The news of the proclamation of Mar Roxas as Datu recently by the Lanao Sultanate was met with howl of protests from netizens particularly from our Muslim brothers.
The loudest voice of protest came from Norodin Lucman Alonto, a Islamic scholar, peacekeeper and member of an influential family who spent years as among the prime movers in the quest for peace in Mindanao who wrote:
This is the height of impropriety! I am a member of major Sultanates of Mindanao and Sulu and I am sworn to protect its dignity and honor. I will never grant that title to a proven Islamophobe. The Sultanates must condemn this treachery against the dignity of our forebears
On that note, one commenter questioned the circumstances how Mar Roxas won the title of a Datu.
What achievement Mar has done to the Mindanaoan people? Where are the educated Muslim brothers who give honor to this man? Were they paid? A person from another island or any individual cannot be given an honor without any contribution/ achievement for the people of Mindanao.
Alonto cannot help but agree with the observation of the netizen.
That should be the case. But money in this country can buy shortcuts to fame and criminality.
Another netizen laments how the awarding of titles of Datu or Bai has deteriorated through the years due to the influence of money.
It is regrettable that in our tribe our so called tribal leaders has been proclaiming some individuals to be Datu or bya for some monitory consideration kudos to you and to our Muslim brothers.
Norodin Lucman Alonto wrote that awarding a title of Datu requires the approval of the Sultanates of Mindanao and Sulu. In short, the title awarded to Mar Roxas is not legit, unless the Sultans give it a seal of approval. He then shared an anecdote during the time former President Cory Aquino to stress his point.
I remember one event in Zamboanga City where Pres. Cory Aquino and I are scheduled to speak about peace in Mindanao. The DILG Usec (I forgot his name) gave me a text or part of my speech where I will proclaim Pres. 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.” They were shocked including Sen. Drilon, another Islamophobe, who was there. 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 this country is obligated to protect and nurture this spirit that we inherited from our brave past.
Another commenter wrote in strongest terms to show his disapproval of the title awarded to Mar Roxas:
Mar Roxas is a KAFIR(non-believer)………….. he can never be one of us. he did not even perform the Shahada; does not believe in the 5 pillars of Islam; does not know how to make wudu nor does he know how to Sallah; Mar Roxas come from the lineage of the Spanish Aranetas who have blood debts from the Muslims. This is a disgrace to our Islamic Faith.
But here’s the comment that should make every Duterte supporter grinning from ear to ear.
If there is any one who deserve an honorary title as Datu or Sultan to any presidentiable it must justly be given only to Duterte as he has ascendancy to the title for being a claimant member of the Samporna clan of the Royal Sultanate of Momungan, Lanao del Norte or as his middle name suggest is from the Roroa Clan of Pantar, Lanao del Norte.
If there is any guy that should wrap this up, it is none other than Norodin Lucman Alonto when he wrote this,
The whole event was done at the wrong time, wrong place and for vastly questionable reasons. There was no closure on BBL, MOA AD, Mamasapano and Zamboanga Siege – traumatic events in the recent past that are attributed to Mar Roxas’ initiatives, real or imagined. The Bangsamoro people reacted adversely.