Former beauty queen Sharifa Akeel, wife of congressman Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, is seeking the gubernatorial seat in Sultan Kudarat in the 2022 elections.
Sharifa, who is running under presidential aspirant Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s political party Aksyon Demokratiko, filed her certificate of candidacy for governor on Friday, October 1.
It is still unclear whether Sharifa will run against her husband’s cousin and incumbent Sultan Kudarat governor Suharto “Teng” Mangudadatu’s son Pax Ali or father Pax Mangudadatu.
Sharifa, who’s entering politics for the first time, recently wrote in a Facebook post: “IT’S ALWAYS THE RIGHT TIME WHEN IT COMES TO RENDERING PUBLIC SERVICE.
“With same conviction, purpose and enthusiasm, we are now making our own way to start for a change,” she added.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Sharifa shared why she decided to run for a high government post even if she’s just a newbie in the politics.
“Actually, hindi naman ‘yan nagbe-base kung kailan when it comes to rendering public service. It’s not about ikaw ay bata. As long as 18 years old ka na, naatim mo ‘yung requirements ng tumakbo,” she stated.
Sharifa also said that her experience as a beauty queen would be of help doing public service.
“Kasi kaming mga beauty queen, we’ve already had our own advocacy also and that is to serve and help people. So this time, sabi ko, 24 na ako so if I won’t leave pageantry, I won’t grow as a woman,” added Sharifa.
“’Yung service na full talaga, nandoon ako at ready ako sa mga possible na puwedeng makapagbigay ng tulong sa mga kababayan.”
Meanwhile, Toto, who is also joining the gubernatorial race in Maguindanao, earlier backed his wife’s political bid.