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Is Tingting Cojuangco qualified to run for ARMM Vice Governor?

If she wins, she may very well be the most stylish vice governor the ARMM has ever had. Unfortunately, style is not enough to win in ARMM. Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco surprised, befuddled a lot of people (including me) when she officially filed on Saturday her certificate of candidacy for vice governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Yes, Tingting Cojuangco, former Tarlac governor, socialite, philanthropist and one who was labeled in the 70’s as one of Harper Bazaar’s most beautiful women in the world, wants to be the ARMM vice governor.

Why? Because, she says, she has given her life “to the Muslims for the past 26 years.” She says she also wants to “bring about change to the ARMM by embarking on good governance, education and honesty.”

As of press time, two other candidates have filed their certificates of candidacy for ARMM vice governor – Shariffa Bago and Dimalang Manalao.

Ting ting Cojuangco will run alongside Pakung “Pax” Mangudadatu, who is gunning for the ARMM gubernatorial post. Both filed their COCs at around 3 pm. They are running under the banner of Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino – Laban Party or PDP – Laban. Together with Cojuangco at the ARMM Comelec office was her husband, former Tarlac Congressman Jose “Peping” Cojuangco.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Is Tingting Cojuangco qualified to run for ARMM vice governor?

Under Republic Act 9054, also known as the law governing ARMM, candidates for governor must be “a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter of the autonomous region, able to read and write, at least 35 years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the autonomous region for, at least one year immediately preceding the election.”

With regard to residency, Tingting Cojuangco says that she has a house near Awang airport (a.k.a. Cotabato airport), Municipality of Datu Odin Sinsuat. The house was allegedly built in 1988.

Critics, however, insist that Cojuangco is from Tarlac and obviously Tarlac is a long way from ARMM. In fairness to Cojuangco, however, she does visit Mindanao often. I personally saw her on two occasions in Cagayan de Oro and Marawi. Do visits to Mindanao count, though? I wonder.

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is composed of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, Lamitan as well as Marawi City.

Allegedly (and interestingly, if I may say so), Cojuangco also filed a petition to have her voter’s registration transferred to Maguindanao last March 31, which happened to be the last day for filing such requests.

In fairness to Tingting Cojuangco, she may have good intentions for ARMM and she may have effortlessly endeared herself to our Muslim brothers and sisters (a lot even say that she is considered as the “lady with a Muslim heart”) but really, ARMM is a different story. Lord knows how many people I’ve interviewed – all claiming how easy their votes have been bought and how easy election cheating has and can be done there. Not to mention the political harassment and even threats against one’s life.

Does Tingting Cojuangco really want to go into that “abyss”? Shouldn’t she just remain apolitical and help the ARMM as a non-government official?

Plus is Tingting Cojuangco ready to face the ire of not a few Muslims? Just today, I received feedback from Muslim friends in ARMM saying that her plan to run for vice governor is a mockery, a deep insult especially to Bangsamoros!

Besides, isn’t Malacanang trying its best to defer the ARMM polls? What’s she doing filing a COC?

Remember, Tingting Cojuangco is the aunt of incumbent President Benigno S. Aquino III. And while PNoy and the rest of Malacanang’s trying to move for the postponement of the ARMM election (tentatively planned to take place on August 8, 2011) and resetting it for synchronization with the 2013 midterm polls, his very own aunt goes ahead and baffles everyone.

For now, I continue to scratch my head at the surprising, controversial yet fascinating turn of events.

By the way, just a few weeks ago, Tingting Cojuangco hit the headlines when she was allegedly fired from her job as head of the Philippine Public Safety College. Malacanang later clarified this, saying that Cojuangco voluntarily resigned from her post. Interestingly, and as if to signal her ties with the people in Muslim Mindanao, she recommended former Upi, Maguindanao Mayor Ruben Platon as her replacement.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON TINGTING COJUANGCO’S PLAN TO RUN FOR ARMM VICE GOVERNOR?

* photo credit: Tingting Cojuangco

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15 Comments

  • joshua

    No comment on qualifications, I hope that the intention is good. Why? As far as my knowledge is concern no regions in the Philippines can presently overthrow the vastness of mineral resources of ARMM, kawawa naman kaming mga ipinanganak sa ARMM kung ang maghahari sa amin ay walang maayos na intention.

  • ric mobo

    Maam Tingting is a hardworker. I once worked with her when we constructed school buildings in school less barangays. We have even reached Barangay Barrera and Buldon in Maguindanao to ensure that school buildings in these areas are properly provided. I believe that she can serve ARMM with sincerity and help improve the economic conditions of these ARMM provinces.

    • Hi Ric, thank you for your comment. I’m just curious though — are you from ARMM? What can you say about the opinion of others that Cojuangco’s candidacy is a mockery to the Bangsamoro’s long-standing need to have their own voice?

  • Ric

    ARMM Governorship belongs to the MNLF according to the Jakarta 1996 peace agreement between the GRP and The MNLF. Therefore, Malacanang should only endorsed a candidate from the MNLF an it should be Alvarez Silal Isnaji this time. Remember that ARMM was given to the MNLF as a peace deal. There wont be a Peace unless the MNLF holds this position. Please be guided accordingly!

    • swara sin sug: MUST BE MNLF

      HI, MGA BROS, THERE ARE MANY THINGS TO BE CONSIDERED IN SELECTING ARMM OIC. FIRST, HE MUST BE A MINDANAON, WHO JOINED STRUGGLES IN BANGSAMORO REGION. HE MUST HAVE WISDOM IN DEALING WITH THESE FEUDAL CLANS WHO BROUGHT MORE CORRUPTIONS AND KILLING IN THIS REGION. HE MUST NOT A POLITICIAN AND NOT ONE OF THE RELATIVES OF THESE HUNGRY OF POWER TYRANTS. HE MUST GAINED MUCH RESPECTS WITH THE MNLF,MILF, ULAMAS,BISHOPS, AND RECOMMENDED BY THE VARIOUS GOOD LEADERS IN MINDANAO. HE IS GOD FEARING AND A TRUE MUSLIM,RULED BY A PRINCIPLE THAT HUMAN MUSLIM AND CHRISTIAN ARE EQUAL BEFORE THE EYES OF ALMIGHTY. HE HAS A BRAVE HEART TO ADDRESS OR TO FACE DIFFERENT VIEWS OF REBELS SERVING AS A NEUTRALIZER AMIDST OF THE LONG AWAITED REFORMS.HE CAN WORK UNDER THE ADMINISTRATION WITH A FULLY TRUST.SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS TOWARDS THE UPLIFTMENT OF THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC WELL BEING OF ITS CONSTITUENTS IS HIS OTHER PRIORITY.

  • Jamie

    Maaring maganda ang intensyon ni Ms. Tingting Cojuangco para tumakbo ngunit sa tingin ko mas magandang tumulong siya na wala sa political ring. Unang-una maaring cynical ang mga tao sa mga nakaupo sa ARMM pero eto ang challenge yung magbago within at hindi manggaling sa iba pa. Maaring nagkaroon ng culture of corruption sa ARMM but it holds true everywhere in the Philippines.Sabi pa ni Paulo Freire ang disabling perplexity ay yun na nakakapigil sa pagunlad. Ang pagbabago ay manggagaling sa mga Moro at hindi ihahain ng mga taong walang kinalaman sa aming kasaysayan.

    • Hi Jamie, thank you for visiting my humble blog 🙂 Agree ako sa yo when you said na yung pagbabago, dapat nag uumpisa within at hindi manggagaling pa sa iba. I believe na mas ok kung mabibigyan ng boses ang tunay na mga Moro. Matagal na nilang inaasam ito.

  • Joe L.

    During the incumbency of Zacaria Candao as Regional Governor of ARMM, Tingting Cojuangco was named “Barter Trade Queen”. She was also responsible for bringin in Consunji, a company engaged in logging. Naubos na po yung mga puno dito sa Maguindanao kaya po nagbabaha.

    Kung ma elect na ice-Governor si Tingting Cojuangco sa ARMM, baka mas masahol pa po gawin nya sa ARMM.

    Bakit po ba ayaw ni Pnoy si TingTing Cojuangco. There must be a reason for that. Kung ayaw nya si Tingting, e bakit naman po ipapa salo nya sa ARMM ang ayaw ng pangulo?

    wag nyo po gawing tapunan ng mga UNDESIRABLES ang ARMM.

  • ang sa akin lamng hnd pwidi mag run si Tingting Cojuangco sa ARMM dhl nkaka inslto sa mga Moro na parang di sila marnong pumili ng kanilang Leader.

  • DAING HA SUG KITA

    pls. mr president allow not a woman to lead in the muslim people….kahit mabait pa yan sya.. for us is not suitable a woman to lead man. machoism is not the subject.traditionally, spiritually and politically by no means woman to lead in the society, in the family husband is the head.the figure of the woman is to support his husband.but instances woman acts as head when there will be no man will do such leading.so, it is inappropriate to fill the seat being an oic of ARMM,since there are many who desire to act as leaders.

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