Philippine Daily Inquirer
A plane ride breaks ice for rivals for ARMM gov
IT’S NOT all about politics for reelectionist Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Mujiv Hataman and rival Abdusakur Tan.
On Friday, Hataman and Tan, the vice governor of Sulu, were seen walking together at Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
They took the same plane from Zamboanga City.
“I was the last to board (the plane) and I heard someone call me RG (regional governor). When I checked, I saw Tan. I said hi and went to where he was seated,” Hataman said.
“We started talking. We agreed that whatever happened after the election, we would accept it. Then we started sharing ideas on how to improve our region. It feels good,” he added.
Tan admitted it would have been “very awkward” for him to ignore Hataman, especially when they were seated in the same row. “I called him, he acknowledged me and we started smiling,” he said. “It feels good,” Tan said. Tan also said he and Hataman agreed to accept the results of the May 9 election. “Whoever wins, we will accept,” he said. “We also agreed that whatever attacks we make during the campaign, these will be all political statements,” he said. Tan said the renewed friendship wasn’t just for show. Tan is a Tausug from Sulu, while Hataman is a Yakan from Basilan. Hataman calls the encounter “maturity.” “We are no longer thinking of what happened in the past. We think of how we can help our people,” he said. Hataman said they intended to keep the “renewed friendship” even after the elections. Tan said they also exchanged mobile numbers. “I hope we can be regular text mates,” he said.