Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Akbar, Hataman families bury the hatchet

[Isabela City, Basilan] – Basilan Governor Jum Akbar and ARMM OIC Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman led fellow Basileños in the signing of “A Covenant of Solidarity for Peace and Development in Basilan” at the Basilan State College, this City.

The huge gymnasium was filled with supporters and well-wishers as two of the most powerful political families in Basilan finally came together to forge an alliance “for peace and development” that is now being dubbed as “the Basilan model”, worthy to be emulated throughout the rest of the ARMM, and according to DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo, even throughout the Philippines, citing the example of Abra Province in North Luzon.

“Ginusto po namin ang reconciliation na ito, unang-una, bilang pagsunod sa utos ng ating mahal na panginoong Allah. Pangalawa po ay para maisakatuparan na ang matagal nang pangarap ng ating mga kapwa Basileño na magkasundo na ang dalawang pamilyang ito.” Gov. Jum Akbar, matriarch of the Akbar Clan, summed up the sentiments of her family in an emotional message before the assembled crowd, which included, among others, Secretary Robredo, OPAPP Secretary Teresita Deles and the four other Governors of the ARMM.

She added: “Kung katahimikan at kaunlaran po ang siyang minimithi ng mas nakararami, handang-handa po kaming magsakripisyo at gawin ang lahat para maisakatuparan lamang ito.”

Initial talks between the two families started nearly six months back, with emmisaries from the Basilan Ulama Supreme Council sent by Gov. Hataman to approach Gov. Akbar for a possible rapprochement. A meeting was likewise held in Malacañang with no less than President Benigno Aquino III manifesting his desire for the two families to finally come to terms with each other. A series of consultations ensued on both sides, as the clan leaders reached out to family members.

“We are definitely looking forward to this new chapter in the lives of Basileños everywhere.” Basilan Ulama Secretary General and Provincial Board Member Yusop Alano said. “We should all welcome this new alignment, as this will surely bring peace and development to Basilan.”

In a message delivered on behalf of the League of Mayors, Chapter President Alih Sali, Mayor of Akbar Municipality, added “as much as we wished to stay loyal to our political alliances, we prayed very hard for a reconciliation between and among our leaders.”

The Akbar and Hataman families used to be political allies, until the 2004 elections when both families parted ways, running and fielding their own allies in different tickets. The rivalry came to a head on November 13, 2007 when erstwhile Akbar patriarch, Rep. Wahab Akbar, was killed by a bomb at the Batasang Pambansa. Formal charges were subsequently filed by the Akbar family against Mujiv Hataman, his brother Jim Hataman, who is the current Congressman, and former Deputy Speaker Gerry Salapuddin.

The Akbar and Hataman families ran against each other once more in the 2010 elections. Governor Jum Akbar, widow of the late Congressman, won the election, defeating both Mujiv Hataman and Salapuddin. Hataman was subsequently appointed by President Benigno S. Aquino III to head the ARMM in December 2011. Salapuddin on the other hand, was finally issued a warrant of arrest after the Department of Justice upheld the charges filed against him.

As a result of the “peace agreement” between the Akbar and Hataman families, the charges filed in court against both Mujiv and Jim Hataman were summarily dropped by the Akbar family. This will likewise open the possibility for Gov. Akbar to join the Administration’s Liberal Party, especially in the run up to the 2013 polls, and for the two families to field a unified ticket.

-Courtesy of Richard Gregorio Falcatan-
-credits to the owners of the photos-
Signing: Gov. Akbar and Mayor Akbar
DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo and OPAPP Sec. Teresita Deles

The Covenant
 I haven't witnessed the said event but I have high hopes on the said reconciliation. Basileños scream for peace. All hopes for a new beginning of this city I am proudly born, grew up, and will definitely cherish. We all look forward for the bright future of Basilan.


swexie said...

It's about time that reconciliation efforts be initiated. I hope this ends well for Basilan. Good luck!

Gigi Beleno said...

I hope this paper signing will lead into full implementation and let peace prevail especially to areas been long affected by this struggle.

Unsugarcoated Reviews said...

I certainly hope this is for real. We really need good news like this.

Eric said...

I any "peace contract", I hope this will not end into just a piece of paper.

"How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity"

rjs mama said...

not just on paper i hope

Kathy Ngo said...

I just hope that its not merely words but will be actioned on. I've come to be wary about believing in things like these.

Rossel said...

It's good to hear great news about Basilan. I just hope this is for good. Political rivalries and war are what preventing Basilan to prosper.

Inya said...

This is really good news. I hope incidence of rido would escalate in your province. - KarenT

Cryptic Kris said...

Advance congratulation for Basilan and MUSLIM brothers.

markpogi said...

Looking forward to the reconciliation. ^_^

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