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Ina Ambolodto hopes to become second Muslim woman senator

Breaking News • 21:00 PM Fri Oct 16, 2015
Edwin O. Fernandez
DILG Asec. for Muslim Affairs and Special Concerns Nariman Ina Ambolodto (center) poses with President Aquino and LP presidential hopeful Mar Rojas. (Photo courtesy of Teng Ambolodto)

– Nariman Ina” Ambolodto is the lone Maguindanaon eyeing a senate seat (as of Oct 16 a.m. last day of filing of candidacy)and
among the few Mindanaons who are hoping to serve at the higher legislative branch of
national government.

She hopes to become the country's second Muslim woman senator. (Santanina Nina Tillah-Rasul is the first Filipina Muslim senator. She served as senator from June 30, 1987 until June 30, 1995. - ed )Known in
Cotabato City and Maguindanaoas peace advocate and dedicated public servant having served at the
Maguindanao provincial board and acting provincial governor, Ambolodto is
included in the senatorial candidates of the ruling Liberal Party in next year’s

The LP said
Ambolodto is a woman committed to lasting peace and robust development in
Mindanao.” She is stepping up to bigger responsibilities and it is not new to the
Interior and Local Government Assistant Secretary for Muslim Affairs and
Special Concerns.Wife of human
rights lawyer Suharto Teng” Ambolodto, Ina” as she is more known, started politics
as founding vice mayor of Northern Kabuntalan in Maguindanao.She later became the highest ranking board member of Maguindanao and was
elected vice president for Mindanao in the Provincial Board Members’ League of
the Philippines.

After infamous
Maguindanao massacre in 2009blamed on the Ampatuan clan, Ambolodto was appointed as
acting governor when the government arrested then Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr.

During her
short stint as acting governor, Ambolodto instituted drastic reforms.

The LP saidand She
immediately pursued convincing foreign donor agencies to continue supporting
Maguindanao after the withdrawal of much of their official development
assistance in the wake of the Ampatuan town massacre that drew world-wide
condemnation. She has organized and planned well for what is now a renewed
Maguindanao after the atrocity in her province.”

In her speech after she and other senatorial candidates were presented by LP leadership, Ambolodto vowed to work for peace in his troubled homeland, stressing in Filipinoand Ang digmaan sa Mindanaw,

Maari nating iwasan,
maari nating pigilan.

Maari nating iwas
ang magkaroon ng mga balo at ulila.Maari nating iwasan

Ang pagkasira ng mga
kabuhayan at mga pangarap.

Maari nating bigyan
ng pagkakataon

maka move on na ang

Lumad, Muslim at

Nagmula man tayo sa

paniniwala o tribu,

isa lamang ang bayang
ating ginagalawan,

walang dahilan para
hindi tayo magkaisang

humubog ng kinabukasan
na walang naiiwan,

isang kinabukasan
ng kapayapaan, kaunlaran at kasaganaan.

She has proven her worth when she was named acting Maguindanao governor when she instituted reforms never been experienced by the provincial government's greatest asset - human resources.In a news
article posted on the website of The Asia Foundation entitled Mending
Maguindanao after the Massacre” dated January 6, 2010, Steven Rood, Country
Representative for the Philippines and Pacific Island Nations, wroteand

Because she had decided not to run for any
position in the upcoming May 2010 general elections, she is not involved in
either major political faction in the province, and being female, she is seen
as less threatening in an area prone to violence. Thus, Acting Governor Ambolodto
has some space to maneuver to accomplish three goals in the short time
available to herand stabilize the
operations of the provincial government, help conduct peaceful elections, and
transition to an elected governor taking office in July.

Rood addedand In keeping with her background as an academic and NGO worker, Ms. Ambolodto ran the meetings in a participatory fashion, allowing personnel to interact directly with her and asking for their opinions. This was a welcome opportunity for the employees to once again exercise their technical skills. In order to continue to make the operations of the province more regular, Acting Governor Ambolodto has requested and received technical assistance from The Asia Foundation in two areasandorganizational development and financial management. The organizational assistance will focus on helping the provinceand 1) conduct organizational and functional audits of offices and personnel, 2) help her team design an organizational and functional structure responsive to the existing functions and capacity of the provincial governments, and 3) assist in the smooth transfer of personnel. Hitherto, there have been many employees who are appointed in one position but designated to function for another position.

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