Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr., his son, brother, and cousin moved to tighten their grip on local politics as a group of imams and an Islamic scholar organized to challenge their leadership in the province.
Governor Adiong announced on Tuesday, September 27, that he would seek reelection along with his son, Vice Governor Mohammad Khalid “Mujam” Adiong, under the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) and Sambatan ko Inged Ago Pagtao coalition.
The governor’s brother, Ziaur-Rahman “Zia” Adiong, will run for congressman in Lanao del Sur’s 1st District, a position currently held by their sibling, Ansaruddin Abdul Malik Adiong, who is on his third and final term.
Zia, the youngest of the Adiong brothers, is a member of Parliament in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao-Bangsamoro Transition Authority.
Lanao del Sur 2nd District Representative Yasser Alonto Balindong, their cousin, will seek a second term under the same party.
Balindong is a former assemblyman of the now-defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Regional Legislative Assembly, and his father Pangalian is a former three-term congressman.
Governor Adiong said he and other members of his ticket would file their certificates of candidacy on Friday, October 1.
The governor would be facing a challenger in former special envoy for Islamic affairs Ameroddin Sarangani of the Ummah Party, which has allied with the ruling Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
Sarangani, a respected Islamic scholar who studied at Kuwait University and a former chairman of the Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative, has picked PDP-Laban’s Aleem Saad Ibrahim Amate, the national president of the United Imams of the Philippines Foundation, as his running mate.
Amate, however, said his group was waiting for the Commission on Elections to decide on the petition filed by a group led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi that seeks to declare as “illegitimate” the PDP-Laban faction led by senators Manny Pacquiao and Aquilino Pimentel III.
Amate said the Ummah Party was in talks with the United Bangsamoro Justice Party for a coalition in Lanao del Sur. The UBJP is the political party founded by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front whose leaders now dominate the BARMM.
The Ummah Party would be fielding Maula Fatani Abdul Malik, national president of the Ulama and Imam of the Philippines Association, against Zia Adiong in Lanao’s first congressional district.
The group would also field Farouk Macarambon Jr. against Balindong in the 2nd District. Balindong defeated Macarambon in the 2019 elections.
Macarambon is a member of the Aksyon Demokratiko but was adopted by the Ummah Party as a guest candidate.
Macarambon, also a former assemblyman of the ARMM-RLA, is a scion of another political family that owns one of the biggest construction firms in Mindanao, Fiat Construction Services.
He is a nephew of former Lanao del Sur representative Benasing Macarambon Jr., now a member of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority board. – Rappler.com