By Erma Edera
Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu filed his certificate of candidacy for senator at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday for the May 2019 midterm elections.
Cong. Zajid Mangudadatu, younger brother of Maguindanao Gov. Toto Mangudadati, arrives at the COMELEC grounds to file his COC for senator under PDP-Laban slate (RIA FERNANDEZ/ MANILA BULLETIN)
Mangudadatu is running under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan, the ruling political party of the country.
In a press briefing, he said that President Duterte supported his candidacy because the President believed that the Senate needs a Muslim representative.
He will try to be the first Muslim to win a Senate seat since Santanina Rasul served as senator from 1987 to 1995.
Mangudadatu, who lost two sisters in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, said he wants to break the barrier between Muslims and Christians.
"I want to change the impression of our Christian brothers and sisters to the Muslims. We should not have segregation. We only have one God, we just serve him in different ways. We should live harmoniously," said Mangudadatu whose brother, Esmael, is the incumbent governor of Maguindanao.
“If there is no more fighting among Filipino people, I believe we can achieve our dream of being one of the top countries in the world,” he added.
When asked about his thoughts on political dynasties he said, “No comment.”
“What’s important, is the service given to the people regardless of one’s name,” he added.
He also said that he was in favor of the Bangsamoro Organic Law. However, he noted that the most critical part will be the normalization of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).