good leaders of the Moro people, who will promote peace in Mindanao.”
“Tulungan ninyo ako, maski ito lang. Kasi hirap ako sa Mindanao na mag-ayos ng mga tribu-tribu. So, hingin ko ay isa lang. Masabi ko lang na may isang senador na aalagaan mo, kasi he will promote peace in Mindanao,” Duterte said during a sortie in Laguna last February.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, founding chairperson of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), also has full trust on Mangudadatu, describing him as a key to Mindanao’s peace and progress.
Mangudadatu, who is seeking a Senate seat in the May election, said Mindanao is a land of opportunities but these have remained untapped because of perceived peace and order issues.
The Mindanao leader, who once served as the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation President of Buluan town in 1996 and the town mayor of Pandag before his stint in the House of Representatives, said Mindanao is on its way to peace and progress.
If peace is achieved, Mangudadatu said, then the government will save billions of pesos and these can be used to fund other priority programs in education, free medicines and healthcare services, affordable basic needs and accessible services to lift the living conditions of the Filipinos.
It is time for the people to set aside perception of Mindanao as a troubled land, Mangudadatu said.
Mangudadatu’s legislative agenda is rolled in one word P.E.A.C.E which stands for Prosperity, Education, Agriculture, Cultural Unity, and Energy. (PR)