Hataman warns ARMM Cabinet to shape up or ship outInquirer Mindanao
COTABATO CITY — Acting Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Governor Mujiv Hataman warned members of his Cabinet to shape up or they’ll be shipped out.
Hataman issued the warning after sacking Abdulhalim Mohammad, secretary of the region’s Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
Mohammad was sacked, Hataman said, after an investigation of photos given to him by civil society groups, which showed a wedding being held inside the DAR building, had been verified to be true.
He had named ARMM chief of staff Anwar Malang to act as DAR regional secretary.
“The public expectation from us is very high after our accomplishments were recognized by President [Benigno] Aquino [III],” he told Cabinet officials on Friday.
Aquino described Hataman as a “ghost-buster”.
Hataman said the reforms he had been implementing in the ARMM, including the banning of cash advances by officials, has no political color.
He said he has no plans of running in the 2013 regional and national polls.
But Hataman admitted his wife was nominated for a congressional slot by Anak Mindanao, the party that propelled him to Congress.
“I’m not seeking an elective post next year, but my wife is one of the party nominees for a congressional seat,” Hataman said.
He also admitted he had become a Liberal Party member.
“As close political ally of the President, I become an LP member along with all incumbent provincial governors in the ARMM,” he said.
Hataman said his decision not to run in next year’s election was in deference to an agreement he had with Mr. Aquino when he was appointed officer-in-charge governor.
“One of the conditions for the appointed ARMM chief executive is for him not to seek an elective position,” he said.
Sultan Kudarat Mayor Tocao Mastura, the LP chairman for Maguindanao, said he was eyeing the ARMM top post.
He said he welcomed Hataman’s announcement and added that it would put to rest speculations Aquino would put more weight on the so-called equity of the incumbent.
Mastura said he would respect the decision of the LP on whom to field in the ARMM polls.
The Commission on Elections had set October and November as schedules for the filing of certificates of candidacy in the ARMM, national and local elections.