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COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Incumbent officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) plan to stop officer-in-charge governor Mujiv Hataman from sitting in office this Thursday, Dec. 22. Ali Macabalang, executive secretary for the ARMM Bureau of Public Information, said Hataman cannot assume the post without a final Supreme Court ruling on the legality of the postponement of the ARMM polls.
“Manigas sila, hindi sila makakaupo. Kanila pa namang ipinangangalandakan ang isang matuwid na daan at dapat [hindi nila] inumpisahan ang isang matuwid na daan sa maling pamamaraan. Ipinamalas [nila] sa tao ang kawalang respeto sa batas,” said Macabalang. (No way, they cannot assume office. They are promoting a straight and narrow path so they should not have begun the appointment in the wrong way. They showed the people their disrespect of the law.)
President Benigno Aquino III appointed Hataman on Nov. 29 and administered his oath of office in Malacañang on Monday, Dec. 19. Hataman is a former Anak Mindanao party-list representative, and an ally and partymate of Aquino.
Aquino made the appointment despite a pending Supreme Court decision on the motion for reconsideration on the law postponing the August 2011 elections to synchronize it with the May 2013 national midterm polls. (Read this)
Macabalang said Hataman should expect a “widespread resistance” from ARMM employees and supporters of incumbent officials should he decide to assume office on Thursday.
Macabalang clarified that the sitting ARMM officials are willing to relinquish their post but they want to do so in a matter consistent with the law. He said they have long been preparing for a proper turnover.
“We will be giving up our posts. It’s very clear, we have been preparing for this for seven months but the turnover should not be done by force,” he said.
Macabalang also said the incumbent officials do not want a scenario wherein Hataman already assumed the post only for the Supreme Court to issue a ruling striking down his appointment. – Rappler.com