Moro ARMM execs sworn to office by Teduray chieftain PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 July 2016 12:04

Two Muslim regional executives were sworn to office Thursday by a Teduray chieftain in an event reminiscent of the life stories of the 14th century siblings Mamalo and Tabunaway.

From the bloodlines of the originally pagan Mamalo and Tabunaway sprung Central Mindanao’s present day Lumad and Moro genealogies.

The reelected Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, a Yakan, and his Maranaw deputy, now second-termer ARMM Vice Gov. Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman, read their oaths of office before Mayor Ramon Piang of North Upi town in Maguindanao in a symbolic rite held noontime Thursday inside the ARMM compound in Cotabato City.

Piang, a direct descendant of Mamalo, is a timuay (chieftain) in Central Mindanao’s ethnic non-Muslim Teduray community.

Hataman and Lucman, first elected to office in tandem on May 13, 2013, were reelected last May 9, 2016, defeating rivals with overwhelming vote leads.

Hataman said he will continue his reform initiatives meant to professionalize and streamline the ARMM bureaucracy.

The ARMM is the country’s most politically and administratively unique region, which has an executive department, under its Office of the Regional Governor, and a “little Congress,” the 24-member Regional Assembly.

The region has a constitutionally-mandated charter, the Republic Act 9054, encompassing Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, both in mainland Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Lucman, scion of the Maranaw royalty in Bayang town in Lanao del Sur, shed tears after having been sworn to office by Piang, for him a reminder of how Muslims and indigenous non-Moro highland folks are supposed to cooperate based on the historic mutuality pact between brothers Mamalo and Tabunaway.

Tabunaway got separated from Mamalo when he embraced Islam after a Malay-Arab missionary, Shariff Mohammad Kabunsuan from Johore, now an island state in Malaysia, arrived in what is now Cotabato City in the 14th century to spread his religion.

Mamalo, who decided to continue with their customary community norms, relocated to the highlands in Central Mindanao, where he and his followers established tribal enclaves.

The separation of Mamalo and the pagan-turned Muslim Tabunaway was sealed with a sacred pact binding them both to look after each other and to cooperate in protecting their clans from any third party aggression.

“We Maranaws are very conscious of our family history. We always look up to the history of our clans as a magnetic force binding us together and as a source of pride and honor,” Lucman said.

Hataman said the participation in their symbolic assumption to office of an ethnic Teduray mayor from North Upi town, homeland of ARMM’s Lumad people, was also to reaffirm his commitment to involve non-Muslims in regional governance.

“This administration is for ARMM’s `tri-people,’ not just for Muslims. It is for the Christians, the Muslims and the Lumad people all together,” Hataman said.

The ARMM government has appointive slots for deputy governors for Muslims and indigenous people, two positions providing political entitlement to the region’s Christian and highland communities.