By Ali G. Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – Leaders of the Adiong and Alonto clans have sustained dominance in the political landscape of Lanao del Sur after posting a clear sweep in the gubernatorial, vice gubernatorial, congressional and mayoral races in the May 9 elections.
Victors from the two political families are led by incumbent Governor Mamintal “Bombit” Alonto-Adiong Jr., who won reelection with a wide lead of more than 200,000 votes over nine rivals in the 2022 gubernatorial contest.
Bombit’s son, incumbent Vice Governor Mohammad Khalid aka Mujam also won reelection with equally huge votes-lead in the recent vice gubernatorial race. In fact, the son gathered more votes than the father.
The governor’s younger brother Ansaruddin “Hooky” Alonto-Adiong would exit from a three-term reign as first district representative to the lower Congress but got elected on May 9 as mayor in our hometown of Ditsaan-Ramain.
Another younger brother, Ziaur-Rahman “Zia” Alonto-Adiong opted to leave his appointive slot in the Parliament of the Bangsamoro autonomous governance and run for the Congressional post to be vacated by Rep. Hooky. He won with equally huge votes-lead of more than 150,000 over his closest rival in their four-cornered race.
The governor’s cousin, incumbent 2nd District Rep. Yasser Alonto-Balindong, also won reelection in his tightly fought rematch with fellow former ARMM Assemblyman Froxy Macarambon in the four-cornered Congressional contest.
The uncle of Bombit, Hooky and Zia – incumbent Marantao Mayor Akira Alonto also won reelection in a rematch with former Mayor Mohammad-Ali Abinal.
The electoral victories of the Alonto-Adiong families also came with the triumphs of their allies across Lanao del Sur, practically in all mayoral contests in the province’s 39 towns and in Marawi City.
In his post-election message, Gov. Bombit expressed gratitude to his constituents, notably the registered voters who elected him once as board member, once as vice governor and four times as governor.
He pledged to pursue his massive campaign to implement more infrastructure projects, notably road opening and concreting that achieved an unprecedented feat and, thus, earned him continuing electoral triumphs in more than two decades.
The adiongs’ reins had not only provided concrete roads’ links to other neighboring provinces but also broke the age-old isolation of Wao town from Marawi City. For decades, the people of Wao had to travel four provinces and at least five cities to be able to reach the city, the provincial government seat.
Their victories in the recent elections came shortly after President Duterte signed into law the Marawi Compensation Bill, which Rep. Hooky co-authored in the House of Representatives and lobbied for adoption in the Senate.
In a separate post-election message, Congressman-elect Zia Alonto-Adiong also thanked his district’s electorate for their support in the recent polls, even as he vowed to amplify the Bangsamoro voice in Congress.
Zia has earned substantial experience in legislation being a three-term member of the defunct regional legislature of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
For his introduction of several bills that turned into regional laws in the ARMM legislature, President Duterte named him a member of the interim Parliament of the Bangsamoro autonomous government. Still, Zia continued to author bills enacted into edicts with utmost eloquence in explaining them during committee and plenary deliberations.
Gov. Bombit has so far replicated the undisputed election record of his father, the late former governor-Congressman Mamintal Adiong Sr. The father lost in his three-time bids for Congressman and twice for governor until his demise in July 2004. (AGM)