Maranaw leader slams Roxas title as ‘datu’
DAVAO CITY – A Maranaw leader, who descended from the royalties of Ramain and Bayang towns in Lanao del Sur, on Wednesday, decried the conferment of the honorary title of datu to Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas.
Norodin Alonto Lucman, a son of the late Lanao del Sur Representative Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman and former Lanao del Sur governor Princess Tarhata Alonto, took to Facebook to condemn the making of Roxas as an honorary datu, which he branded “the height of impropriety.”
He also urged members of the Mindanao royal houses to “condemn the act of the Sultanate of Lanao” to enthrone Roxas, whom he described as an “Islamaphobe.”
“I will never grant that title to a proven Islamophobe. The Sultanates must condemn this treachery against the dignity of our forebears,” Lucman said.
Lucman, a grandson of former Senator Alauya Alonto, said the action of the Sultanate of Lanao was also a clear disrespect for the sultanates of Maguindanao and Sulu.
He cited the case of former President Corazon Aquino, who was once pushed to be conferred with the title of Bai a Labi (principal princess).
“I remember one event in Zamboanga City where President Cory Aquino and I were scheduled to speak about peace in Mindanao. The DILG undersecretary (I forgot his name) gave me a text or part of my speech where I will proclaim President Cory Aquino as Bai a Labi. I said no. We don’t give away noble titles without the concurrence of the Sultanates of Mindanao and Sulu,” Lucman said.
He said Aquino’s men were shocked, including Senator Franklin Drilon, who was at the event.
“So they have to change the speech of the president. Better shocked than me insulting my heritage, the last relic of our culture that defines our nationality, which was never conquered by the Spaniards and Americans. Every Muslim in this country is obligated to protect and nurture this spirit that we inherited from our brave past,” Lucman added.
Maranaws following Lucman’s posts had sided with him.
Salem Rangiris said he wished that those who conferred Roxas the title would suffer the wrath of the spirits for insulting the people of Lanao.
Other Facebook users reacting to Lucman’s post said they doubted if the so-called members of the Sultanate of Lanao were indeed royals or just commoners without regard to the cultural heritage and history of the Maranaws.
“If you did not come from a royal blood then you have no right to become a datu,” Pangundatu Malik said.
The royals of Lanao trace their ancestry to Shariff Laut Buisan, the sixth sultan of Maguindanao. Accounts said that the children of Gayang, Buisan’s daughter with his third wife, bore children who reigned over Lanao while her brother, Muhammad Dipatuan Kudarat, became the seventh Sultan of Maguindanao. SFM
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