Mourning the death of ‘one of the heroes’ of Mindanao peace process

The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) has recently lost a member.

Atty.  Abdul M. Dataya succumbed to a heart ailment at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Davao Doctors’ Hospital in Davao City on July 9, 2019.  

Dataya was a member of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) and chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front - Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (MILF-AHJAG).

He was the Provincial Executive Officer of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP) in Maguindanao.

After having been admitted to the Philippine Bar on March 9, 1971, he worked as the Regional Director of the Regional Anti-Smuggling Action Center (RASAC), Region XI and later as the Regional Director of the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau (EIIB), Region XII.

When he retired from the government service, he served the office of the erstwhile chairman of the MILF, Ustaz Salamat Hashim, in various capacities.

As chairman of the MILF-AHJAG, Dataya played a vital role in the peace process between the government and the MILF.

General Carlito Galvez Jr., the secretary of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) referred to Dataya as ‘one of the heroes’ of Mindanao peace process.

Galvez, in a statement, said:

“On behalf of the men and women of the Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), it is with deepest sorrow that we learn of the passing of BTA member and MILF-AHJAG Chair Atty. Abdul Dataya, whom I considered as one of the heroes of the peace process in Mindanao.”

“And even with his fragile health, Atty. Dataya continues to contribute as a member of the BTA to ensure that the Bangsamoro people will have a smooth transition period in the newly-established Bangsamoro regional government,” Galvez said.

The Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG), in its message, described Dataya as “up to the end, a revolutionary.”

The IAG said:

“The IAG grieves the demise of Atty. Abdul Dataya, BTA member and partner in promoting party-based politics. We were shocked to receive the news during the BTA training that he was scheduled to attend. He is up to the end, a revolutionary, pushing his ideals in a democratic setting.”

O Almighty Allah, we pray that You forgive and have mercy upon Atty. Abdul M. Dataya. Excuse him and pardon him. Admit him into the Jannat ul-Firdaus (Paradise), and protect him from the punishment of the grave and the torment of the hellfire.’