The Partidong Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) has fielded Alexander Alie Sumulong, a businessman, to vie for the Regional Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RLA-ARMM) in the coming polls.
Sumulong, who hails from the island municipality of Mapun (Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi), has filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for regional solon on the second day of the official filing last May 20, 2011 at the Comelec office in Mapun town. He was the only aspirant who officially got party nomination from no less Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay from among dozens of wannabes for the August 8, elections this year.
The Comelec has set the last day of filing last May 23 after it re-scheduled it thrice.
Sumulong, accompanied by his relatives and supporters, trooped to the Comelec office under Provincial Election Supervisors (PES) Abu Talipan who accepted his COC as official candidate for the legislative body, once elections push through.
Sumulong, 50, is running under the widely supported PDP-Laban political party of which incidentally, the same party ticket of ex-Congressman and Provincial Governor Datu Pax Magundadatu of Sultan Kudarat and former National Defense College President Margarita “Ting-Ting” Cojuangco, candidates for Regional Governor and Vice-Regional Governor, respectively. The Magundadatu-Cojuangco tamdem filed their COCs last Saturday in Cotabato City.
Sumulong, cousin of the grand Mufti Ustadz Abdulwahid Alie Inju of Tawi-Tawi, decided to throw his hat in the political arena after Tawi-Tawi constituents from 11 municipalities have clamored for him to join the ARMM polls. At least 15 barangays in Mapun town vowed to support his candicacy and are expected to deliver over 17,000 votes in Mapun alone.
He is also being supported by the different Datus (Ka datuan or Royal blood) of the Province aside from the business sector, non-government organizations and several civil clubs in the community.
In line with President Pnoy’s program, neophyte Sumulong vowed to fulfill the reform agenda for the ARMM, particularly on anti-corruption and good governance; poverty alleviation through economic and livelihood development programs; employment generation, investment and tourism; Human Rights (women and child rights) protection; improve health services; peace and order and public service.
“I will not only sit down in the ARMM Assembly but I will work hard for the betterment of my constituents thru legislative works,” Sumulong declared.
Among those who acknowledged his candidacy were Sen. Bong Revilla’s political consultant for ARMM, Mr. Teng Mohammad, who is also belonging to a prominent and respected political clan from the province.
“Nothing is impossible, under the leadership of the present administration, we could still institute the desired reforms in the ARMM, strengthen good governance through ensuring that new breed of leaderships are enjoined to work hard for it for the progress and development of our region,” Sumulong, stressed with optimism.
Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Local Government led by Senator Ferdinand Bong-bong Marcos along with members has been conducting consultations and hearings with stakeholders in the ARMM, tackling among others the proposed postponement of the elections and being awaited by Malacanang to submit the final findings of the committee report to plenary for debate and voting.
Marcos opposes the postponement of the ARMM elections.
However, the Commission on Elections led by Sixto Chairman Brilliantes has been preparing for the elections based on the scheduled calendar of activities for the holding of elections.
Marcos had earlier said that his committee will conduct one more hearing on the proposal, but its date has yet to be announced. The House of Representatives had earlier passed its version of the bill.
The bill has been certified as urgent by President Benigno Aquino III, former chairman of committee on local government during his stint in the Senate. — faber_concepcion2004 @yahoo.com