The Manila Times : Muslim governors support BBM-Sara

24 April 2022

By Al Jacinto | The Manila Times

ZAMBOANGA CITY: Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan has formally endorsed the tandem of presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in the May 2022 election.

Tan said other governors in the Bangsamoro region met with Marcos and other political leaders at the Manila Hotel.

"Yes, kay BBM at Sara kaming lahat sa Sulu. Mga meyors natin at mga Tausugs ay behind kay BBM and Sara," Tan told The Manila Times in a brief phone interview Saturday from Manila.

In the 2016 presidential election, Tan was the only governor in the Muslim autonomous region who campaigned hard for then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as president. He also campaigned for Marcos as vice president, while all the other governors supported the tandem of Manuel "Mar" Roxas 2nd and Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo.

Tan also rallied allied mayors in Sulu to help him in the campaign. Duterte eventually won by a landslide in Sulu, the only province in the Muslim region where Marcos won. Marcos, a former senator, and Tan, a former congressman, are longtime friends and political allies.

The Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), chaired by Marcos, confirmed this and said Tan promised to deliver the winning vote for Marcos in Sulu, one of five provinces under the autonomous region.

"Ayon naman kay Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan, nakasisiguro siya na kaya nilang ibigay ang mahigit 80 porsyento na boto mula sa kanilang 420,000 na botante sa probinsya," the PFP said in a statement.

It also quoted Tan as saying: "Pangako ko sa kanya (Marcos) mahina na ang 80 porsyento na boto sa buong probinsya kasi wala kaming kalaban. Ang probinsya namin 420,000 registered voters halos wala kaming kalaban lahat. Ako, anak ko, vice governor, congressman, dalawang congressman, mayor, walang kalaban."

PFP said Tan and other political leaders in the autonomous region and Mindanao also signed an oath of commitment to strongly support the BBM-Sara UniTeam.

"We, the governors, mayors and traditional leaders of BARMM, commit ourselves to fervently, strongly and firmly support the unifying leadership and candidacy of Marcos for the position of President of the Republic of the Philippines, and Duterte[-Carpio] for the position of Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines. We commit to protect the will of the people and safeguard the victory of Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr., and Mayor Inday Sara Duterte as President and Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines," the PFP said.

"Bitbit ang kanilang command votes, siniguro ng mga opisyal na karamihan sa halos dalawang milyong botante sa BARMM ay magbibigay ng siguradong panalo kina Marcos at Duterte sa Mindanao."

Among those who attended the event were the governors, mayors and other leaders of Basilan, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur and Tawi-Tawi.

"Hindi na mangyayari na gamitin ang Maguindanao, na gamitin ang probinsya namin para mandaya. Handa kaming protektahan ang inyong boto dito sa Maguindanao," PFP also quoted Maguindanao Gov. Miriam Mangudadatu as saying.

PFP said Marcos thanked the governors for their solid support.

"It is important to show that the idea of 'pagkakaisa,' the idea of 'unity' is not only a campaign slogan, but it is a cause, it is something that we truly believe. And with your acts, with your actions tonight in coming together, yourselves, in coming together with the UniTeam is a big manifestation that we have the right message that this unity is, in fact, what we need in this time of crisis, in this time of difficulty that the Philippines is going through," Marcos said.

"Thank you again for your support, but I am also, as for all of you, kung maipanalo natin ito kailangan ko ng tulong ninyong lahat. I need your help, I need your wisdom, I need your advice and because of that, you can rest assured that you will always have an ear who will listen to you. You will always have an open door to which you can go."

But Murad Ebrahim, chieftain of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and governor of the Bangsamoro region, and his political party called the United Bangsamoro Justice Party are supporting Marcos' rival Robredo and her running mate Sen. Francisco "Kiko" Pangilinan.

Ebrahim signed a peace deal with the Aquino 3rd administration in March 2014 and was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as governor of the Bangsamoro region.