MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur: Newly elected mayor, Majul Usman Gandamra vowed to clean up the violence-torn city from illegal activities and atrocities.
Gandamra was proclaimed by city Board of Canvassers (BoC) led by lawyer Michael Ignes on Friday after defeating former mayor Omar Ali Solitario in a close match mayoral race here, coupled by sporadic firings from unknown locations.
The mayor-elect was a former assemblyman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and ran under the Liberal Party (LP).
He garnered 21,684 votes, with only 270 votes over Solitario’s 21,414. Marawi has 49,114 total registered voters but some 4,334 did not go to the polling precinct citing security and other unknown reasons.
Several attacks have been recorded in the city during and after Election Day, which authorities are still determining if these were election-related violence.
The attacks included the killing of Gandamra’s supporters such as the brothers Hapidh Usman and Jalalloden Usman.
Gandamra said he aims to “stop all forms of violence” including the rampant illegal drugs and other criminal activities while eyeing the recovery of the city’s progress and economic development.
He also promised to deliver all basic services to his constituents and ensure peace and order in the city.
He said he will draft a comprehensive plan for waste management program and address the traffic woes facing the residents daily.
The only Islamic city in the Philippines, Marawi was also gripped by other criminal activities such as kidnapping, carnapping, killing and other atrocities hindering the peace and development in the city and the province of Lanao del Sur as a whole.
Meanwhile, new governor-elect of Lanao del Sur, Soraya Alonto-Adoing, assured good relations between capitol and city hall under Gandamra after years of political isolation from the province.
She will replace her son, outgoing Gov. Mamintal “Bombit” Alonto-Adiong Jr., who was elected vice governor.
Alonto-Adoing, daughter of the late Sen. Domocao Alonto, beat outgoing Marawi mayor Fahad “Pre” Salic with a wide gap of 75,924 votes.
Salic, who survived the April 9 ambush in Cagayan de Oro City, ran as governor under United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) after completing his third term. He became mayor following his brother Omar Ali Solitario’s successive terms.