Hataman is still ARMM OIC gov PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 23 March 2013 11:43

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Mujiv Hataman on Friday dismissed as “preposterous and whimsical” insinuations Malacañang has designated a new caretaker for ARMM.

The former spokesman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Eid Kabalu, now a “security consultant” of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division in Maguindanao, has announced over Catholic station dxMS here that President Benigno Aquino III already appointed Saripada Amir Hussein as Hataman’s replacement.

There are talks circulating here for two weeks about enterprising people offering “appointments” to key positions in the ARMM’s executive department, in exchange for an amount, which they guarantee Hussein is to sign after his assumption as new acting governor of the autonomous region.

“Personally I don’t know who this Mr. Hussein is and President Aquino has not informed me about wanting to replace me. The President and I were together just very recently and we’ve been exchanging text messages frequently. He did not inform me that I should step down as appointed chief executive of ARMM,” Hataman said.  

Kabalu, who was booted out of the MILF’s leadership core for entering into alliances with certain politicians and for allegedly receiving from them campaign funds during the 2010 synchronized local and national elections, said he saw the appointment of Hussein bearing the President’s signature.

“It seems there are people who are disseminating wrong information to create chaos in the ARMM,” Hataman said.

Hataman said the President will surely inform him if he, indeed, already appointed someone as new caretaker for ARMM.

Hataman got to the helm of the ARMM leadership in late 2011 as a presidential appointee, who would oversee the operations of the regional government until the creation, supposedly before the 2016, of a new autonomous political entity, based on the October 15, 2012 Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro, or FAB.

The FAB, whose four annexes are now being completed by the peace panels of the government and the Moro National Islamic Liberation Front, is to become the main parameter for the creation of a new self-governing mechanism to replace ARMM.

“Well, it would be easier for the smooth transition to happen if I’m the ARMM governor because I will step down without any complain, willingly, if the government and MILF panels are already to put up a new set-up with new leaders,” Hataman said.

Hataman is candidate of the ruling Liberal Party for governor of ARMM during the May 2013 elections.

Mayors in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur and the governors of the two provinces Esmael Mangudadatu and Mamintal Adiong, Jr., respectively, do not know Hussein, whose name is being propped by Kabalu and several other groups hostile to the administration’s Liberal Party.