|Sultan Firdausi Abbas, Ph.D.|
Sultan of Lanao Dr. Firdausi Abbas. Ll. B., Ph. D, led the successful first Bangsa Mranaw Congress held here last September 30 to October 1.
In his opening message, Abbas declared that the said Congress aims to unify the Mranaw people in the task of rebuilding Marawi City from the ruins brought about by the fighting between the Maute group and government forces since May 23, with the hope of making it a Shangrila.
He cited the virtues of the Mranaw and its excellence in various fields of human endeavor that make the people rise from whatever fall it may suffer.
He mentioned that the wars between the Spaniards, the Americans and the Japanese never destroyed Marawi and that it was only the recent armed conflict which leveled almost everything in Marawi to the ground.
He declared that the task ahead for the Bangsa Mranaw is a “Saga of Courage.”
During the first day, speakers like former Commissioner of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, Samira Gutoc-Tomawis expressed their sentiments concerning the fate of the Mranaw who are suffering in the evacuation centers and other places away from home and do not know when they could return to their homeland.
Atty. Benedicto R. Bacani, Executive Director of the Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) gave encouragement for the Mranao in their pursuit of self-determination.
Also present in the first day were His Majesty Sultan Muhammad Tuad A. Kiram I and His Royal Highness Prince Mezzeera A. Kiram, Crowned Prince of Sulu and Sabah.
Abbas told reporters that the aforementioned visitors came to express their sympathy to the cause of the Bangsa Mranaw.
On the second day, the Congress passed the resolutions proposed by the various sectors of the Maranao society.
Afterwards these resolutions will be submitted to the President and other concerned agencies of the government. Abbas said.
The Congress was conducted by an Executive Council composed of Abbas as Chairman, Sultan Nasrollah B. Conding – Vice Chairman, Sultan Mustapha G. Subair, Sultan Lomala Imam, Councilor Abdani T. Alonto, Atty. Dalidig Sumndad, Atty. Cairoden P. Marohom, Shohailoden S. Abdul Carim, Alim Saad Amate, Dean Masiding Noor Yahya, Nassim D. Saranggani, Alahida D. Guinal, Bai Jamila A. Tamano and Alinair A. Decampong – Members. (RSP)