“Bangsamoro people must be consulted” ( Hataman: Cabatangan sale not confirmed ) PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 13 June 2018 11:23

By Richard Falcatan

It seems that the ARMM-owned properties in Cabatangan still cannot rest from its seemingly unended series of controversies.

A day after the credit-grabbing issue  between two Zamboanga politicians has been settled, a top ARMM official said that the purchase of the Cabatangan property has not yet been confirmed.

ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman also said that the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has not been consulted on the purchase of the 7.1-hectare property by the national government.

“The ARMM regional government has received no confirmation of Mayor Climaco’s claim from the national government and was not consulted at any point prior to the announcement of the alleged intent to purchase,” Hataman said in a statement.

In the same statement, Hataman said that the Cabatangan property is not owned by the ARMM government but by the Bangsamoro people who the ARMM represents.

“Any plan regarding the property must involve the Bangsamoro people, from its proposal to its approval or rejection,” said Hataman.

In his statement, Hataman explained that prior to the establishment of the ARMM, the Lupong Tagapagpaganap ng Pook (LTP) Region IX purchased the property and turned it into its seat of government.

When the LTP was abolished upon the creation of the ARMM, the Cabatangan property was placed under the jurisdiction of the ARMM.

Hataman is reacting to a post by Zamboanga Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco- Salazar saying that the national government has expressed its intent to purchase the 7.1-hectare ARMM-owned property situated in Barangay Cabatangan.

Hataman issued his statement a day before the issue on credit-grabbing between two Zamboanga politicians on who was responsible for the purchase of the Cabatangan property by the national government had been settled by a text message from Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

In a press statement released by City Hall last week,  Climaco claimed to have been responsible for the national government’s plan to purchase Cabatangan due to her “consistent pleadings.”

In another press conference, Zamboanga First District Representative Celso Lobregat countered Salazar’s statements claiming that he had a bigger role in the national government’s intent to purchase.

He said that the purchase of the Cabatangan property had been included as one of the amendments that he proposed in crafting the new Bangsamoro law as Zamboanga Representative.

The solon also claimed to have talked with several congressmen about the sale of the property and was present when the issue was discussed with President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a city hall press briefing last Monday, Salazar said that that the credit belongs to President Duterte “because he has intended to purchase the properties.”

The mayor also read a text message sent to her by Secretary Lorenzana saying “Both you and Celso have been lobbying that we buy the Cabatangan properties.”

Hataman meanwhile had a different view on the issue.

” Our right to self-determination as Bangsamoros is not only challenged in the halls of Congress but in the everyday realities we face as a people already recognized as ‘autonomous’ on paper by the Constitution,” Hataman said.

Recall that Governor Hataman offered a portion of the Cabatangan property for the use of hundreds of thousands of evacuees who fled their homes during the 2013 Zamboanga siege.

“Walang kumagat” Hataman said at the time.

In 2015, Hataman confirmed that there had still been no formal offer from Zamboanga Mayor Climaco- Salazar, a partymate in the Liberal party, to negotiate for the purchase of the Cabatangan property. (Richard Falcatan with reports from Liza Jocson)