Maguindanao del Norte governorship still status quo

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 22) — A Bangsamoro official said on Tuesday that the governorship of Maguindanao del Norte remains as is despite a recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of Fatima Ainee Sinsuat.

“Wala pa naman hong nababago doon sa estado ng pamumuno sa probinsiya ng Maguindanao del Norte,” Bangsamoro Government’s Interior and Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo told media last week.

[Translation: Nothing has changed in the leadership of Maguindanao del Norte province.]

Sinarimbo made the clarification because of the confusion on who the current governor was following the SC's decision in the petition for writ of Mandamus filed by Sinsuat. Sinsuat is the vice governor of Maguindanao del Norte appointed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

“(Sa) rules of court, ‘yung partido ay binibigyan ng panahon para mag-take ng appropriate action doon sa (SC) decision. In this case, yung parties involved, kami halimbawa, pag natanggap namin ‘yung decision ay meron kaming 15 days para mag-file ng motion for reconsideration or any appropriate action,” Sinarimbo explained, adding because they have not received the decision, the 15 days cannot begin yet.

"So simple lang ho, malinaw masyado ang rules of court, na hindi (ito) final and executory,” he said.

[Translation: In the rules of court, the party is given ample time to take appropriate action on the decision. In this case, the parties involved, for example, after we receive the decision, we have 15 days to file a motion for reconsideration or any appropriate action. So it's simple, the rules of court are clear, that this is not final and executory.]

He also said the SC's decision does not include the validity of the appointment of Maguindanao del Norte governor Abdulraof Macacua by President Marcos.

“Hindi naman ho canceled or nullified ‘yung appointment na in-issue ni Pangulong Marcos kay Governor Macacua so hindi ho bakante ang opisina ng governor ng Maguindanao del Norte,” said Sinarimbo.

[Translation: The appointment issued by President Marcos issues was not canceled or nullified so the office of the governor of Maguindanao del Norte is not vacant.]