1st of three parts
DAVAO CITY (MindaNews /11 July) – Across 27 provinces, 33 cities and 60 congressional districts of Mindanao, it became business as usual in the first full week of the “new” administration (2022 to 2025) from July 4 to 8. first week simple start of another three -year term for governor, city mayor, congressional representative or their spouse, wife, son, brother, sister, mother or father. For workers dependent on political dynasties, continuity of employment was guaranteed, at least another three years, or as long as the members of the dynasty were in power.
There was almost no change in the guards last week, except in some places like Surigao del Norte, where a member of a political dynasty was defeated by a member of a dynasty it first overthrew or in North Cotabato and Dinagat Islands where The “dynasty slayers” in 2019 lost their reelection bid to the dynasty member or dynasty-backed candidate.
From the first elections during the post-Marcos dictatorship-1987 for Congress and 1988 for local positions-until the end of its current term on June 30, 2025, MindaNews research showed that a political dynasty would rule as Governor. of the province for 33 years (Dimaporos of Lanao del Norte), three for 27 years (Amantes of Agusan del Norte, Romualdos of Camiguin, Mangudadatus of Sultan Kudarat); one political dynasty will rule as City Mayor for 34 years (Dutertes of Davao), another for 27 years (Uys of Dipolog), and two for 21 years (Jalosjos of Dapitan and Furigays of Lamitan); and four political dynasties will rule uninterruptedly in their congressional districts, as Representatives for 12 terms or 38 years (Zubiris of the third district of Bukidnon, Romualdos of the lone district of Camiguin, Bautistas of Davao Occidental and the Almarios of Davao Oriental).
Like the rest of the country, the post-Marcos dictatorship or post-EDSA political landscape in Mindanao over the past four decades has seen death and resurrection, and the rise as well as expansion of political dynasties. The 1987 Constitution prohibits political dynasties to ensure “equal access to opportunities for public service” but no anti-dynasty law has been passed by the dynasty-led Congress.
Dr. Ronald Mendoza, Dean of the School of Government of the University of Ateneo de Manila, defined the political dynasty as “a family that has successfully retained political power by maintaining control over one or several elective positions over successive generations.”
Mendoza described the dynasties as “skinny” and “fat.”
Thin dynasties, he said, refer to members who succeed each other in office while fat dynasties refer to those with more than two clan members simultaneously holding public positions.
Mendoza pointed out that based on the data they gathered on the winners of the 2019 elections, “fat dynasties continue to expand and many have become obese.”
The results of the 2022 elections in Mindanao show that 23 of the 27 governors, 49 of the 60 representatives and 17 of the 33 mayors of the city are members of dynasties.
In dynasty -dominated Mindanao, the dominant dynasties are fat and obese.
Across the 27 provinces of Mindanao, the Dimaporo political dynasty, the longest surviving political dynasty in Mindanao (since 1949), was also the longest surviving ruling family during the post-Marcos dictatorship since 1986. Removed the dynasty – at least for a moment – when the officers were replaced by the OICs in 1986. From 1992 – or a total of 33 years to 2025 – no one else knew Lanao del Norte but the Dimaporos – from Abdullah son of Mohammad Ali Dimaporo , to Abdullah’s wife Imelda Quibranza, their son Mohammad Khalid and returned to Imelda. The patriarch, Ali, was the second Governor of the province – from 1960 to 1965.
The Dimaporo, however, are not alone in the executive branch.
Ali and his son Abdullah successfully returned to politics in the first congressional election after EDSA in 1987 – Abdullah as the representative of the second district in Lanao del Norte and Ali in the second district of Lanao del Sur.
Abdullah served only two terms as Governor of Lanao del Norte but seven terms – or 23 years – number 2nd District representative (1987 to 1992, 2001 to 2010 and 2013 to 2022). Another eight years – as Assemblyman representing Lanao del Norte in the Provisional National Assembly from 1978 to 1984 and in the Regular National Assembly from 1984 to 1986.
Dimaporo and Quibranza
Since 2010, the first and second congressional districts of Lanao del Norte have been represented by the Dimaporo couple and their children Mohammad Khalid (who also served as Governor from 2007 to 2016), Fatima Alliah and in its last election, Aminah.
In total, the Dimaporo represented the second district for nine of the 12 terms from 1987 to 2025 and the first district for five terms from 2010 to 2025.
But the leadership of the Dimaporo in Lanao del Norte went back even further, when the patriarch, Ali was elected congressman in 1949, representing the then only district of undivided Lanao. Imelda’s father Arsenio Quibranza was appointed mayor of the town of Tubod in what is now Lanao del Norte, also in 1949.
When Lanao was divided into del Norte and del Sur by Republic Act 2228 in 1959, Salvador Lluch was the first governor of del Norte, followed by Ali Dimaporo from January 1960 to September 1965 when he won a seat in Congress.
This is not Ali’s first win in Congress. According to the list of Philippine lawmakers, he represented Lanao’s only district from 1949 to 1953, ran for re-election, staged an electoral protest and won the seat in 1957 just six months before the end of the term. He was re-elected on the 6thika at 7ikaCongress from 1966 to 1972, representing the then only district of Lanao del Norte. Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, the President who declared martial law in 1972, was appointed Governor of Lanao del Sur in 1976 (and later as President of Mindanao State University) and was elected Governor of the province in 1980.
After Ali won the congressmanship in 1965, he was succeeded as Governor by vice governor Arsenio Quibranza, a Christian settler from Cebu. Quibranza, who was appointed mayor of Tubod town in 1949 and was later elected and re -elected to the same position, won the gubernatorial race in 1971 and again in 1980 and ruled until the Marcos dictatorship was overthrown by People Power in 1986 and appointed OICs. in their successor.
While all this political development was going on, Dimaporo’s son, Abdullah, a Muslim, fell in love with a Christian, Quibranza’s youngest daughter, Imelda. It was a relationship that many called “Romeo and Juliet” because their fathers were politically opposed. The two were married in September 1977 in civil and Islamic rites.
Duterte of Davao
Of the 33 mayors of Mindanao city, Rodrigo Roa Duterte is the longest – for seven terms or 22 years from 1988 to 2016 – only twice delayed when he reached the three term limit and sought another elective post, as the representative of 1st congressional district from 1998 to 2001 and as vice mayor with daughter Sara from 2010 to 2013. He returned as mayor in 2013 but spent most of the latter part of 2014 and 2015 on “listening tours” in preparation for his run for in the Presidency in 2016.
Sebastian, Duterte’s youngest son, is the third Duterte to be elected mayor. Together, in 2025, Duterte mayors will lead Davao City for 34 years: 22 by Rodrigo, nine by Sara and three by Sebastian.
From 2007 to 2022, the mayor and vice mayor were a Duterte-Duterte tandem and by 2019, the Dutertes had added another position under their control-the 1st congressional district represented by Paolo, Duterte’s eldest son, the second Duterte to represent that district after Rodrigo.
The patriarch was elected President in 2016 and stepped down on June 30 the same day his daughter Sara began her first day as Vice President and Secretary of Education.
Representative of both families for 38 years
In Mindanao’s 60 congressional districts, four have been represented by the same family for 38 years – from 1987 to 2025: the Zubiri of 3rd district of Bukidnon, the Romualdo of the only district of Camiguin, the Bautistas of the only district of Davao Occidental (1987 to 2016 as the second district of Davao del Sur), and the Almarios of the second district of Davao Oriental.
The Zubiris, Romualdo and Bautista expanded into “fat dynasties” because they eventually also controlled the provincial governments; Romualdo and Bautista, the town capitals; while the Almarios will remain a “thin” dynasty, passing the seat of congress from matriarch Thelma, to son Joel Mayo, back to Thelma, back again to Joel Mayo and now to Thelma’s granddaughter Cheeno Miguel, from 2022 to 2025.
In 2019, the Bautistas further expanded their dynasty, through the party-list group, DUMPER PTDA or Drivers United for Mass Progress and Equal Rights-Philippines Taxi Drivers Association (DUMPER PTDA), represented by Claudine Bautista, daughter of the Governor then, now. lone district representative Claude Bautista. The party-list group regained a seat in the House of Representatives in the May 2022 elections.
In all, there are nine Bautistas in Davao Occidental with key positions: as governor, vice governor, lone congressional district representative, provincial board member, two town mayors, a vice mayor, a councilor-and party-list representative .
In Davao City, the second congressional district was only represented by the Garcias – Manuel, son Vincent and son Mylene – for 33 years – from 1992 to 2025. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)
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