MANILA - Maguindanao Governor Bai Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu on Sunday denied that she has joined Aksyon Demokratiko, the party headed by 2022 presidential aspirant Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso.
Aksyon Demokratiko's campaign team earlier included a certain Bai Mariam Mangudadatu, a provincial governor aspirant, in its list of new members who took oath before Domagoso last week.
"It is crystal clear that I, along with our political allies in the Province of Maguindanao, took oath with the Nacionalista Party and our local political party dubbed as UMP or 'Umpungan ng Magpamalasakit Party,'" the governor said in a statement.
"We have always been vocal of our support to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and their allies – all, of course, for the good of our constituents in the province and the rest of the country," she said.
The Bai Mariam who is supporting the presidential bid of Domagoso is a namesake of the incumbent Maguindanao governor, party chairman Ernest Ramel, Jr. said in a phone interview after ABS-CBN News sought for a clarification.
ABS-CBN News is still trying to reach out to Maguindanao Gov. Mangudadatu to get her comment, as of posting time.
The Bai Mariam under Aksyon Demokratiko is backed by Maguindanao Rep. Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu, Sangki-Mangudadatu's relative-in-law and rival for Maguindanao's gubernatorial post in next year's elections.
Rep. Mangudadatu has yet to formally join Aksyon Demokratiko, but he was present during the party's October 1 oath taking to accompany his wife and 2 children who also joined the party.
Rep. Mangudadatu's 24-year-old wife Sharifa will run for Sultan Kudarat governor, challenging incumbent Governor Suharto Mangudadatu, Sangki-Mangudadatu's husband.
[Editor’s Note: A previous article reported that incumbent Maguindanao Gov. Bai Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu had thrown her support behind Domagoso, when in fact the Bai Mariam Mangudadatu included in the Aksyon Demokratiko list is a namesake, according to party Chairman Ernest Ramel, Jr. We apologize for the error.]