ARMM exec sacked for wedding in his officePhilippine Daily Inquirer
COTABATO CITY—The ax fell on the agrarian reform secretary of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) over what could have been a common wedding reception had it not been held in a most uncommon place—the sacked official’s office.
Mujiv Hataman, acting ARMM governor, removed Abdulhalim Mohammad as agrarian reform secretary of ARMM, and warned other officials to shape up or ship out.
Mohammad was sacked, Hataman said, after an investigation of pictures given to him by civil society groups, which showed a wedding being held inside the ARMM’s Department of Agrarian Reform building, had been verified to be true.
Hataman named ARMM chief of staff Anwar Malang as acting agrarian reform secretary of the region.
“Public expectation from us is very high after our accomplishments were recognized by President Aquino,” he told ARMM Cabinet officials on Friday.
Mr. Aquino had described Hataman as a “ghostbuster.”
Hataman said the reforms he had been implementing in ARMM, including the banning of cash advances by officials, have no political color.
He said he had no plans of running in the 2013 regional or national elections.
Hataman, however, said his wife had been nominated for a slot as party-list representative of Anak Mindanao, the same group that Hataman had represented in the House of Representatives.
“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 joined the ruling Liberal Party (LB).
“As a close political ally of the President, I became 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 of the ARMM.
“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, LP chair for Maguindanao, said he was seeking the ARMM top post.
He said he welcomed Hataman’s announcement and added that it would put to rest speculations that Mr. Aquino would support Hataman over him.
But Mastura said he would respect the decision of the LP on whom to field in the ARMM elections.
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. Inquirer Mindanao