Iligan, Lanao Sur personalities declare intent to run in 2022 polls

By : Mindanao Today/07:58:09am 10/01/2021


From left: Iligan City Rep. Frederick Siao, former congressman Vicente Belmonte Jr., and Marianito Alemania. (Bobby Lagsa | Mindanao Today)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - Political figures in Iligan City and Lanao del Sur have expressed their intent to run in next year’s local and national elections.
Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr. is seeking reelection for governor for the province while his son, Vice Gov. Mohammad Khalid Adiong also want a fresh term under the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrat (Lakas-CMD) while their local party is Sambatan ko Inged Ago Pagtao (SIAP) Party.

The Adiong’s lineup is set to file their Certificate of Candidacy on October 1, 2021. Their line-up was announced on September 27, 2021 in Marawi City, the capital of Lanao del Sur. This was confirmed by Zia Alonto Adiong to Rappler.

Adiong will be facing former Ambassador (Special Envoy for Islamic Affairs) Ameroddin “Abu Mohammad” Sarangani of local Ummah Party which is allied with Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

Sarangani is a well-known Islamic scholar who studied at Kuwait University and former Chairman of the power distribution Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative (Lasureco).

The incumbent vice governor will be facing Sultan Aleem Saad Ibrahim Amate of PDP-Laban. Amate is the national president of the United Imams of the Philippines Foundation.

Amate said that they are still waiting for the Commission on Election to decide which faction of the PDP-Laban to recognize.

“We are still waiting from which faction, whether the Cusi faction or the Manny Pacquiao faction,” he added.

Saate added that their local party Ummah Party is also in talks with the regional party United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP) for a coalition in Lanao del Sur. UBJP is the political party founded by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

For congress, the governor’s younger brother Ziaur-Rahman, also known as “Zia,” will run for the first district of the province.

The younger Adiong is currently a Member of the Parliament in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region-Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BARMM-BTA).

Zia will be facing Dr. Maula Fatani Abdul Malik, National President of Ulama and Imam of the Philippines Association.

For the second district, incumbent Congressman Yasser Balindong (Lakas-CMD), cousin of the Adiongs, is gunning for a second term.

Balindong is the son of former three-term Congressman Pangalian Balindong. He is also a former assemblyman of the now defunct ARMM Regional Legislative Assembly.

The congressman will be facing for the second time Farouk Macarambon Jr. (Nacionalista Party) who Balindong defeated in the 2019 election. Amate said that although Macarambon’s party is NP, they have adopted him for their line-up.

Macarambon is also a former assemblyman of ARMM RLA. He is a scion to one of the biggest construction firms in the Mindanao, Fiat Construction Services. He is a nephew of former Lanao del Sur Rep. Benasing Macarambon Jr. who was appointed as Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority board member by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Zia said that if Davao City Mayor Sara DuterteCarpio decides to run for president, they will be bringing her party to Lanao del Sur.

In 2019, The Adiong allied with the presidential daughter’s Hugpong Ng Pagbabago Party.

Meanwhile, in Iligan City. Rep. Frederick Siao is gunning for this city's top post while former Congressman Vicente Belmonte Jr. is running for congress under NP.

The announcement was made September 25, 2021.

Siao’s vice mayoral candidate is businessman Marianito Alemania, a hotelier, and owner of Madelicious Bakeshop, one of the largest chains of bakeries in the country.

Alemania owns a chain of hotels under his name. He also owns a budget hotel and midrise property rentals in Cebu City.

Alemania said that he is running for vice mayor, his second attempt to run in a political post.

“Iligan city has been kind to me, this is where I established myself, raised my family here, and started my business here in 1990,” Alemania said.

Alemania moved to Iligan City with almost nothing, “after I quit my job in Manila, I moved here and asked for a loan from my mama so I can start my first bakery here. That bakeshop now has 68 branches across the Philippines.”

Alemania could be facing incumbent City Councilor Ian Uy, himself a businessman.

Siao is in his second term as a representative while Belmonte is hoping for a fresh mandate after a six years absence in the political scene.

Belmonte's daughter Rosevi Queenie Belmonte is seeking reelection for city councilor.

Siao will be facing city Vice Mayor Jemar Vera Cruz, an inactive Catholic priest, while city Mayor Celso Regencia will be facing Belmonte.

Regencia is a retired police general who first ran for politics in 2013 to overwhelming votes.

Vera Cruz, former vicar general of Iligan City Diocese, was suspended by the Catholic Church for defying its order for priests not to enter politics.

Regencia and Belmonte have a storied intense political rivalry with Belmonte accusing Regencia of masterminding his December 7, 2014 ambush which killed three of his bodyguards.

Cases of multiple murder and attempted murder were filed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group against Regencia in 2014.

Belmonte is aiming for his fourth term as a congressman and said that his security is a concern as he has a pending case at the Supreme Court against Regencia.

“The case is not dead yet, we have filed a motion for reconsideration at the Supreme Court,” Belmonte said.

Siao also said that he decided to run for mayor as he sees that the city lacks leadership with the outgoing three-termer Regencia.

He added that he is pinning for Duterte-Carpio to run for president and will support her all the way.

“I believe in Sarah, she is young and she faces traditional politics head-on with her fresh brand of politics,” Siao said.

The Siao-Belmonte ticket is an alliance between Siao's Nacionalista Part and Velmonte's National Unity Party.

For city councilors are: Lawyer Betsy Zalsos, Simplicio Larrazabal III, Samuel Huertas,

Rene Orbe, Eric Capitan, lawyer Marlene Young, Mariza Go-Minaga, Rosevi Queenie Belmonte, Bernard Pacaña, Providencio Abragan Jr., Michelle Sweet, and Ramil Emborong.

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