The incumbent vice mayor of Rajah Buayan in Maguindanao assumed the town’s top post after Mayor Zamzamin Ampatuan took his oath of office as undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA) earlier in the day.
Ampatuan turned over the leadership of Rajah Buayan to his younger brother, Vice Mayor Yacob Ampatuan, in a ceremony witnessed by Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao-Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BARMM-BTA) Member of Parliament Akmad Abas at the Rajah Buayan town hall.
By the law of succession, number one Councilor Jane Utto Lumenda also assumed the office of the vice mayor.
Speaking to town local officials and residents, Ampatuan who was named by President Rodrigo Duterte on Dec. 3 as Agriculture Undersecretary for Policy and Plans, said it was his personal decision to accept the offer to become part of the DA’s national leadership.
“I can better help Mindanao, Muslim Mindanao especially if I am at a national office,” said Ampatuan, who is in his last term as mayor.
At 56, Zamzamin’s latest employment at the DA is his 9th presidential appointment since he joined government service. His last presidential appointment was as Energy undersecretary in 2013.
Zamzamin’s first presidential appointment came when then president Benigno Aquino III named her provincial director of trade and industry in Maguindanao.
His parents, Datu Ishak Ampatuan and Bai Puti Lumenda, were former municipal and provincial officials.
The late Andal Ampatuan Sr., the primary suspect in the Maguindanao massacre, was Zamzamin’s uncle. (PNA)