MANILA, Philippines – Several members of the Ampatuan clan are leading in the polls in Maguindanao despite their relatives being linked to the massacre in 2009.
Datu Unsay Mayor Reshal Ampatuan, wife of massacre suspect Andal Jr., and Shariff Aguak Mayor Bai Sahara Ampatuan are both set to win their reelection bids.
As of 4 a.m. Wednesday, Reshal Ampatuan is leading the race with 225 votes. Her opponent, Kagi Kamaru Ibrahim of the Liberal Party, only received 14 votes.
Bai Sahara Ampatuan has 3,008 votes in the mayoral race in Shariff Aguak.
The Ampatuans said this is proof that the people of Maguindanao still find them trustworthy.
Incumbent Governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, meanwhile, is on his way to victory against relative and former ally, Tucao Mastura.
Mangudadatu first won a gubernatorial seat in 2010 when Tucao served as his adviser.
His 2010 win came months after his wife, several relatives, and journalists were killed in the Maguindanao massacre, allegedly masterminded by members of the Ampatuan clan.