By Masiding Noor Yahya
December 10, 2018
ILIGAN CITY: A young lady lawyer who is aspiring for the top executive post of the Islamic city of Marawi has denied allegation that she or her family was being negotiated for her to withdraw her candidacy in favor of another candidate in the 2019 elections.
Atty. Ramayana D. Saidamen told RSP that she had heard about it but did not know of any ongoing negotiation for her to withdraw. “Personally, wala akong nakikita na pumupunta,” she said.
She however did not discount possibility of the rumored negotiation.
“I think it is a normal practice if you have blood relations to sort out,” she said, adding that “If it comes out, I wouldn’t be surprised.”.
Maranao political clans are closely interrelated blood relatives, especially in Marawi, and negotiation is part of the tradition as the best way to unite for common good.
Ramayana filed her Certificate of Candidacy (COC) last October 17, 2018 for Marawi City mayor under the banner of Samahan ng Manggagawa at Magsasaka ng Pilipinas.
On November 23, Ramayana met President Duterte in a San Beda law school gathering where the president said he would help her, the youthful lady lawyer said.
Ramayana is daughter of Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) and former assemblywoman Princess Diamond Pacasum who both hail from Marawi.
Secretary Pangarungan who is the present Sultan of Madaya of the Pumagsopa sa Marawi was former Lanao del Sur governor.
Ramayana is married to Datu Abdul Hakam “Tote” Macabando Maruhom Basman, son of the Al-Marhum Sheik Abbas Maruhom Basman and Bai Omilkhair Macabando-Basman, who had both been Marawi city mayors.
Other Marawi city mayoral candidates include among others, incumbent mayor Majul Gandamra, incumbent Lanao del Sur-I senior board member Khomeini Taha, former city mayor Omar Solitario Ali, and Datu Meno Manabilang. (RSP)