By Carolyn O. Arguillas
and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism .
(Third of five parts)
Luck seemed to smile even more at the Maranaos when Duterte ran, and later won the Presidency.
Records from the Commission on Elections show that Marawi and Lanao del Sur voters elected a city mayor and provincial governor from the Liberal Party but did not elect Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas II, the Presidential standard bearer of the then ruling party. They gave Duterte, their fellow Maranao, an overwhelming victory: in Marawi, 34,165 votes or 82.98 percent of the total number of votes cast; and in Lanao del Sur, the second vote-richest among the five-province, two-city Armm, 303,184 votes or 80.14 percent.
Of 81 provinces nationwide, Lanao del Sur ranked 15th in giving Duterte the vote, more than the combined Ilocos Norte and Sur votes for him (189,758). Among Mindanao’s 27 provinces and 33 cities, it ranked fifth.
Nationwide and overseas, thousands of Maranaos campaigned and voted for their brother Duterte.
It is said that even members of the so-called Islamic State voted for Duterte, with talks here saying how a Maranao Islamic State spiritual leader had admonished his flock that it was haram (forbidden) not to vote for Duterte.
In the end, Maranaos voted overwhelmingly for the Presidential candidate who claimed to be one of their own. In turn, Duterte rewarded them immediately with three Cabinet posts and several more appointments to key positions.
What the Meranaws did not expect was that Duterte would make a decision that would change the course of their personal and collective histories even long after he would have finished his term in 2022.
The President, for his part, has said he felt betrayed by the Maranaos for allegedly allowing IS elements into Marawi and not telling the government about it. (To be continued)