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New Maguindanao guv delivers SOPA, announces S. Aguak is the provincial capital

GOVERNANCE/POLITICS • 08:30 AM Thu Jul 4, 2019
Aerial view of the Maguindanao provincial capitol grounds . (FC)

SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao  – It’s final.  This town will once again become the seat of Maguindanao provincial government as announced by Gov. Bai Meriam Sangki-Mangudadatu.

In her inaugural speech and State of the Province Address Wednesday, Gov. Mangudadatu stressed that Shariff Aguak is the legitimate provincial capital of Maguindanao based on Presidential Decree 341 signed by then President Ferdinand Marcos.

“That presidential decree remained in effect to date,” the lady governor said in the vernacular.

The plan to bring back the provincial capital from Buluan to Shariff Aguak first came during the campaign period when then candidate Mangudadatu announced she would bring back the capitol to this town.

The pronouncement earned the witticism that the Maguindanao provincial capital building must be wheeled so it can move anywhere depending on who is the governor.

When then Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Toto Mangudadatu was elected governor in 2010, he moved the capital to Buluan where a new building, now known as “Maguindanao White House,” was recently inaugurated by President Duterte.

Mangudadatu, who lost his wife and 50 others in what is now known as the Maguindanao massacre, moved the capital to Buluan in 2010 based on a resolution approved by the Maguindanao provincial board.

The old capitol building built by then Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr was later used as headquarters of the Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade.

Since the creation of Maguindanao in 1973 after the then Cotabato Empire was subdivided, the province has already three capial – Shariff Aguak, Sultan Kudarat and Buluan.

In 1997, the capitol was moved to Sultan Kudarat after then Gov. Sanggacala Baraguir was elected governor based on Presidential Decree 1170.

When Gov. Sandiale Sambolawan was elected governor in 1980, the capitol was again moved to the then town of Maganoy, now Shariff Aguak.

Sometime in 1989, the Gov. Zacaria Candao move the capital back to Sultan Kudarat and stayed there until Norodin Matalam became governor.

When then Gov. Ampatuan assumed power, he move the capital back to Shariff Aguak.

Now Gov. Mangudadatu said the “White House” will become a district hospital.

“Ang itinayong white house capitol sa Buluan ay gagawin nating district hospital, many of us in Maguindanao knew the situation in as far as the issue of provincial government seat is concerned,” Gov. Mangudadatu said. (FC)

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