By Ali G. Macabalang
Local royalties are set to enthrone this month a new sultan of Rajah Buayan — one of three major royal principalities in Maguindanao — in support of the Duterte administration’s current revival of the sultanates as potent partners in the campaign against organized crimes, especially illegal drugs and religious extremism.
This was confirmed over the weekend by relatives and supporters of the prospected Rajah Buayan sultan in their full preparations for a grand ceremony in this provincial capital town on April 9.
“It’s all set in time with the revival of sultanates or traditional leaderships as government partners in the campaign against organized crimes,” Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu told Manila Bulletin.
The governor was referring to the scheduled crowning of his uncle, Datu Kuso Mangudadatu, to assume the royal title left vacant upon the demise of the title holder 13 years ago.
The youngest among three male siblings, the 64-year old Datu Kuso will succeed his eldest brother, Datu Markay, who died at the age of 72 in 2004 while reigning as Sultan of Rajah Buayan.
Last February, royalties in Maguindanao together with Gov. Mangudadatu converged in the province and scheduled the crowning of Datu Kuso this coming April 9, the same date Sultan Markay was enthroned in 1994.