Thousands of Tausug tribesmen, led by former Mindanao State University chancellor Sammy Adju, are urging the son of Moro National Liberation Front chairman Nur Misuari to run for governor of Sulu and challenge incumbent Abdusakur Tan II in the May 2019 elections.
In a statement, Adju said political leaders of various political clans, religious and sectoral leaders in the Mindanao island-province started a signature campaign on Oct. 8 for a manifesto urging Hadji Uto Karim Misuari to run for governor.
“Hadji Uto Karim Misuari is a promising, young and dynamic leader with unquestionable track record for patriotism and undying love for Lupah Sug and the Bangsamoro people,” the manifesto states.
The younger Misuari has yet to respond to the Tausugs’ appeal, as the filing for certificates of candidacy for the midterm elections began Thursday.
Adju said that in what is generally perceived as a “desperate desire” by the people to elect local officials who can usher in an era of peace, progress and development for the people of Sulu, the manifesto “readily attracts, like a magical wand, the attention of the people” in the province
“They are now literally scrambling to sign the manifesto,” he added.
Genuine political and economic reforms within Sulu, Adju said, can only be achieved “if we succeed in installing into public office honest, God-fearing and competent local officials who can lead and unite our people to a common vision that will liberate them from patronage politics.”
Despite the earnest efforts of the national government to alleviate poverty and exterminate drugs, terrorism, kidnapping, extortion and corruption, the manifesto said Sulu remains one of the poorest provinces in the country, “with ordinary Tausugs suffering the brunt of grinding poverty, intractable armed conflict and a collective sense of insecurity.”
The manifesto stresses that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte “needs a dependable partner in Sulu who is truly committed to correct the historical injustice committed against the Bangsamoro people through a no-nonsense governance that will deliver ‘Tunay na Pagbabago’ [real change] among our people.”
It urges Karim Misuari “to take the lead in changing the course of history for Lupah Sug, by running as Governor of the Province of Sulu in the May 2019 election as the first and crucial step to institute and implement the much needed political, social and economic reforms for Lupah Sug.”