The ta’aziah held for Babo Salma Bantuas Watamama or “Apo Salma”, symbolized unity even among local rival political leaders and uniformed men of diverse groups. This was observed during the ta’aziah or kanduli-prayer on January 12, 2016 at Gambar, Kabuntalan, Maguindanao for the deceased.
Babo Salma is the mother of Sammy Al Mansour, the Chief of Staff of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). She died of old age on January 9, 2016.
Congresswoman Bai Sandra Sema was the first key leader to arrive at the site of the ‘kanduli’ on the eve of the affair. The lady solon is a granddaughter of the deceased. On the early morning of the ‘kanduli’ ‘, Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu of Maguindanao also came on board his helicopter and was met by Chief Al Mansour. Mangudadatu extended his condolences to Al Mansour and his bereaved family.
In the afternoon of the same day, congressional candidate for the 1st District of Maguindanao and former Mayor of Sultan Kudarat town Datu Tucao Mastura together with Maguindanao gubernatorial aspirant and Talayan Mayor Hadji Datu Ali Midtimbang arrived.
Representative Sema and Mastura are political rivals for Maguindanao 1st Congressional District. Governor Mangudadatu and Mayor Midtimbang are political rivals for Maguindanao’s gubernatorial post.
Some members of the MILF Central Committee and ranking government officials exchanged pleasantries during the gathering. Support to the enactment of the original Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) was heard as their main topic and clamour.
Armed members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) and some members Philippine National Police (PNP) who also came from other places and those assigned in the area were side by side with each other eating and listening to the words of wisdom rendered by the Grand Mufti Abu Huraira Udasan. A majority of the municipal officials of Kabuntalan and barangay officials of Gambar trooped to the ta’aziah and join the affair.
Nearly hundred vehicles of various kinds filled the open space and lined up at the newly constructed road of the barangay. Many motorized boats anchored at the riverside of the same barangay. These were used by some visitors who also came to the ta’aziah. The BIAF and the PNP of Kabuntalan maintained the security of the place.