Businessman and former Special Envoy to China, William J. Lima, vowed to bring glory back to the Sultanate of Sulu after he was conferred as Datu Al Jabar, which means the Restorer, Compeller, and Repairer, by His Royal Highness (HRH) Sultan Phugdalon Kiram II in a ceremony held at Acacia hotel in the city on Nov. 2, 2022.
One of the guests during the ceremony was Chinese Consul General Li Lin.
“I was born in Jolo, Sulu. That is why bringing up the glory in my hometown is so important that all of us should understand … not only bringing back the glory when I was with former Pres. Rodrigo Duterte as his envoy.
“We got a lot of support left and right. There’s going to be investment and development, and all of these things that will be brought to Jolo will definitely make progress with the area. We will surely make peace in the area because these are going to be emphasized in all of our work,” he said.
Lima, said the kind of business that they will be investing will be heavily on information and communication technology since they have problems with other telecommunications firms that could not provide stable internet connectivity.
He said schools are without internet. “Currently, we are going to use the satellite signal – and that’s the number one priority.”
Second, he said with the abundant of seafood in Sulu it would be an opportunity to trade with China.
“We can export seafood to China and send in people who have the technical know-how on how to grow good lobsters, crabs and even aquaculture,” he added.
He is also eyeing partnership with the Department of Education to establish better schools in the island.
“These are just part of the things that we will be bringing in but all of these will be made next year,” he added.
On Peace and Order
“I believe that peace and order is not a problem if people have jobs to do, if people are not hungry. As I understand, people seldom go to Jolo because they are all afraid,” Lima said.
“Let’s do something because I’m sure that peace and order will eventually be secured especially when we got good communication and technology. We can install a radar system to monitor the Jolo and Zamboanga channel and also know what things should be monitored above the sea,” he added.
When asked how the Sultanate of Sulu chooses a Datu, Princess Jazer Kiram, the daughter of His Royal Highness (HRH) Sultan Phugdalon Kiram II, explained that the title of Datu is given to a person not specifically from Sulu but who has helped the Sultanate of Sulu in general. Ambassador Lima is known for his advocacy of Sulu- China relations which also promotes the Sultanate of Sulu.
Princess Kiram said Lima has helped a lot in Mindanao and has businesses operating in General Santos City where there are many Tausug wherein those displaced in Sulu transferred to General Santos.
“Then he has done a lot in the name of the Sultanate of Sulu, more specifically with his advocacy on Sulu- China relations,” Princess Kiram said.
She said that they will expect the Ambassador to continue what he is doing and to bring some development to Sulu.
Ambassador Lima was given the title Datu Al Jabar because “Al Jabar” meant “Restorer” and the sultanate needs someone to bring back the glory days of Sulu.
There is a long history between prehistoric Philippines and China, especially on trade and diplomacy. Princess Kiram said it is only recently that Sulu is known to be a dangerous place.
William Lima was born on June 28, 1956 to John and Juana Lima in Jolo, Sulu. He was the 2nd Datu to be conferred the title under the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo.
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