Hataman delivers SORA with MILF official

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COTABATO CITY: Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Mujiv Hataman delivered his 4th State of the Region Address (SORA) on Monday with the presence of ranking Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) official viewed by many as prelude to the passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Hataman’s SORA was attended for the first time by Ghazali Jaafar, MILF first vice chairman and chairman of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission.

The MILF has been rejecting the existence of the ARMM since 1990.

Jaafar was quoted as saying they want to show that the government and the MILF are working together in trying to solve the five-decade Mindanao-Moro issue.


Before this, the MILF has been consistent in rejecting the 28-year-old ARMM as the answer to the Bangsamoro people’s clamor for self-governance.

The MILF wants ARMM that has constitutional charter – Republic Act 9054 – replaced with a Bangsamoro government through the proposed BBL now awaiting approval in Congress.

Jaafar stressed that the MILF does not find Hataman an adversarial governor owing to his oft-repeated promise to step down if an MILF-led Bangsamoro entity replaces ARMM once the BBL is passed into a law.

The BBL, an enabling measure needed to repeal the ARMM charter, was drafted by the Jaafar-led BTC, comprised of commissioners representing the MILF and the selected Malacañang-appointed commissioners.
In his SORA, Hataman outlined his administration’s multi-billion infrastructure projects in the last five years. Many in the audience surmised that this could possibly be Hataman’s the last SORA.

Alih Anso, a Maguindanaoan and president of Alliance of Peace Advocates, Inc. told The Manila Times that his colleagues told him that this SORA could be Hataman’s last as one radio station here alluded.

However, Amir Mawallil Hataman’s spokesman said the governor did not categorically say that it was his last SORA. He added that Hataman will deliver his 5th SORA since he will not be seeking a reelection.

Meanwhile, in his nine-page SORA, Hataman said ARMM has built more than a thousand kilometers of concrete roads connecting towns in the region and the rehabilitation of abandoned overland road arteries straddling through Moro rebel enclaves in far-flung areas.

He addedd that in Sulu alone, workers are completing the concreting of the remaining 15 kilometers of the circumferential road encircling the troubled province and traversing about a dozen towns.

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