Although his senatorial bid was initially “unplanned,” Maguindanao Rep. Dong Mangudadatu said it only came to be formed after President Rodrigo Duterte prodded him to run.

Mangudadatu cited the importance of the President’s endorsement in his decision to run for senator.

The legislator recalled that in April last year, the President told him repeatedly that the people in Mindanao, particularly his Muslim brothers and sisters, need representation in the upper chamber.

“This person is you. We need you in the Senate,” the lawmaker quoted the President as saying.

“This person is you. We need you in the Senate.”

The President has been vouching for Mangudadatu as his personal Senate bet, who would put in place the development and peace programs in Mindanao.

“The President has been seeking out for me on matters about Maguindanao, or peace in Mindanao,” he said. “Wala siyang ibang mapag-utusan (He has nobody to ask for help).”

The President has described Mangudadatu as “one of the good leaders of the Moro people, who will promote peace in Mindanao.”

Mangudadatu said his main legislative thrust is anchored on the PEACE (Prosperity, Education, Agriculture, Cultural Unity, and Education) platform.

Maliban sa kahulugan ng kapayapaan, may ibig sabihin po ang acronym na PEACE na ipapangako kong gagawin ko sa senado para sa bawat Pilipino (Aside from the literal meaning of peace, it also is an acronym for the promises that I aim to fulfill in the Senate for every Filipino),” Mangudadatu said.

 “It is an acronym for the promises that I aim to fulfill in the Senate for every Filipino.”

He vowed to work towards achieving peace, especially in Mindanao. It is peace that Mangudadatu wants to leave as a legacy for future generations.

“If there is peace,” he emphasized, “investors will come in, especially in Mindanao, which has huge potentials that can bring the country to prosperity.”

Mangudadatu is optimistic that attaining peace in Mindanao is not far-fetched, banking on the full implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), which he supports to give the south a respite from the wars and lift the people from the bondage of poverty.

Matatamo po natin ang Prosperity o asensadong buhay, mahusay na Edukasyon, matibay na sektor ng Agrikultura, pagkakaroon ng Cultural Unity at mapapakinabangan natin ang trilyon-trilyong Enerhiya ng Maguindanao kung tayo ay may kapayapaan (We can achieve prosperity and improve our lives, a strong agriculture sector, Cultural Unity, and we can benefit from the trillions worth of energy in Maguindanao if we have peace),” Mangudadatu stressed.


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