DAVAO CITY – An energy official denied the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) allegations that a party-list group is a front of a powerful clan in Maguindanao.
Energy undersecretary Datu Zamzamin Ampatuan clarified that the party-list group Adhikain ng Dakilang Anak ng Maharlika (Adam) is not a front of the Ampatuan clan as claimed by the MILF and some civil society groups.
The group represents the indigenous people and aims to restore the "maharlika culture" of the Filipinos that "is slowly dying," he stressed.
He however, admitted that the group running in the May 2010 elections sought the "blessings" of various politicians in Mindanao and in other parts of the country.
He also confirmed his meeting with Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr. before the November 23 massacre and asked the Ampatuan patriarch's approval on Adam party.
"Feeling ko nga ayaw nung matanda sa Adam eh (I feel that the old man (Ampatuan Sr.) don’t like Adam)," Zamzamin revealed.
This is in contrast to the claims of the civil society group of Ma. Cecilia Rodriguez.
Rordiguez in a statement said: "We, in the civil society organizations here in Mindanao, cannot stop wondering why a party-list organization such as the one organized by the Ampatuans can acquire accreditation when in fact it does not qualify as a marginalized sector and it was organized mainly for the benefit of the Ampatuan clan."
Rodriguez' statement was used as basis in the report of Luwaran.com, the official website of MILF.
Undersecretary Ampatuan however, said the statement is unfair and unfounded and added that he is the sole Ampatuan in the party-list group and the rest are members of the United Muslim-Christian-Lumad.
The Adam party-list is already assured of about 250,000 votes in Mindanao alone, Zamzamin said. It is the product of their hard work and not because of the influence of just one clan, he added. (BOT)