The online news portal of TV5
SULTAN KUDARAT, Maguindanao - Local officials in Maguindanao have re-established this town as the provincial capital, citing the 1977 Presidential Decree 1170.
Vice Governor Dustin Mastura, also Maguindanao provincial board presiding officer, said majority of the local officials of the province believe that Sultan Kudarat should remain as the provincial seat of power.
His uncle, Mayor Tocao Mastura of Sultan Kudarat, said the practice of moving the provincial capital from this town to the hometown of elected provincial governor must be stopped.
In 2001, then Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. moved the provincial capital from here to Shariff Aguak, his hometown, following a series of ambuscades and bombings that he claimed was directed at him after he defeated his rival, then Governor Zacaria Candao who lives in Sultan Kudarat.
When incumbent Gov. Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu was elected governor in 2010 elections, he transferred the capitol site from Shariff Aguak to Buluan, his hometown.
Mastura said the practice must be stopped because PD 1170 that named Sultan Kudarat as the capital has never been revoked or nullified.
"We have all the reasons to re-establish the capitol here," Mastura said as other provincial officials, mostly mayors and provincial board members, applauded during the ceremony held over the weekend.
Maguindanao is one of the five component provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Others are Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
More than 50 percent of the current elected officials of Maguindanao are descendants of the legendary Moro chieftain Sultan Kudarat.
The town is the crossroad to North Cotabato, Lanao del Sur and Cotabato City.
Vice Governor Mastura said beginning this week, regular sessions of the Sangguniang Panglalawigan will be held at the old and dilapidated building in Barangay Simuay.
Gov. Mangudadatu did not show up in the re-establishment activity nor issued comments on the event.