MARAWI CITY —– Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra was reelected in the recently concluded national and local elections, beating three other mayoral candidates who claimed being endorsed and supported by President Rodrigo Duterte.
With the votes of 22,897, Gandamra, who is a lawyer, got the nod of the Maranaws to lead the city for the next three years while rehabilitation of the predominantly Muslim city is ongoing.
Gandamra takes the lead over opponents, Khomenie Taha with 12,366 votes, Marawi former mayor Omar Ali Solitario, 6,097 votes and Ramayana Basman, 4,354 votes.
Who are the opponents?
Taha is the son of Social Welfare and Development 12 Regional Director Bai Zorayda Taha. He is also an incumbent provincial board member of Lanao del Sur's 1st District.
In his campaign posters, it indicates the logo of the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago, a regional political group of the presidential daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara, claiming he is backed up by the group.
Solitario was included in the Arrest Order (AO) Number 1 of the Department of National Defense which was issued shortly after President Duterte put the entire Mindanao under Martial Law following the attack in Marawi led by the Dawlah Islamiya-inspired Maute Group.
He was a consultant of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process before the siege.
It is common knowledge that Solitario and Duterte are good friends since the time when the president was still mayor in Davao.
Basman is a daughter of National Commission of Muslim Filipino (NCMF) Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan.
This tells why the lady lawyer is PDP Laban's standard bearer for Marawi's top post in May 13 election.
Taha, Solitario and Basman were present during the grand proclamation rally of Duterte's political party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban), in Marawi City on April.
PRRD was expected to grace the event and raise hands of the local candidates to endorse but he was not able to arrive due to weather condition.
Despite the claims of the three mayoral candidates that they are supported by the president, Gandamra said he thankful that Duterte did not intervene in the political scene in Marawi.
"I am thankful, especially to the president na kahit may mga nagsasabing supported sila by the president, I can feel na hindi nangingialam ang ating pangulo sa pulitika sa Marawi City," Gandamra said in an interview.
In his second term, Gandamra is committing to strenghten collaboration with the national government to fast track the rehabilitation of Marawi.
"Gusto natin na mapabilis ang rehabilitation ng Marawi at ito ang ating priority sa ating second term," Gandamra said.
On July, residents of Barangays Daguduban and Tolali, that comprising the sector 1 of the most affected area will start coming back to their area to rebuild their houses destroyed by the five-month war on 2017.