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A Governor on track

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Sulu Governor Abdusakur M. Tan, in the Banner Headline of the August 29th Issue of Zamboanga Today, allegedly proposed for the abolition of the ARMM. The people of Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi especially the teachers group, must now come out as one voice in support of this courageous political leader who sides with his constituents when the going is rough. There was a time in his first term as Sulu Governor together with the Sulu 1st District Congressman Hussin U. Amin, raised millions as an initial solution to the problems of unpaid salaries of teachers. Amin is now the mayor of Jolo and may no longer be in a position to partner with Governor Tan on the problem, but if all our political leaders of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi can have the gumption, like Tan and Amin to sink and swim, so to speak, with the people, they can abolish the ARMM even tomorrow, and liberate their Ra-ayat from the ARMM-imposed injustices and genetic character of corruption.

But it is fair that we go by INDICATORS in supporting of the ARMM.

1.    The ARMM is a mere political palliative, and a buffer, pleasing to the eyes of the Muslim world, an autonomy that never was.

2.    It has only served as a breeding ground for MUNAFIQ’s, Massacre psychopants and pseudo Fer’awn reminiscent of Moses’ time.

3.    Sulu and Tawi-Tawi Teachers payroll-deducted premium contributions are lost to vultures in human form in the ARMM without being remitted to the GSIS.

4.    Retirement benefits are deducted in the hundreds of thousand pesos purportedly for unpaid loan balance which the Retirees had not contracted personally. Devoured again by vultures.

5.    A prominent Lady District Supervisor of Jolo, Sulu, applied for a 6-month salary loan but could only be approved for P2,000.00. Reason by the GSIS (another one office), no remittance.

6.    From these three provinces, it is easier to go to Manila than to Cotabato, seat of the ARMM, and less red tape.

Lest we be accused of fault-finding, let us cite the “Land Mark” achievement of the ARMM to give credit where it is due, and that is the life-long imposition of the P5.00 to P10.00 travel tax within the ARMM. But the constitutionally or legality of such levy is still open to question. It may be a good test case for enterprising legal practitioners.

Finally, Professor Nur Misuari, MNLF Chair, fought the government for 30 years, unscathed, signed peace accord, and became Governor of the ARMM. But after only 1 term as Governor he went to jail, then out under house arrest, later on out on bail, and ala boxing champion winning the bout by T.K.O. No rematch because the ARMM may finally be abolished.

Ahmad A. Sali, Al-Haj




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