Political leaders from Sulu have thrown their full and unconditional support to the candidacy of former Basilan congressman Mujiv Hataman for regional governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in the scheduled August 8, 2011 elections even while awaiting results of deliberations over a bill seeking to postpone and synchronize the ARMM polls with the national elections in 2013.
Sulu 2nd District Congresswoman Nur Ana Sahidulla, Provincial Vice Governor Benjamin Loong backed up by former congressmen Yusop Jikiri (1st district) and Munir Arbison (2nd district), declared their unconditional support to Hataman’s candidacy, citing his laudable achievements as a former lawmaker which reflect qualities of an effective leader that could be harnessed in achieving the national leadership’s envisioned reforms in the ARMM.
Hataman, a political bigwig of the Hataman clan of Basilan, served as three-term Anak Mindanao (AMIN) Partylist congressman.
“We believe in the capability of former congressman (Mujiv) Hataman to lead and institute the much-needed reforms in the ARMM, that is why we (Sulu political leaders) are totally rallying behind his candidacy,” former congressman Arbison said in a telephone conversation yesterday.
The political leaders also expressed full support to Hataman’s platform of transparency in governance and the curtailment of graft and corruption in the ARMM. They also manifested particular excitement, hope and optimism under Hataman’s stewardship noting that this is now the time that a qualified native leader from neighboring Basilan province could be given the chance to administer the ARMM since its creation in 1988.
Also strongly endorsing Hataman are municipal mayors from the 1st and 2nd district of Sulu along with provincial board members from the 2nd district of the province, Arbison said.
They are: Mayors Saripuddin Jikiri of Indanan, Dornie Daud of Tapul, Ahmad Omar of Omar, Allayon Arbison of Luuk and Abdulwahid Sahidulla of Tongkil including former mayors Fradzmier Ilaji of Pandami, Najib Maldisa of Maimbung and Ahmad Nanoh of Pangutaran. The members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan from the second district of Sulu are: Lukman Omar, Alganarham Adam, Jun Jun Daud, Onnih Ammad and Alnur Arbison.
Aside from the political leaders, a group of civil society organization also based in Sulu headed by “Bawgbug” and the Assembly of Muslims for Electoral Reforms (AMER) separately expressed their support for Hataman believing that his leadership in the ARMM will give the youth the hope that reforms in the ARMM are possible and prove that Moro leaders are capable to govern.
The ARMM elections shall cover the positions of Regional Governor, Regional Vice Governor and the corresponding allocated seats for Assemblymen in the provinces of Sulu, Basilan (except Isabela City ), Tawi-Tawi, Maguindanao (except Cotabato City ) and Lanao del Sur.