‘Outlier’ Hataman won’t mind losing Deputy Speakership over beliefs

Published July 29, 2020, 1:17 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Basilan lone district Rep. Mujiv Hataman said Wednesday that he is fine with the possibility of the House leadership stripping him of his position as Deputy Speaker.

Rep. Mujiv Hataman

This, as Hataman acknowledged that he has recently gone “against the flow” with what his fellow Majority congressmen have voted for regarding several key issues.

On top of this, the former governor of the now-defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) have also made tweets about President Duterte’s recent State of the Nation Address (SoNA) that could be interpreted as critical.

“Wala tayong magawa, iyun ang posisyon natin (I can’t do anything about it, that’s my position),” Hataman told ANC’s Christian Esguerra. The anchor asked the solon whether or not he thought he was in “trouble” for going “against legislations espoused by the administration.”

Hataman was one of only 11 House members, and the sole Deputy Speaker, to vote against the junking of ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal application two weeks ago.

Last month, Hataman voted against the approval of the controversial Anti-Terrorism Bill, which he feared was potentially discriminatory against his fellow Muslims.

Asked if there are indications he would lose his Deputy Speakership, he said, “Well pagbalik ko (when I get back), I will talk with the Speaker kung ano ang policy nila (about what their policy is).”

“Well, ako, kahit ano. Ang importante naman sa akin, ang paninindigan ko. Hindi naman mahalaga sa akin kung ano yung title ko (Well as for me, I’m OK with anything. What’s important to me is my stance. My title isn’t important to me),” added the Basilan lawmaker.

Hataman was among the hundreds of lawmakers from both the House of Representatives and Senate who had to attend the President’s SONA last Monday remotely due to strict safety and health protocols.

He couldn’t help but raise the plight of Marawi City residents in his ensuing tweets.

“Sana binigyan na rin ng taning ang Marawi rehab katulad ng pagbibigay ng taning sa Smart and Globe. Sana unahin na muna natin ang Compensation Bill ng Marawi bago ang death penalty (I wish the Marawi rehab was given a deadline just like the deadline given to Smart and Globe. I wish we would prioritize the Marawi Compensation Bill before death penalty),” he wrote.

On May 23, 2017, an estimated 1,000 ISIS-inspired Maute Group terrorists occupied Marawi City in Lanao del Sur. It took the military and police five months to drive out the enemy with extensive shelling and bombing that left the Islamic city in ruins. 

Hataman had earlier called for a revamp in the leadership and management of Task Force Bangon Marawi as he cited the inefficiency in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the city three years after the 2017 siege.

There are 22 Deputy Speakers in the 18th Congress.