Thousands witness Hataman, Akbar sign peace covenant PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 14:14

They shook hands, saw eye to eye, had lunch side by side, exchange pleasantries while their relatives talk to each other as soon as the ceremony ended.

That’s how the leaders and the followers of the two feuding prominent and powerful clans — Akbar and Hataman —  punctuated their long standing differences yesterday in Basilan witnessed and graced by Interior and Local Government Secretary Jessie Robredo and Presidential Adviser on Peace Process Teresita Deles.

The reconciliation vows of the leaders of the two clans, ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman and brother Congressman Jim Saliman Hataman and Basilan Governor Jum Akbar were enshrined in a covenant that they signed in the presence of thousands of people, local officials, governors Abdusakur Tan of Sulu, Sadikul Sahali of Tawi-Tawi, Bombit Adiong of Lanao and Toto Magundadatu of Maguindanao, the 24 newly appointed members of the Regional Legislative Assembly, ARMM Vice Governor Bainon Karon, Directorate For Integrated Police Operation Chief General Manuel Barcena and some military officials.

Gov. Hataman and Gov. Akbar expressed hope that the reconciliation of their clans will provide a new beginning towards progress and development of the island province and will serve as an example to the other feuding clans in the entire autonomous region.

“Reforms on peace and order in the ARMM can only be possible when it is started in the province where I belong,” Hataman said.

“No one will benefit from this but the people of Basilan. Ang maruming politika sa Basilan ay hanggang araw na lang ito,” Hataman exclaimed emotionally in his speech. “We will have a new politics and new life in Basilan”

The feud of the Hataman and Akbar started politically. It aggravated when former governor and congressman Wahab Akabar was assassinated through a bomb attack in 2007 at the Batasan Complex in Quezon City. The Akbars  pointed their fingers on the Hatamans but the latter dismissed the accusations.

“Hinde madali ang lahat na ito para sa akin. When their emissaries approached me about the idea, I was surprised. But after aseries of consultations
with the family members, we entertained the idea for the sake of the people of Basilan,” Gov. Akbar said in her speech.

“It’s worth sacrificing. The pain will fade away when this is compensated by a smile of the people of Basilan.” The lady governor said.
The reconciliation, Akbar and Hataman said where initiated by the ulama council of Basilan.

Among the highlights of the peace covenant is for the Hataman to give the governship of the province to the Akbar in 2013 polls while the Akbar will give way to the Hataman in the congressional race.

The reconciliation of the Hataman and Akbar was praised and commended by the Robredo and Deles as well as other officials.

“I did not come here to just witness but to ensure that the reconciliation will work for the good of the province and the people,” Robredo said.