MUSLIM leaders in Baguio City have denied the existence of a so called Sultanate of Baguio following the alleged recent enthronement of Sultan Bob Torres.
During a Muslim forum organized by Baguio City Police Office city director Senior Superintendent Ramil Saculles, National Commission for Filipino Muslim in Baguio representative Yasser Guru explained the practice of having a Sultanante in the country is only being done in the Muslim dominated areas of Sulu, Maguindanao, Tawi-Tawi, Basilian and Lanao Del Sur.
“The event was done in a private affair where the Muslim participants recognized Bob Torres as a Sultan. However, to officially declare someone as a Sultan, he must have a genealogy or birth right to attain it,” Guru said.
To avert the confusion, Saculles advised the Muslim community and its leaders to refrain from using the Sultanante of Baguio City.
“You can call them Sultan but avoid adding Baguio City because it might be a violation of the sacred tradition of Muslim Mindanao. It will send a negative interpretation to our Muslim brothers if you continue to propagate this,” Saculles said.
The denial came after a letter by the NCMF was sent to Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan on August 14 informing the city officials of the opposition by the Muslim community of the enthronement of a certain Andy Moran who allegedly introduced himself as an Assistant Secretary but has a questionable status.
Baguio City Councilor and Muslim Convert Benny Bomogao who was present during the forum stressed “based on our constitution, no title of nobility shall be enacted by Congress. It is for this reason why our government does not recognize a Sultanate in the City”.
“If we want to recognize someone as a Sultan because we love and respect him, then we can do so. But to say that there is a Sultanate of Baguio which majority of the Muslim community here does not recognize is not under our constitution,” Bomogao added.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on September 28, 2017.
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