2022 Philippine Elections

Robredo clinches support of influential matriarch of 2 powerful Maranao clans

Froilan Gallardo
Robredo clinches support of influential matriarch of 2 powerful Maranao clans

WHEN IN MARAWI... Presidential bet Vice President Leni Robredo and her running mate Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan woo their supporters during a rally at Area 7 in Barangay Sagonsongan, Marawi City on Friday, April 1.

Froilan Gallardo/Rappler

Buadipuso-Buntong Mayor Camalodin Jamal Dadayan says, 'I wore a green t-shirt during the BBM rally but underneath, I was also wearing a pink t-shirt'

MARAWI CITY, Philippines – A day after presidential bet former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s rally in this predominantly Muslim city, his rival Vice President Leni Robredo came and clinched the support of powerful Maranao clans and their influential matriarch.

Robredo met with former Lanao del Sur governor Soraya Alonto Adiong, matriarch of the Alonto and Adiong clans in Ditsaan-ramain town on Friday morning, April 1. Many of Soraya’s relatives came for the meeting.

Soraya is the mother of Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal “Bombit” Adiong Jr., who promised Marcos on Thursday a big win in Lanao del Sur in the coming May 9 elections.

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Robredo is close to the Alonto-Adiong matriarch and has frequently visited the former governor.

Despite her son’s declaration of support for Marcos, many members of Soraya’s clans are with the former governor in supporting Robredo, including Bombit’s supporters who attended Marcos’ Thursday rally.

Mayor Camalodin Jamal Dadayan of Buadipuso-Buntong town, for instance, said he attended the Marcos rally out of respect to Bombit, but said he was for Robredo.

“Bombit is our leader, and so we came. I wore a green t-shirt during the BBM rally but underneath, I was also wearing a pink t-shirt,” Dadayan told reporters.

‘HUGOT’ LINES. Young supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo display their statements in posters at the rally in Area 7, Barangay Sagonsongan, Marawi City on Friday, April, 2022. – Froilan Gallardo/Rappler

Speaking to her supporters at a rally in Area 7, Barangay Sagonsong, Marawi, Robredo said she also met Taraka Vice Mayor Amenodin Sumagayan and 15 Lanao del Sur mayors who signified their support for her campaign in a hotel in Iligan City on Thursday night, March 31.

Robredo did not say exactly what they discussed in the meetings with the Alonto-Adiong matriarch, and Sumagayan’s group. 

Sumagayan, in an earlier interview, said his group, including over a dozen Lanao del Sur mayors, were behind Robredo in her campaign to become president, and Davao Mayor Sara Duterte’s vice presidential bid.

Sumagayan’s wife Nashiba is the mayor of Taraka town and a sister of Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra.

Governor Adiong, however, asserted that the majority of Lanao del Sur’s mayors, including Gandamra, were with him in supporting Marcos’ presidential bid. On Thursday, Adiong delivered on his promise and organized a rally that drew a crowd of thousands for Marcos’ group.

He also vowed to campaign for Marcos so that he would win the elections in Lanao del Sur.

Wearing a pink hijab, Robredo visited 37 weavers of the Bamboo Landers Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Buadipuso-Buntong town in Lanao del Sur on Friday.

At the rally in Area 7 in the village of Sagonsongan, Robredo, still wearing the hijab, greeted and wished Maranaos a happy Ramadan ahead of their month-long fasting.

She left Marawi City early to fly to Bohol where she was scheduled to have a rally in Tagbilaran City and Jagna town. – Rappler.com

Froilan Gallardo is a Mindanao-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship