COTABATO CITY – Two prominent local lady politicians and a newbie are, so far, vying for the city’s mayoral post in the 2019 elections.

This came about after a veteran House representative and a neophyte male aspirant filed their respective Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) to challenge re-electionist Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi.

Sayadi and her slate, all running under “One Kutawato” – New People’s Coalition Party, filed their COCs on the first day of the filing period set by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

The mayor’s running mate is his nephew, incumbent Vice Mayor Graham Dumama.

Outgoing Maguindanao (1st District) Rep. Bai Sandra Sema is seeking the mayorship of Cotabato City while her husband, former City Mayor Muslimin Sema, is eyeing the congressional seat that will be vacated by his wife.

The couple, both running under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan ruling party, jointly filed their COCs at the city Comelec office along with the party’s candidates for the city council.

Rep. Sema’s running mate is former Vice Mayor Abdullah Andang.

“I seek the mayorship of Cotabato City because I want to continue the infrastructure projects I have started as congresswoman,” said Rep. Sema, the House sponsor of Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

Muslimin Sema, former faction chair of the Moro National Liberation Front–Council of 15, said he is making a comeback mainly to promote peace.

“My joining the congressional race is the embodiment of our continuing support for peace,” he told reporters here in an interview.

Earlier, a certain James Uytaranco also filed his candidacy for city mayor as an independent candidate.

Sayadi said, “One Kutawato” is a political party of Cotabateños whose vision is to promote development and progress in the city while fostering peace.

“Our party signifies the unity of Cotabateños, all sectors are well represented in this party. This party will allow the voice of the people to be heard in the political arena,” she said. (PNA)