COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Philippine Daily Inquirer/02 July) — Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has organized his new Cabinet, saying his official family is composed of public servants who deserve to hold the “trust and confidence” of the people and have the necessary “competence” for their jobs.


Hataman said he was able to organize his Cabinet by forming a screening and selection committee that filtered applications — the same thing he did when he was tapped by President Aquino as ARMM caretaker governor.


The former Anak Mindanaw lawmaker said he was assisted by the Development Academy of the Philippines in the selection of applicants to various key positions.


“This, among other factors, eased up the inherent pressure from political accommodation to an appointing authority,” he said.


At least five secretaries from his days as caretaker governor had been retained in their posts on the bases of their contributions to the accomplishments of the caretaker government, particularly the trimming down of the bloated regional payroll and the discovery of ghost projects.


They were Emil Sadain of the regional Department of Public Works and Highways; Jamar Kulayan of the Department of Education; Kahal Kedtag of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Maritess Maguindra of the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAF); and Kadil Sinolinding of the Department of Health.


Hataman also retained lawyer Ishak Mastura as director of the ARMM’s Board of Investments and named Amir Mawallil as director of the Bureau of Public Information.


The new appointees were Anwar Malang as secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government; Myra Alih for the Department of Science and Technology; and Sakiran Hajan for the Department of Trade and Industry.


Hataman said ARMM Vice Governor-elect Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman has been tapped to temporarily serve in concurrent capacities as secretary for the Department of Agrarian Reform and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, pending the search for and appointment of permanent secretaries for the two regional departments.


Hataman said he told his Cabinet that “we want tangible results and that they should work hard toward the general welfare of the Bangsamoro and the new political entity that will eventually be replacing the ARMM.” -- Charlie Señase/Philippine Daily Inquirer

Photo: ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman (file)