Archive for the ‘ARMM Updates’ Category

Hataman issues first memo order

Newly-installed Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) officer-in-charge (OIC) Gov. Mujiv S. Hataman issued Thursday his first official act, a memorandum ordering the regional cashier to stop any payments for “certain contracts and transactions” which his predecessor had entered into to first determine their propriety.

Hataman and OIC Vice Gov. Hadja Bainon Karon assumed their respective posts on December 21.

Hataman replaced Ansaruddin Adiong, the former acting governor and former vice governor who snubbed his successor’s assumption to the highest regional position.

ARMM is composed of some the countries most-impoverished provinces, such as Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and the cities of Lamitan and Marawi.

President Benigno S. Aquino III appointed them to implement his avowed moral, moral, social, and political reform agenda for the autonomous government.

After his inauguration, the Basilan native issued what apparently was his first memorandum. It has no number.

“Effective today, you are hereby directed to stop making any payments on claims arising from certain contracts or transactions entered into by the previous administration without the consent or approval of the undersigned,” Hataman said, referring to Priscilla Candao, regional cashier.

After his assumption, he said he will be appointing new officials of his administration next week to help him carry out the President’s reform agenda.

He said he will not let the old “palakasan” system affect his decisions. Appointment will be made based on qualifications, he added.


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.


Hataman vows transparency in fund use, ARMM reforms

Newly appointed Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) officer-in-charge Gov. Mujiv Hataman assumed office yesterday and vowed to be transparent in handling state funds earmarked for development initiatives and in reforming the regional bureaucracy as espoused by President Aquino.

The ARMM’s outgoing local government secretary, Haron Al-Rashid Lucman, and the regional planning director, Adel Dumagay, turned over to Hataman and his protégé in Maguindanao, human rights lawyer Anwar Malang, vital documents on the transfer of administrative responsibilities, including unspent funds in the regional coffers, manpower and property outlays to the control of the new administration.

Hataman, a former congressman of the Anak Minda­nao party-list, hails from Barangay Bole-bole in Sumisip, a vote-rich town in the southeastern part of the island province of Basilan.

Among the public officials present in the turnover rites were Governors Sakur Tan and Sadikul Sahali of the island provinces of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, respectively, and the provincial chairman for Maguindanao of the Liberal Party, Sultan Kudarat Mayor Tucao Mastura, and Lamitan City Mayor Roderick Furigay.

Furigay said he and his more than 40 constituent barangay chairmen in Lamitan, capital city of Basilan, are elated that someone from their province is now at the helm of the ARMM.

“I know that introducing reforms in the regional bureaucracy is a task fraught with difficulties. I cannot do this alone. I need the support of all sectors. I only have 17 months to do this,” Hataman said.

The event was witnessed by Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Presidential Adviser on the Mindanao Peace Process Teresita Deles and President Aquino’s political adviser, Ronald Llamas.

“If we have a common objective, that of pushing forward the attainment of peace and development in the autonomous region, we cannot be adversaries,” Hataman said, apparently referring to the local officials present at the turnover rites.

Hataman said among his immediate concerns is an immediate investigation into the reported issuance of logging permits by the region’s former natural resources secretary, giving way to the wanton cutting of forest trees by poachers, even those in supposedly protected areas.

There have been reports of loggers outside the ARMM using cutting and transport permits for logs smuggled out of forestlands.

Hataman said he would also ask for Malacañang’s support in conducting an extensive mapping of the region’s remaining forest cover, particularly the forestlands in Lanao del Sur that comprise the watershed for Lake Lanao, whose downstream flow propels several state-owned hydroelectric plants that supply about three-fourths of Mindanao’s power requirement.

“The ARMM is synonymous with corruption, underdevelopment, private armies, and poverty. This is an image we want to improve through good governance,” Hataman said.

Pundato as ARMM OIC governor

Peace Process Undersecretary Datu Dimas Pundato came out to be considered as one of those who can possibly be appointed as the Officer-in-Charge of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

He is one of seven shortlisted candidates to become the caretaker and many are praying for possible appointment.

Pundato is a recognized Maranao leader, accepted and well-respected across all thirteen ethno-linguistic Moro tribes. He is a man of peace who chose to engage in the peace process when he was still part of the MNLF over war to achieve genuine reforms for his people.

Aside from this, he has wide experience in public service. Since he left the rebel movement 23 years ago, Pundato has dedicated himself to uplifting the plight of Filipinos— Muslims, Indigenous Peoples (IPs) and Christians alike— through his positions in government. During the administration of former President Corazon Aquino, he was appointed Executive Director of the Office of Muslim Affairs and served for ten years from 1988 to 1998. In 2001, he was appointed Assistant Secretary and later Undersecretary of the Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.

More importantly, many believe that he would espouse the good governance and anti-corruption campaign of the present administration since he continues to lead by example as he lives a simple lifestyle unlike many politicians based in Mindanao that have used their power and influence to enrich themselves at the expense of their constituents.

Many are hoping President Noynoy Aquino strongly considers Usec. Dimas Pundato to become ARMM OIC.

With Pundato at the helm, I have no doubt that the promise of a peaceful and progressive ARMM will happen in the near future.

Guingona wants reforms for ARMM budget

In advancing his advocacy on Budget Reform as part of Good Governance, Senator Teofisto “TG” Guingona will be conducting a focus group discussion (FGD) on the reforming the ARMM budget which will start on 22 September 2011 at 2pm to 7pm to be held at the Conference room 1 to 4, Asian Institute of Management, Makati City.

The FGD is divided into two phases. First is the Manila round wherein several young Muslim leaders will be invited to be given background on how the ARMM budget works. Second is the Cotabato round wherein the learnings from the Manila round will be presented in a local workshop to Muslim leaders.

Representatives from government agencies like COA and DBM; Civil Service organizations such as Reform ARMM Now, Social Watch, and InciteGov and former ARMM officials were invited as resource persons. Young Muslim leaders from Mindanao will also participate in the discussions.

The objectives of the entire FGD is to identify the problems of public finance and accountability in the ARMM budget and to determine how the new Administration can respond to these problems. It primarily aims to empower the young Muslim leaders of Mindanao to understand the ARMM budget in order to simplify the complex government processes and to increase their awareness on the issues and areas for reform, as well as mapping out possible solutions.

Senator Guingona believes that budget reform is vital in pushing for positive changes in how the government can achieve development goals through a responsive budget. This has been Senator TG Guingona’s advocacy since his term as Congressman of the 2nd District of Bukidnon and until now as a Senator. Senator Guingona is not alone in pushing for a reformed budget. He convened last November 2009 the Open Budget Partnership (OBP), a coalition of the executive and legislative branches of government, civil society organizations, and development partners what aim is to promote transparency, accountability and participation in the whole budget process.

“In order for ARMM to initiate reforms, it must have a sound budget allocation and process in order to address the concerns of the region,” Senator Guingona said.

Guingona believes that Open Budget forum is needed in order to pull in those in ARMM, National Government Agencies, particularly COA and DBM, and other CSO, to discuss and identify key problems and possibly identify solutions that will be helpful for next year’s budget.

Maguindanao governor tops in the shortlist for ARMM OIC

Maguindanao governor tops in the shortlist for ARMM OIC

Maguindanao Governor Esmael “Toto” G. Mangudadatu tops the seven short-listed candidates as officers-in-charge of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

This was recently revealed by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in its website.

Aside from Mangudadatu, other candidates include Mujiv Hataman of Basilan; Ali Sanchez, Lanto Makabangkit,  Saidamen Pangarungan, Dimas Pundato and Norma Sharief, all of Lanao Del Sur.

DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo said the gubernatorial bets, including their vice gubernatorial counterpart, are currently undergoing tight scrutiny from the panel from multi-sectoral group leaders in ARMM.

The candidates were asked to articulate before the public their personal profile, the ARMM issues and concerns and their proposed solutions, their visions, platform of government, among others.

“We made it sure that the whole selection process was transparent. We went through the names of each of the 111 applicants nominees for OIC governor and vice governor,” added Robredo.

The DILG chief also said they came up, from a total of 440 applicants for the 24 OIC regional legislative assembly posts, with a list of five to six candidates, depending on the number of voter’s population per district.

The bets for vice-governor include incumbent ARMM OIC Gov. Anzaruddin Adiong of Lanao; Hatimil Hassan of Basilan; and Bobby Datimbang, Mustapha “Eid” Kabalu and Bainon Karon, all of Maguindanao.

On Monday, simultaneous provincial fora were held in Shariff Kabunsuan Complex in Cotabato City ; Mindanao State University in Marawi City; MSU, Jolo in Sulu ; Notre Dame of Bongao in Tawi-Tawi; and Basilan State College in Isabela City.

Robredo said the shortlist for each post will be ranked and separately endorsed to the House Speaker and Senate President, who will submit their respective recommendations for the approval and signature of President Benigno Aquino III.

ARMM polls postponed

ARMM polls postponed

The Senate, on third and final reading, passed House bill 4146 postponing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) elections on August 8 and instead synchronized it with the mid-term national and local elections in 2013.

After six hours of debate, 13 voted in favor of the bill, while 7 senators voted against the measure.

The 13 senators who voted in favor of the postponement are:

  1. Juan Ponce Enrile,
  2. Jinggoy Estrada,
  3. Gregorio Honasan,
  4. Vicente Sotto III,
  5. Teofisto Guingona III,
  6. Ralph Recto,
  7. Francis Pangilinan,
  8. Miriam Defensor-Santiago,
  9. Manuel Lapid,
  10. Panfilo Lacson,
  11. Antonio Trillanes IV,
  12. Pia Cayetano, and,
  13. Franklin Drilon, the author of the measure.

Those 7 senators who voted opposing the bill are:

  1. Francis Escudero,
  2. Sergio Osmeña,
  3. Joker Arroyo,
  4. Juan Miguel Zubiri,
  5. Edgardo Angara,
  6. Ramon Revilla Jr., and,
  7. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Senator Loren Legarda was on an official mission abroad, while Senators Manny Villar and Alan Peter Cayetano were not in the Senate building during the nominal voting.

The approved bill also includes a provision that President Benigno Aquino III will have the power to appoint an officer-in-charge (OIC) in the region since the terms of incumbent officials expire on August 8, 2011.

Unless contested and the Supreme Court issues a temporary restraining order (TRO), President Aquino may sign the bill into law on Wednesday.

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