HomeFront PageThe Alonto-Adiong clan of Lanao del Sur: A political dynasty in transition?

The Alonto-Adiong clan of Lanao del Sur: A political dynasty in transition?

By Divina M. Suson 

MARAWI CITY — On October 1, 2021, former Lanao del Sur provincial spokesperson of the Marawi siege has filed his certificate of candidacy (CoC) to the provincial Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to seek election for congress in the first district of Lanao del Sur in the 2022 national and local elections.

Ziaur-Rahman “Zia” Alonto Adiong, an incumbent member of the Bangsamoro parliament, filed his CoC along with his elder brother, incumbent Gov. Mamintal Adiong, Jr., who is seeking reelection and Mamintal’s son Mohammad Khalid, who is also seeking reelection as vice governor.

Zia, the Deputy Speaker of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, is the co-author of the Bangsamoro’s Education Code, Civil Service Code and the Administrative Code. He authors the Oxygen Buffer Stock Code of 2021.

If he will be elected, Zia will replace his other elder sibling, Ansaruddin Abdul Malik, who is in his last term.

The Adiongs’ cousin, Lanao del Sur 2nd District Representative Yasser Alonto Balindong also filed his CoC for reelection.

If he wins, Zia said he will push forward the completion of Marawi rehabilitation and the compensation bill.

“It is now under the committee deliberation in the senate. We are happy with the movement on how the Marawi compensation bill is being pushed. Even after Marawi compensation bill will be enacted soon, hoping it will, then we also need to make sure that the Marawi rebuilding and rehabilitation will not only limited to providing assistance families whose houses have been damaged,” Zia said.

He added they also need to institutionalize interventions to make sure that those who have lost their homes and businesses will be included as part of the package to be provided with assistance.

Zia said he will also make sure that the National Power Corporation (NPC) will  energize more the province of Lanao del Sur and Marawi City.
At present, the NPC is only giving the provice 24 megawatts when their power need is more than 40 to be able to stimulate their own economy in the province, according to Adiong.

“We need energy and that’s the irony because we supply the energy and yet we are getting less that what we need. There has to be somebody there in congress to push forward to require NPC to provide us the enough megawatts to be able to be economically reliant,” Adiong said.

The Adiongs’ local party, Sambatan ko Inged Ago Pagtao (SIAP), will coalesce with the LAKAS Christian-Muslim Democrat (LAKAS CMD) in the national level and will campaign for Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio should she decide to run for president. Duterte-Carpio, however, opted to run for vice president.

Adiong said they will adhere to the decision of LAKAS CMD to support the presidential daughter because Duterte, being a Mindanaoan, has been associated with the national officials of the party.

“LAKAS CMD having to praise the idea of uniting Muslims and Christians Democrats and Sara being a Mindanaoan herself, having to live with the community where Muslims and Christians, I believe that is part of why LAKAS endorses her as standard bearer as president,” Adiong said.

The group, however, will support senatoriables whose platforms will include the completion of Marawi rehabilitation and rebuild.

The 2022 elections
In the upcoming 2022 elections, Lanao del Sur will see the extraordinary flexing of the Alonto-Adiong clan’s political muscle: the main contenders for key electoral seats all belong to the family.

In the municipality levels, for example, although only few are running in 2022 elections related by blood to the Adiongs but most of them are related by consanguinity. Example, in Butig town, incumbent Mayor Dimnatang Pansar, who is seeking for reelection for his last term, has his son, Bin Khalifa, running for vice mayor. The younger Pansar is married to Mamintal’s daughter.

In Ditsaan-Ramain town however, Mamintal’s brother, Ansaruddin Abdul Malik, is running for mayor against his cousin, Saidamen Adiong, the incumbent mayor. Ansaruddin is the incumbent congressman of the first district.

On July 2021, Mamintal, as provincial chairman of Ompia Party and Mujam, as chairman of Siap ko Inged Ago Pagtao (SIAP) Party, have formed alliance for the 2022 elections and agreed to rally together for Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to run for president. Duterte-Carpio, however filed her certificate of candidacy to run for vice president. 

This is a first in the province’s history; it was not even possible for a single clan or family to control these seats in the long reign of the warlord Ali Dimaporo as governor of the province during Martial Law.

But one interesting twist in this political clan’s recent history: it had thrown all-out support behind the Bangsamoro transition process that could, in the near future, clip the power of dynastic politicians. For the 2022 polls, the Alonto-Adiong bets are also candidates of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP), the electoral arm of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Political history
Mamintal, the present provincial governor in Lanao del Sur, was born to a powerful political family and so was raised in local Lanao del Sur politics. He is the eldest son of former Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong, Sr. and Bae Soraya Alonto-Adiong.

Mamital’s brothers, Ansaruddin, is former Regional Acting Governor and Zia, is former First District Assemblyman of the now defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Their father was largely credited for the landslide victory of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her slate in the 2004 elections.

Mamintal started his career in local governance in 1996 as an appointed board member, and was elected to the same position in 1998. In 2001, he went on to become the province’s sports officer (starting in 2001) and concurrently appointed as the provincial administrator of Lanao del Sur by his father, the Governor of the province during that time. But on 2004, weeks after the 2004 Philippines elections, his father died from cardiac arrest. In 2003, he assumed the OIC provincial engineer position. His stint in the private sector, as Chief Executive Officer of the MMA Construction and Development Corp., earned him a standing in the business community, and his involvement in the ARMM Social Fund Project enhanced his credentials in public service.

Two years after his father’s death, on 2006 Mamintal was named as member of the government panel’s Coordinating Committee on Cessation of Hostilities, representing the business community of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao-Social Fund Project (ARMM-SFP).

Aiming to continue his father’s legacy, he and his running mate former Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) ARMM Regional Secretary Datu RPK Arsad Marohombsar won the 2007 elections as the governor and vice governor of the province against the tandem of Marawi City Mayor Solitario Ali and Assemblyman Jamil Lucman, Lanao del Sur 2nd District Congressman Benasing Jun Macarambon and incumbent Vice Governor Monera Dimakuta-Macabangon, and incumbent Lanao del Sur Gov. Aleem Bashier Manalao of the Ompia Party. 

In 2010 elections, Mamintal was re-elected as the governor against his nemesis, former Marawi City Mayor Solitario Ali.

On 2016, he was elected as vice-governor and was succeeded by his mother, Soraya Alonto Adiong as governor of the province of Lanao del Sur. 

The future with the BARMM

With the suspension of the elections in the Bangsamoro Region in 2022 and extend, instead, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the Adiongs forged alliance with the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP).

The Adiong’s 2022 ambitions against the backdrop of the Bangsamoro transition wherein the MILF will continue to be in the driver’s seat of the interim government until 2025.

Lanao del Sur is the second most populous province (next to Maguindanao) of the Bangsamoro Region. 

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