ARMM Gov. Hataman to speak on Mindanao issues at Washington DC forum on Thursday, April 6
Cotabato City (April 5, 2017) – Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will be the guest in a luncheon forum to be held in Washington DC on Thursday, April 6. The event is organized jointly by the Philippine Embassy, US-Philippines Society, and SAIS Southeast Asia Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
The governor’s presentation is expected to focus on the government’s initiatives on peace, security, and economic development in the autonomous Muslim region as well as the possible configuration of a new Bangsamoro autonomy.
The governor has been consistent in expressing full support to the southern peace process underscoring he is willing to step down, even before his term expires, should there be a new government that will be formed for the region as a result of a Mindanao peace agreement that will be forged.
Last year, President Rodrigo Duterte established a transition commission for Bangsamoro self-government to replace the ARMM, but decided that the current regional government should remain in place. ARMM covers the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
In 2014, Gov. Hataman also spoke on the southern peace process under the Aquino administration in Washington DC through an invitation from the US-Philippines Society, a private sector initiative whose concerns are in the areas of security, trade, investments, tourism, the environment, history, education, and culture.
Governor Mujiv Hataman has always been a man on a mission. With a strong desire to correct the many misconceptions about the Bangsamoro, Hataman led the region by instituting major reforms that showed the regional government’s innate capacity for self-governance.
Upon the passage of the ARMM Synchronization Law in 2011, Hataman was appointed as the region’s OIC-Regional Governor by former President Benigno S. Aquino III. In 2013, he ran and won the elections as ARMM’s regional governor, and was then re-elected for a second term last May 2016.
The Good Governance, Peace and Security, and Socio-Economic Development (GPS) model was Hataman’s brainchild, which outlines the major pillars of reform in the region. In his first year as Regional Governor, he implemented policies, programs, and projects which surpassed the previous achievements of the region in its more than two-decades of existence.
It was this exemplary display of leadership that earned the trust of the National Government and investors, which led to the passage of a bigger budget for the ARMM, an increase in investments, and a marked growth in the region’s GDP.
Hataman is also known as a strong advocate of the Bangsamoro peace process, most especially for his expressed willingness to step down even before the end of his term, should a new organic law for the ARMM be passed as a result of peace agreements that have been forged.
Because of his track record as regional governor of the ARMM, he was selected as an Eisenhower Fellow in 2013. He was also given the Excellence in Public Service Award in 2014 by the Bulong Pulungan, an organization of Journalists in the Philippines, and the Outstanding Governorship Award in 2015 and 2016 by the Superbrands Marketing International.
Prior to his stint as governor of the region, Hataman was already known for his dedication to the Bangsamoro. A former student-leader and human rights activist, he was known for his participation in the people’s struggle in asserting their right to self-determination, and his commitment to just means towards ending the Mindanao conflict.
As a response to the alarming human rights violations committed both by state and non-state armed groups in Basilan, he founded the Kahapan Foundation in 1995.
In 2001, he became part of the 14th Congress of the Philippines as a Representative of the Anak Mindanao (AMin) Partylist, and served for three terms. As a congressman, he was one of the principal authors of the Anti-Religious and Racial Profiling Act of 2010. He also filed an Act Prohibiting Discrimination Against Persons on Account of Ethnic Origin and/or Religious Belief, among other anti-discrimination bills.
Hataman was born to a Yakan father from Sumisip, Basilan and a Tausug mother from Pata, Sulu. He is married to Sitti Djalia Turabin, with whom he raises five children. (Bureau of Public Information)