MANILA - Miss Asia Pacific International 2018 Sharifa Akeel-Mangudadatu on Friday confirmed that she would be running for Sultan Kudarat governor in the 2022 elections.
The 24-year-old beauty queen will run under Aksyon Demokratiko, the political party of presidential aspirant and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso.
“Hindi naman 'yan nagbe-base kung kailan when it comes to rendering public service,” she told reporters after taking her oath as a new party member of Aksyon.
(The number of years in public service should not be the basis.)
“It’s not about ikaw ay bata. As long as 18 years old ka na, naatim mo 'yung requirements ng tumakbo... Sabi ko, 24 na ako so if I won’t leave pageantry, I won’t grow as a woman,” she explained.
(It's not about how young you are. If you meet the requirements at 18 years old...)
Despite her decision to trade pageantry for politics, Akeel-Mangudadatu said her experience as a beauty queen would give her an edge in the upcoming elections.
“Kaming mga beauty queen (we beauty queens), we’ve already had our own advocacy also and that is to serve and help people,” she said.
When asked about her platforms and plans for Sultan Kudarat, Akeel-Mangudadatu said: “Mayroon naman tayong political agenda but for the meantime, nandoon pa 'yun, hindi ko pa siya mailalatag sa inyo ngayon.”
(We have a political agenda but for the meantime, I cannot share it with you.)
“'Yung service na full talaga, nandoon ako at ready ako sa mga possible na puwedeng makapagbigay ng tulong sa mga kababayan.”
(I am ready for full-pledged public service and I am ready with the possibility of giving help to my fellow Filipinos)
Her husband, Maguindanao Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, a veteran Mindanaoan politician, will also run for governor in Maguindanao.
“Sabi ko sa kaniya, maging mahinahon palagi,” Rep. Mangudadatu said when asked what his advice for his wife was when she decided to run for politics.
(I told her to be restrained always.)
“Kailangan mapagtimpi at kailangan laging handa sa mga issues dahil itong pinasok niya ay may mga issues na araw-araw haharapin mo dapat,” he said.
(You need to be restrained and to prepare for the issues that you will face every day.)
The pagent titlist married the lawmaker earlier this year, years after his other wife, Mylene, accused the beauty queen of being a mistress.
Rep. Mangudadatu’s late wife, Jenalyn, was among those who died in the Maguindanao massacre in 2009.
She was slain by the rival Ampatuan clan along with several journalists and civilians while their convoy was on their way to Shariff Aguak to file her husband’s certificate of candidacy.