The Authorities and Customary Practices of the
Buayan Sultanates in the Philippines
ABSTRACT:The Raja Buayan tribe was formally, as KILIMAN or genealogy recorded, organized sometimes in 1300s following the coming of the early batch of sharif preachers in Mindanao and Sulu, hundred years before the arrival of Sharif Mohammad Kabungsuan at the mouth of the Pulangi (Rio Grande de Mindanao) river. Along with the Hindus, Arab preachers were traders from Asian region like the Malays, Chinese, and others. The interplay of this various practices from intermarriage to governance, led to the birth of the RAJA BUAYAN, a kind of government to which the people render their allegiance and loyalty involving all their transaction from the religion to polity (Sultan Judge Datukaka P. Camsa, 2009). With this context, this study explored and gave in-depth information and knowledge on the customary practice of practices and authorities of the Sultans/Rajahs/Datus in conflict resolution towards peace building of Buayan Sultanates of the municipalities of Second Congressional District of Maguindanao (ARMM) and Municipalities of Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, and Sarangani Provinces in Region XII. This study used phenomenological methods of research, a total of 82 (9 Sultans/Rajahs/Datus and 73 Followers) subjects and respondents were involved. Result indicated that majority of the ruler were at the age bracket of 60-69 while the followers are quite younger from 40-49 years old, with one wife and composed of 5 to 9 family members. On their educational attainment, most of the ruler finished master’s degree while the followers were elementary graduate. However, in Arabic schooling, all the rulers were not able to attend while the followers reached graduate level; rulers were earning 80,000 and above per month from the government while followers earn only less than 20,000. On land ownership, rulers possessed 45 hectares or more while the followers owned 5 to 14 hectares only. Furthermore, Sultans, Rajahs, and Datus are influential traditional leader and authority influencing their constituents. Meanwhile, on the marriage aspect, parental arrangement is no longer practice on divorce customary practice and law is still practice through the use of “atulan”. On the geographical conflict, majority implemented prescribed laws and Shari’ah laws on social relationships, blood-money was considered as the most effective technique in resolving rido (clan/family conflict). On the extent of Sultanate authorities in peace building development, it was found to be moderately recognized by the Sultans, Rajahs, and Datus. Moreover, the issues and problems of the Sultanate leadership are on geographical boundaries and their ultimate need is to have unity. Thus, the Sultans, Rajahs, and Datus should be recognized as a regular officer of the state. They should be treated and respected in a manner that makes them know and feel that they are part of the government. They should be assured of their position and should then be held responsible for peace and order in the datuship.