MANILA, Philippines – Acting governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Mujiv Hataman said on Saturday that President Benigno Aquino III has urged him to run for governor in the upcoming elections.
Hataman said the President called him Saturday morning.
“Kinausap ako ni Pangulong Aquino at sabi niya na kailangan mo tumakbo dahil maraming sulat dito na kailangan mong tumakbo,” Hataman said.
Hataman has yet to decide whether he will run or not. But he admits that it is very difficult to say "no" to the President.
“Marami pa akong kino-consider, hindi pa buo ang factors kung tatakbo ako o hindi. Basta next week mag-aanunsiyo ako. Mabigat sa loob ko na tumanggi sa kanya,” he said.
Aquino appointed then Anak Mindanao party-list Rep. Mujiv Hataman as OIC of the ARMM when the ARMM elections scheduled last August 2010 did not push through.
Hataman earlier said he will not run as governor of ARMM in 2013 and instead focus on implementing reforms in the region.
He also said he wants to spend time with his family when his term ends.
“Ang sabi ko naman, personally ako hindi ako tatakbo. Kasi sabi ko nga more than a decade na din ako at this age, tapos at that age nung mga anak ko, personal decision ko na din ‘yun,” Hataman earlier said.
Days before the start of the filing of certificates of candidacy, a consortium of Bangsamoro civil society organizations is urging Hataman to run as governor so he can continue his reforms in the region.
“Dahil bahagi siya sa isinusulong namin na reporma, kailangan ipagpatuloy namin ito,” said Sammy Maulana.
Even members of the regional legislative assembly have showed support for Hataman to run as ARMM governor.
“Naniniwala ako na lahat ng nagawa niya noong time niya as regional governor ay nakabuti sa ARMM. Sa tingin ko maganda na mapagpatuloy niya ito,” said Atty. Rasol Mitmug, spokesman for the regional legislative assembly.
The town of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao is the first municipality in ARMM to pass a resolution to the office of the regional governor, urging Hataman to run for governor.
“’Yung problema sa mga teacher sa ARMM, ngayon na solve na. Marami pang problema sa past administration na na-solve na ngayon. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit gusto natin siya tumakbo," said Datu Odin Sinsuat Mayor Lester Sinsuat.
But the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) questions these so-called reforms, adding that these hardly affect people's lives.
“Ang mga tao, kahit araw araw sinasabi na may reform, wala namang nakikita ang mga tao. Gumanda ba ang kanilang pamumuhay o pangako lamang?” said Ghadzali Jaafar, vice chairman for political affairs of the MILF. -- ANC