In Basilan, Akbars out, more Hatamans in

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 15 May) – Akbars out, more Hatamans in.

Basilan Governor Jim Hataman-Salliman won a second term, his brother Mujiv Hataman won the seat for the lone district of Basilan while Mujiv’s wife, Sitti Djalia, is now the new city mayor of Isabela, partial unofficial results from the Commission on Elections show.

In Lamitan City, the Furigay couple Rosita and Roderick won even before election day. Both ran unopposed for mayor and vice mayor. Roderick was the first mayor of Lamitan as a city. He was elected mayor in 2004 and served for three terms until 2013. Rosita won a third term. The Furigays had previously served Lamitan when it was still a municipality.

Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman, incoming mayor of Isabela City in Basilan. Photo from Ms Hataman’s FB page

Lamitan City was among four cities in Mindanao (out of 33) where Duterte lost in the Presidential elections of 2016. The couple ran under President Duterte’s Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP) in the 2019 polls.

In Isabela City, Cherrylyn Santos-Akbar (PDP) who was mayor for three terms from 2007 to 2016, failed in her bid for a comeback in 2019. She conceded defeat to former Anak Mindanaw party list Representative Sitti Djalia Hataman of the Liberal Party (LP).

As of the 8:26 a.m. partial, unofficial results from the Commission on Elections posted by ABS-CBN’s Halalan 2019, with 92 of 94 election returns or 97.87% of the votes, Sitti Djalia got 25,835 votes against Akbar’s 18,084.

Addressing Akbar in her Facebook post on Tuesday morning, Sitti Djalia, said that on behalf of the people of Isabela, “I humbly accept your concession, and offer too in return, our hand in peace.”

“In an exercise of democracy, it is the people who either win or lose with the choices they make. I accepted the call to join this exercise as a choice for the people, and never as an opponent to anyone. I repeatedly emphasized, it was not a race between us, between our families, or between our supporters, but a right and responsibility the people must fulfill,” she said.

“Rest assured that with the people, we will build on the gains of the current, your and the previous leaders of Isabela City. With full trust in God’s guidance, we shall strive to make this beloved city of ours a living symbol of peace and progress, and our people a living proof of an empowered, united and responsive citizenry,” Sitti Djalia added.

The Akbars were in power starting in 1998 when Wahab Akbar won as governor. He served for three terms until 2007. That same year, he was elected Representative of Basilan’s lone district, while wife Jum, was elected governor and his other wife, Cherrylyn as mayor of Isabela City.

Akbar was killed in an explosion outside the south wing of the Batasang Pambansa on November 13, 2007.

Jum served as governor from 2007 to 2016 and moved to the House of Representatives in 2016. She passed away on November 11, 2016.

Cherrylyn served as mayor from 2007 to 2016. Jum’s son, Al Qaid was elected mayor in 2016.

The Hatamans – Mujiv, his wife Sitti Djalia, and brother Jim – are all former members of Congress, Mujiv and Sitti Djalia representing Anak Mindanaw partylist – Mujiv from 2001 to 2010, and Sitti Djalia from June 30, 2013 until she resigned in early October 2017 to focus on community work. Jim was elected Basilan’s lone representative to Congress in 2010 and was reelected in 2013.

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman delivers his last State of the Region Address on 19 December 2018. Photo courtesy of the ARMM Bureau of Public Information

Jim, who ran under the PDP, is ending his first term as Governor, Mujiv served as OIC Governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) from December 2001 to June 30, 2013 and was elected Governor in 2013 and reelected in 2016.

With 97.87% of the election returns in, Jim, who served as mayor of Sumisip town from 2001 to 2004, garnered 77,042 votes against 72,327 votes for Lakas’ Alfiya Hernandez while Mujiv won 116,683 votes against the 27,817 votes of KDP’s Omar Akbar with. Omar is a nephew of Jum.

In Sumisip, Mayor Gulam Hataman (PDP), the sibling of Mujiv and Jim, won the vice mayoralty race while his son, Vice Mayor Adnan Salliman Hataman (PDP) was elected mayor. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)