The oddity in Lanao Del Norte

There is something strange happening now in Lanao Del Norte, in relation to the forthcoming plebiscite on February 6. The Dimaporo clan led by the father-and-son-tandem, Abdullah and Khaled, opposed bitterly the inclusion of the six municipalities in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), but surprisingly they have supported the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in Lanao Del Sur.

What a completely strange oddity or behavior? A case of opportunism at its worst degree? Or simply an intense internal contradiction between what is good for the many and what is good for themselves.

The Dimaporos of Lanao have been in power for the past 60 years.

Mohammad Ali Dimaporo was a known ally of former President Ferdinand Marcos. A guerrilla fighter during World War II, Ali went into politics after the war and represented the then undivided Lanao in Congress in the 1950s.

He was Lanao del Norte representative from 1966 to 1972, and Lanao del Sur congressman from 1987 to 1995. He was also governor of Lanao del Sur from 1960 to 1965.

Despite the Jabidah Massacre in 1968, where several Muslims recruited for a mission to invade Sabah were killed in a massacre on Corregidor Island, Ali remained loyal to Marcos and was appointed governor of Lanao del Sur in 1976. He “brought back to life” those trainees who were massacred but they turned out to be Ilocanos, thanks to the expose’ made by the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. And worse, Ali bragged that he would do everything ordered to him by Marcos, including jumping into the sea, just to show his intense loyalty to his boss.

Ali’s son Abdullah followed in his footsteps in the 1980s; and so, his daughter-in-law, Imelda Quibranza Dimaporo, and grandson and granddaughter, Khaled and Aliah, respectively.

In so far as we can stretch our imagination, the ugliest face of dynasty in the country is with the Dimaporos in Lanao Del Norte. No dynastic family, except perhaps the Marcoses in Ilocos Norte, has been in power in such a long period of time, like the Dimaporos.

Power is really addicting, because it goes with it everything, money, fame (or infamy), etc.

Because of the double majority in reckoning the yes votes, meaning, yes votes must win in the municipality and the yes votes must also win in the province, it seems there is virtually no chance for the towns of Balo-i, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan and Tangka to become part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). But what is paramount is that the yes votes must win in the said six municipalities, at least, their desire and aspiration to join the autonomous entity for the greater number of the Bangsamoro people will not die a natural death. After all, right to self-determination is dynamic and cannot be foreclosed by time and event.