Hataman appoints HR lawyer as executive secretary

Newly installed Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao officer-in-charge (OIC) Gov. Mujiv Hataman has appointed an ethnic Maguindanaon as his executive secretary, chosen from among many aspirants who are either from Basilan or proteges of powerful politicians.

Hataman said he decided to select human rights lawyer Anwar Malang, who is not identified with any political camp, due to his unblemished record as a three-term councilor of Cotabato City and as a principal convenor of the Reform ARMM Now (RAN).

The multi-sectoral RAN, comprising more than 50 peace advocacy outfits in the South, was responsible for mustering cross-section support for the enactment of Republic Act 10153, which reset the ARMM elections from August this year to 2013 and empowered President Aquino to appoint an OIC to introduce reforms in the regional bureaucracy.

Malang, a scion of a big family in the second district of Maguindanao, also chairs the non-profit Mindanao Human Rights Action Center, which has been helping push forward the government’s peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Hataman, who hails from Basilan, said Malang’s appointment to a sensitive position in the regional government shows that he is keen on sharing power equitably with other qualified leaders from different areas in the autonomous region, regardless of their tribal and cultural identities.

Hataman said he will not be bothered disregarding the recommendations of influential politicians in the ARMM for prospective appointees to key positions in the regional Cabinet if their nominees are not qualified.

“I can even share power with qualified non-Muslims as long as they are from the ARMM, they have big hearts for the region’s culturally diverse people and for peace and development in the area,” he said.

Hataman took over last Thursday as OIC governor of ARMM, which covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, both in Central Mindanao, the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and the cities of Marawi and Lamitan.



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