Basilan leaders elated on Hataman’s appointment as ARMM OIC governor PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 17:07

Hours after Malacañang announced the oath-taking of former Anak Mindanao (AMIN) Party-list Rep. Mujiv Hataman as Officer-In-Charge (OIC) Regional Governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) before President Aquino, hundreds of people mostly Basilan local leaders including political rivals gathered in Zamboanga City to celebrate the event.

Local government officials headed by Basilan Al Rasheed Sakkalahul met in one of the hotels here and held a press conference with dozens of Zamboanga newsmen to express their elation over the appointment of Hataman as ARMM OIC regional governor.

“We just want to announce to the public that we are very much happy and it is now our turn because the other provinces have already given the chance to serve governor in the ARMM,” Sakkalahul told reporters.

“We are very much thankful to the screening committee especially to His Excellency President Benigno Aquino III for appointing and making the son of Basilan Mujiv Hataman as OIC ARMM governor,” he added.

At the same time, Sakkalahul shrugged off Hataman’s critics or some quarters who are not happy over the appointment of the former AMIN congressman as ARMM OIC regional governor.

“We just want to tell the world that, we, the people of Basilan are very much happy and we are very much proud of Hataman, our very own. In fact, if there is a sector which is not happy, they’re just few. In politics, there is always opposition,” he said.

The news conference was attended by mayors, vice mayors of the towns of Al Barka, Tipo-Tipo, Lantawan, Maluso, Ungkaya Pukan, Sumisip, Tabuanlasa, and Association of Barangay Council (ABC) president and some board members as well as civil society leaders based in Basilan.

Sakkalahul told reporters they have been celebrating since two days ago and “from this we will proceed to Cotabato City to attend the turnover ceremony of the 22nd of this month (December).”

Although Basilan is considered as a small province in the ARMM, Mayor Tong Istarul said that with the appointment of Hataman they can make a huge difference in reforming in the autonomous region.

“We believe Governor Hataman can make a big difference despite the odds, “ he said. Reacting to critics allegation, he said in politics there is always rivalry “and that those who are unhappy over the appointment of Hataman they belong to a group composes of rivals.”

For his part, Mayor Kabukisan said that they are very thankful to President Aquino for appointing Hataman. “We are very happy for this development because this is the first in the history of ARMM, where a leader from Basilan was appointed to the highest position of ARMM.”

He also belied critics’ allegation that Basilan residents are not supporting Hataman.

“Don’t believe on that because they are all lying. Majority of the people of Basilan are supporting Hataman and they are very happy for his appointment.”

All the other local executives issued the same statements, saying that they are one and united with President Aquino and Governor Hataman to reform ARMM for peace and development of the autonomous region.” — HS