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ARMM leaders back Mar's bid for presidency

 • 20:11 PM Wed Aug 5, 2015
John Unson
ARMM’s political leaders flash the Liberal Party sign during a gathering in Manila to show they are for the candidacy for president of Manuel Mar” Roxas. (Photo by John Unson)

COTABATO CITY - The chief executive of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and his constituent-provincial governors together pledged to support next year’s candidacy for president of Manuel Mar” Roxas.ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman, LP’s regional figurehead, on Wednesday said he was delighted with the commitment of the governors and mayors of political support for Roxas, President Aquino’s local government secretary.Roxas is standard bearer of the administration’s Liberal Party.The ARMM, covering Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, has 116 towns and two cities that have always been administration political bailiwicks since the region was created in 1990.Hataman said Roxas has been supportive of efforts by the present ARMM administration to reform and professionalize the regional bureaucracy.The ARMM government was once a hotbed of corruption, which past governors manipulated to their advantage --- to amass wealth and build private armies they used to perpetuate political power.Hataman, who was first assumed as appointed caretaker of ARMM in December 2011, was elected regional governor during the area’s 2013 elections, where he ran as LP candidate with only what was for his camp token” opposition from at least four other aspirants. Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu and his younger siblings, Zajid, who is representative of the 2ndcongressional district of the province, and Khadafeh, a ranking member of the ARMM’s Regional Assembly, were the first, from among regional LP members, to affirm support to Roxas after President Benigno Aquino III had announced he would be the party’s candidate for president during the May 2016 presidential race.Mangudadatu is Maguindanao’s provincial chair for LP, under whose banner he sought re-election in 2013, defeating with an overwhelming vote lead a lone contender, then Sultan Kudarat town mayor Tucao Mastura. As member of LP, which is the ruling party in Maguindanao, we support Secretary Roxas politically. We shall support him during the 2015 presidential elections,” Mangudadatu said.Hataman, the Mangudadatus, Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan, Jr., Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong, Jr., Tawi-Tawi Rep. Ruby Sahali and her younger brother, Nurbert, governor of the island province, agreed to campaign for Roxas during a dinner meeting in Manila two days ago.The Sahalis and their patriarch, former Tawi-Tawi Gov. Hadji Sadikul Tan, are Liberal party stalwarts.Gov. Jum Akbar of Basilan and mayors in the island province also belong to the administration bloc.The vice governor of Maguindanao, Lester Sinsuat, and Congresswoman Sandra Sema of the first congressional district in the province both belong to LP too.Basilan Rep. Jim Hataman, older brother of the ARMM governor, and local officials in Sumisip, hometown of the Hatamans, are also known for their loyalty to LP.

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