Panay Sultanate awards peacemaker title to Army commanderBy Frances Mangosing
MANILA, Philippines—In Panay island, the man in uniform is also an advocate of peace.
The Commander of Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division was bestowed with the traditional title of “Masiricampo” or “peacemaker” by the Sultanate of Panay in a ceremony Saturday at the Capiz Gym in Roxas City for “keeping with the spirit of peace and order in the Island of Panay and the services he demonstrated to the Muslims.”
The title was conferred to Major General Jose Mabanta Jr. by Sultan Hadji Abdullah Topaan Disomimba, Mayor of Tamparan, Lanao del Sur and Sultan of Masiu and at the same time the Chairman of the 16 Royal House of Lanao in a ceremony for administrative officers of the Royal Sultanate of Panay.
Mabanta took over the command of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division in February.
Spokesman Major Enrico Ileto said the ceremony was the first sultanate event in the Island of Panay where the different sultans, datus, baes from the different places in the Province of Panay was formally crowned.
The activity was also attended by Sultans of the 16 Royal Houses of Lanao, Mayor Angel Alan Celino of Roxas City, Governor Victor Tanco of Capiz, Congressman Antonio del Rosario of the 1st District of Capiz, and Cipriano Querol Jr. Al-Haj, Sultan of Panay and Regional Director of Police Regional Office 6.
Ileto said the conferment of title as peacemaker is a “fitting tribute” not only to Mabanta but to the entire Philippine Army in general.
“It is how both Muslims and Christians perceive the Army today, as guardian of peace and the protector of the people’s rights,” he said.
The Sultanate of Panay is the latest addition to the 21 existing sultanates in the Philippines according to the Lanao Advisory Council. The 16 sultanates are in Lanao del Sur, three in Maguindanao, and one in Sulu.
There are about 10,000 Muslims in Panay.