MANILA, October 17 — Sultan Firdausi Ismail Yahya Abbas, Sultan of Lanao and Chairman of the Executive Council of the Bangsa Mranaw Congress (BMC) met last October 13, 2017 with officials of the European Union in Brussels, Belgium headed by Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific, after meeting the President of the State Parliament of Landstag in Dusseldorf, Germany and visiting the Bundestag, the upper chamber of the German Parliament the week before.
Sultan Abbas, who is the Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) headed the MNLF delegation.
He told the EU officials that despite the millions of Euros poured by them and after several years, the peace process is still ongoing and the conflict in Mindanao is still unresolved. “There must be something wrong,” Sultan Abbas told the EU.
He also told them about the tragedy in Marawi and lamented that not a single European Union country expressed sympathy or concern.
The tragedy, Abbas said, is not a political or governmental issue but a human concern – concern for more than 300,000 individuals rendered homeless, 20,000 in shelters in public schools and gymnasiums, 180,000 living outside the shelters without medical checkup, that 2 of every 10 have been diagnosed to have cholera, that so many have been diagnosed to have mental ailments, that 258 children have died, that 58 have died while in the shelter, that so many have been murdered, the homes looted and Marawi City reduced to a pile of ashes by the mortar shells from the howitzers and bombs dropped by the jet planes.
Abbas also condemned the USA, China, and Australia for offering to send troops to Marawi which Abbas called intervention and lambasted these countries “for their shameless adventurism and irresponsible and contemptible actuations which would be a magnet for foreign fighters to fight and create another Beirut in Asia.” When they will begin to send their soldiers home in bags then they will know how Mranaws fight as they fought the Americans before who had to invent the Cal. 45 to stop an attacking Mranaw which did not work, Abbas said.
Director Gunnar thanked Sultan Abbas for his honest, direct and very vivid presentation. That same day the EU officials met and decided to visit Marawi this January though some wanted to go next month and may give financial assistance according to one of the officials.
A renowned brilliant lawyer, a Senior Professorial Lecturer at the Graduate School in U.P. Diliman, being a Ph. D. holder and a member of the Phi Kappa Phi International Honor Society aside from his traditional title and leadership among the MNLF as well as being a Commissioner of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), Sultan Abbas commands tremendous respect from the Bangsa Moro.
The BMC, he said, will assist the EU officials when they come. He said that as Chairman, he will convene the 2nd BMC but the other officers of the BMC shall be determined in the elections which will be held. Presently he is the only active officer. The other officers he said will be elected pursuant to the Constitution and By-Laws which the BMC will pass and approve. Only the participants in the first Congress who will be issued IDs can vote.
Sultan Abbas will proceed to the Hague at the Netherlands which is the venue of the International Criminal Court. (MNY/RSP)