Hataman is Pnoy’s bet for ARMM governor PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 28 September 2012 14:09

With President Aquino and various civil society organizations behind him, how can acting Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Mujiv Hataman lose in the ARMM’s 2013 elections?

Hataman, until Thursday, remained silent on mounting clamors by various sectors for him to run for governor of ARMM.

“That’s absolutely very flattering. I can’t thank them enough for the trust and confidence. I don’t decide on my own. I need to dialogue first with the nation’s chief executive, President Aquino, the political leaders in the autonomous region, and my family,” Hataman said.

More civil society organizations have fused ranks with groups prodding Hataman to seek mandate for the region’s highest elective post in next year’s ARMM electoral exercise.

In a press communiqué circulated Thursday, three senior ARMM officials, Trade Secretary Marites Maguindra, Engineer Bai Intan Adil, and Social Welfare Undersecretary Pombaen Karon Kader, said the region’s rank-and-file personnel are worried a “traditional politician” could land at the helm of the regional bureaucracy if Hataman will not run for governor.

The three regional officials said Hataman should continue the reforms and President Aquino ordered him to initiate to address the problems that have stunted the ARMM’s growth – graft and corruption, loose firearms, clan wars, and ghost employees in certain regional line agencies.

President Aquino, according to published reports, already told the five ARMM provincial governors in a meeting Monday afternoon that it is Hataman that he wants to run for governor in next year’s regional elections.

The meeting, attended by governors Abdusakur Tan of Sulu, Mamintal Adiiong, Jr., of Lanao del Sur, Esmael Mangudadatu of Maguindanao, Sadikul Sahali of Taw-Tawi, and Jum Akbar of Basilan, was held in Malacañang.

Mangudadatu confirmed the meeting via text message, saying “it’s Mujiv” that the President had chosen as his candidate for ARMM governor. Mangudadatu declined to elaborate, however.

Mangudadatu’s uncle, former Sultan Kudarat Gov. Pax Mangudadatu, is also reportedly aspiring for the ARMM’s gubernatorial post.

Mangudadatu, who is seeking re-election next year, and Hataman both belong to the Liberal Party.

The older Mangudadatu, who has not been admitted into the LP, filed his income tax return in Buluan, Maguindanao and registered as voter there before the ARMM’s supposed August 8, 2011 electoral process, which Congress reset and synchronized with the 2013 local and senatorial elections through R.A. 10153. 

Only residents of ARMM can run for ARMM governor under the region’s charter, R.A. 9054.

Tan was earlier reported to have announced his plan to aspire for the ARMM’s gubernatorial post during the 2013 regional polls.

Hataman was appointed office-in-charge of ARMM by President Aquino in December 2011, following the enactment of R.A. 10153.

Leaders of various civil society organizations, some of them from areas outside of ARMM, announced in Cotabato City Tuesday that they want Hataman to seek mandate as elected governor of the autonomous region.

The municipal council of the vote-rich Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao asked in “black and white” the appointed caretaker of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to seek mandate for a regular, elective term as ARMM governor in next year’s regional elections.

Guiamel Alim, chairman of the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society, said it is important for ARMM to be managed by people who can sustain President Aquino’s efforts to reform the regional bureaucracy.