COTABATO CITY: Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on Friday warned that sanctions will be imposed on absentee and non-performing local chief executives.
The warning came after Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, martial law administrator in Mindanao, ordered a closer monitoring of local chief executives in the region as specified in Martial Law Instruction No. 1 he issued on January 8.
Lorenzana said the absence of local chief executives, “ [in]some cases, results in total failure in the delivery of vital basic services to their constituents.”
“This situation presents a very serious concern as the lack of basic services leads to a general dissatisfaction with government which has been determined to be one of the leading causes for people to join rebel or extremist groups,” he said.
The directive also asked Hataman to watch closely the presence of his provincial officials in the ARMM provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, both in mainland Mindanao and in the islands of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
Hataman said Lorenzana’s order will help determine who among the local chief executives are not performing their mandate.
Martial law was declared in Mindanao on May 23 last year, after fighting erupted in Marawi City.
But even with the fighting in Marawi is over, military and police intelligence sources claimed that extremist groups were still recruiting members in various parts of the region.
Last month, lawmakers, upon the recommendation of the security sector, voted to extend martial law for one year.
Lorenzana’s instructions also noted that the military, the police and other law enforcement agencies should assist the ARMM governor and provincial chief executives in monitoring local government executives’ presence in their areas.
“At the end of each month, regular compliance and evaluation reports are to be consolidated at the provincial level and submitted to the Office of the Martial Law Administrator,” the letter noted.
In the past weeks, Hataman has been going around the five-province ARMM to check on the implementation of the government projects.