Mujiv Hataman, wife Sitti defeat Akbars in Basilan
Mujiv Hataman, wife Sitti defeat Akbars in Basilan
The Hatamans consolidate power in the Western Mindanao province

MANILA, Philippines – The midterm elections saw the Hataman power couple in Basilan province defeating their archrivals from the Akbar political clan. 

Mujiv Hataman, former governor of the now-defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), won his bid for the province’s lone congressional seat.

His wife Sitti Dajalia Hattaman, former Anak Mindanao (Amin) party-list group, also won as mayor of the city of Isabela.

The two Hatamans enjoyed big leads over their rivals, based on partial and unofficial results as of 10:07 am on Tuesday, May 14.

Mujiv had 100,047 votes based on results from 76.64% of all polling precincts. He has an insurmountable lead over his rival Omar Akbar’s 22,734 votes. T

It’s especially a huge win for Sitti, who defeated longtime Isabela City Mayor Cherrylyn Akbar, widow of the late Akbar patriarch Wahab Akbar. 

Cherrylyn Akbar conceded defeat and congratulated Sitti in a statement. “The elections are over and the people have chosen. As a good warrior and a leader, I accept my defeat with humility and courage,” she said in a statement.

Sitti had 20,438 votes compared to Cherrylyn’s 14,251 votes, based on results from 80.85% of all polling precincts.

The victory of the Hataman couple came after January 2019, when they lost their campaign to persuade Isabela City residents to join the new autonomous region that replaced ARMM – the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). 

In the plebiscte vote in January, the Akbar political clan prevailed in making sure the city remains outside the jurisdiction of BARMM. The Catholic church in Isabela City backed the Akbars’ position on BARMM then. (READ: A tale of two cities: Why Catholics took opposing sides in Bangsamoro plebiscite)

Mujiv’s brother, reelectionist Basilan Governor Hadjiman Salliman, is so far leading over his closet rival Alfiyah Fernandez with 74.88% of the total votes. – 

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