Ampatuan scion loses in Maguindanao polls

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COTABATO CITY: Sajid Islam Ampatuan, youngest son of the alleged mastermind of the Maguindanao massacre, was defeated in the mayoral race by his cousin in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao.

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Officers of the Commission on Election (Comelec) in Shariff Aguak early on Tuesday proclaimed reelectionist acting Mayor Marop Ampatuan, who got 3,581 votes, against 2,781 of Sajid.

Sajid is also one of the suspects in the November 23, 2009 dreaded Maguindanao massacre that killed at least 58 people, including 32 media members.

He spent nearly five years in detention in Manila and was temporary released in October after posting P11.6 million bail bond.

His father, the late Andal Ampatuan Sr., died of liver cancer on July 17, 2015 while in jail along with his co-accused family members in the carnage.

Sajid’s bid in the mayoral race was to revive their distressed family, according to his previous statements.

Marop’s father, Datu Akmad Ampatuan, was also proclaimed the town vice mayor.

Datu Akmad is a nephew of Andal Sr.

Meanwhile, two days after the synchronized elections, violence continue to escalate in Lanao del Sur as five classrooms were set on fire allegedly by a disgruntled sibling and supporter of a losing candidate.

Col. Noel Detoyato, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Public Affairs Office chief, said Army’s 103rd Brigade and the local police are hunting down the suspect, identified as Mocoday Holing of the village of Bairan.

Holing was said to be among those who burned five classrooms, a comfort room and other facilities of Diwan Central Elem. School in the village of Maliwanag in Bayang town on Thursday last week.

This was the third school burned in election-related incidents in Lanao del Sur.

On election day, residents reported that two school buildings in the towns of Tamparan and Poona-Bayabao were set ablaze by unidentified persons.

The military confirmed the burning incidents, but did not provide further details.

The incident did not hinder the election process in the province.

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