ARMM chief seeks dialogue with Sulu sultan

By Albashir Saiden, ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao

Posted at Feb 21 2013 09:27 PM | Updated as of Feb 22 2013 05:27 AM

COTABATO CITY – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) OIC-Governor Mujiv Hataman on Thursday said he plans to talk to the Sultanate of Sulu to try to settle the dispute in Sabah, Malaysia.

"Bilang gubernador ng ARMM, susubukan kong kausapin ang sultan para magkaroon ng dayalogo at maisaayos na ang hindi pagkakaintindihan," Hataman said.

He said the standoff might affect the currently progressing peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) if a third party intervenes and uses the issue to ruin the talks.

"Hindi pa rin natin sigurado, pero baka sakaling mayroon mga spoilers na gagamitin ang isyung ito para masira ang magandang usad ng usaping pangkapayapaan,” he said.

The ARMM governor called on the people involved not to be harsh and put everything in a dialogue.

"Lahat naman ng bagay ay nadadaan sa matino at mahinahong paraan, dapat pag-usapan," he said.

Meantime, the spokesman of the Consortium on the Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) called on the Sulu sultan to elevate their claim to the United Nations.

CBCS spokesman Bobby Benito told ABS-CBN News they recognize the sutan's legitimate claim over Sabah. He added that the most effective way to resolve the issue is through diplomacy.