Mangudadatu leads in Maguindanao gubernatorial race

Posted at 05/12/10 3:41 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu, husband of one of the 57 people massacred in Maguindanao province last year, is headed for a big win in the province's gubernatorial race, based on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) partial count on Wednesday.

Mangudadatu was leading with 113,441 votes based on votes transmitted by Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines from 34 municipalities of Maguindanao.

An Ampatuan clan ally, Datu Umbra Sinsuat, was at far second with only 67,900 votes.

Andal Ampatuan Sr., who remains jailed for his alleged involvement in the massacre, was trailing behind Mangudadatu's runningmate, Ismael Mastura.

Mastura had 123,894 votes while Ampatuan Sr. had 79,671.

Ampatuan Sr., the patriarch of the powerful Ampatuan clan of Maguindanao, ran despite being arrested and kicked out of the administration's Lakas-Kampi-CMD party for his supposed involvement in the massacre.

At least 100 gunmen allegedly loyal to the Ampatuans abducted and massacred members of the Mangudadatu clan and at least 30 local journalists.

Among those killed were Mangudadatu's wife and 2 sisters, who were supposed to file a certificate of candidacy for governor on Mangudadatu's behalf. The massacre took place in Ampatuan town last November 23, 2010.

Ampatuan Sr.'s namesake, Andal Jr., has been arrested for allegedly masterminding the massacre. – Report from Edwin Sebidal, radio dzMM