Tausug representation in Congress pushed PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 07 November 2015 12:57

The first Tausug Summit held in Zamboanga City October 31- November 1, 2015 and attended by 300 delegates from all sectors of the Tausug society from Sulu, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and the Zamboanga Peninsula touched on wide-ranging issues as introspection of the Tausug as a historic people vis-à-vis the current situation.

The discussions and deliberations were more on the passionate rhetoric on the glorious past of the Tausug bringing into fore the call for the restoration of the Sultanate.

As the keynote speaker for the Summit, Ms. Shernee A. Tan, president of the KusugTausug movement offered the most practical alternative and legally feasible option while awaiting resolution to issue (sultanate) raised at the summit.

Ms Tan, youngest daughter of Vice Governor Abdusakur M. Tan, in her speech said, “we are setting our eyes on a larger picture; that of our people who are scattered all over the Philippines, or toiling in foreign lands. They are inclusive to the humble efforts we are pursuing”.

Ms. Tan expounded further and cited old protocols and agreements documenting the territory of the Sulu Archipelago, in particular the Madrid Protocol of 1885 which sets territorial domain of sovereign Sulu.“The Archipelago of Sulu (Jolo), conformably to the definition contained in Article I of the treaty signed September 23rd, 1846, between the Spanish Government and the Sultan of Sulu, comprises all the islands which are found between the western extremity of the island of Mindanao on the one, and the continent of Borneo and the Island of Paragua on the other side, with the exception of those which are indicated in Article III. It is understood that the Islands of Balabac and of Cagayan-Jolo form part of the archipelago.” Paragua is the old name of Palawan.

“We are not out to reclaim the old territory and we recognize the present political and geographical delineation”, Ms Tan further said.

She said the KusugTausug, while recognizing any legal rights of any quarters, is more concern on the state and condition of the Tausug who are residing in many parts of the Philippines and toiling in foreign lands.

She said that while the Tausug is represented through the congressional districts of the component provinces of the ARMM or through their respective LGUs, they will have no half-way institutions to make representations for them when they are outside of particularized areas.

“Hindi po naming sinasabina ang mga lokal na pamahalaan na kanilang kinaroroonan ay hindi kayang ipagtanggol o ipaglabanan ang kanilang mga karapatan, subali’t higit pong mapagtuunan sila ng pansin if they have a representative of their own aside from the ones we mentioned, which are limited in scope,” she said.

In reply to questions in an open forum Ms Tan said that during the so-called Zamboanga Siege majority who were in the evacuation centers were Tausug and those who were in the local government, civic organizations and ordinary citizens in Sulu did their very best to send immediate assistance in any form and way possible to their brethren.

“Such a situation adds credence to the clamor that the Tausug should be represented and attended to wherever fortune may take them”, she said.