Saturday, 09 June 2012 12:24
Isabela city, Basilan – PresidentialAdviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles said that ending more thana decade of bloody conflict between the political clans of the Hatamans and theAkbars is a big step towards lasting peace in this war-torn province.
The Hatamans and the Akbars, two of the mostinfluential families in the province, forged a peace pact on Tuesday.Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor in-charge Mujiv Hatamanand Basilan Gov. Jum Akbar led their respective families in signing the“covenant of solidarity for peace and development in Basilan” at the BasilanState College in this city.
Deles, along with Interior and LocalGovernment Secretary Jesse Robredo witnessed the historical pact.
In her speech, the peace adviser expressedappreciation and welcomed the gesture as very beneficial to the peace process.
“Peace cannot be won just on the negotiatingtables; it also has to be waged on the ground. Ito ay isang malaking hakbang nanagpapakitang ang mga namumuno sa atin ay may kakayahang umangat sa interesnilang personal at ng kanilang angkan para makatutok sa mas malawakang interesng mga mamamayan at para makapagtulak ng tunay na kapayapaan at kaunlaran parasa probinsiya (This is a big step which shows that those who lead us arecapable of going beyond their personal interests and that of their clans tofocus on the interests of the people and promote genuine peace and developmentin the province),” she said.
Robredo on the other hand challenged the5,000 people in attendance to live out the contents of the agreement.
“Wala pong saysay ang pagtitipong ito kungmauuwi lang sa isang papel. Lahat po tayo ay may obligasyon na ang ating iiwanay mas mahusay kesa sa ating dinatnan…mas tahimik sa ating inabutan (Thisgathering will be in vain if it will just remain on paper. We have anobligation to leave our people more capable and more peaceful than we havefound them.)
For his part, Hataman expressed hope thatthis event will help change the bad perception on Muslim culture and politicsin the region.
“Huwag po nating hayaang habang panahongmaging tingin ng nasa labas na ang Muslim ay hindi marunong mamuno at magpapakamatayat nagpapatayan dahil lamang sa kapangyarihan (Let us not allow outsiders toalways see Muslims as incapable of leading, and will die and kill each otheronly because of power),” he said.
“Baguhin natin ang politika ng mga Muslim.Hindi nagpapatayan bagkus ay nagmamahalan. Ipakita natin na ang pulitika ng mgaMuslim ay base sa kwalipikasyon at hindi base sa pera at sa kanilang mga armas(Let us change the politics of the Muslims. Show that we are not killing, butcaring for each other. Let us show that the politics of the Muslims is based onqualifications and not on money and arms),” Hataman added.
Also present in the event were Sulu Gov.Sakur Tan, Tawi-Tawi Gov. Sadikul Sahali, Lanao del Norte Gov. MamintalAlonto-Adiong, different mayors in Basilan and some ARMM cabinet officials.
The Akbars and Hatamans were political alliesuntil they parted ways in 2004 when they ran in different tickets.
In 2007, former Basilan Congressman WahabAkbar was killed in a blast in at the House of Representatives Complex inBatasan Pambansa, Quezon City. The Akbars suspected the Hatamans oforchestrating the murder and filed charges against then Anak Mindanao PartylistRepresentative Mujiv Hataman, his brother Jim Hataman and current BasilanRepresentative Gerry Salapuddin.
In 2010, Jum Akbar, widow of the late CongressmanWahab Akbar, won the election and defeated Mujiv Hataman and Salapuddin
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