Datu Abul Khayr Dangcal Alonto
Datu Abul Khayr Dangcal Alonto is the second son born to the first Lanao del Sur Governor, Ambassador Abdul Ghaffur Madki Alangadi Alonto and Bai Hajja Rasmia Indol Dangcal, in Marawi, Philippines, on October 30, 1945. He is currently the Chairperson of the Mindanao Development Authority, a Philippine government agency created through Republic Act 9996 or the Mindanao Development Authority Act of 2010.
The appointment of Secretary Datu Abul Khayr Dangcal Alonto as the first Muslim Chair and Secretary of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) brings to fore timely Bangsamoro representation in the overall socioeconomic development of Mindanao. Alonto also sits as the Philippine signing minister for BIMP-EAGA.
He studied Political Science at the Cairo University in Egypt, but was a San Beda College Law student when the Jabidah Massacreoccurred on March 18, 1968. Immediately after the incident, he organized the LAM ALIF, a Muslim Youth Group of which its members became the core leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
Secretary Alonto, in an unprecedented margin was elected as Vice Mayor of Marawi in 1972 and was subsequently awarded as the youngest city executive of the country during that year. As Acting City Mayor of Marawi in 1974, before being sworn in as the city’s chief executive, he joined his MNLF comrades and went “underground” to fight against the abuses committed during the Martial Law regime.
In 1979, more than two years after the 1976 Tripoli Agreement was signed, he participated in the institutionalization of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. He was also elected as Assemblyman and sat as the Interim Head of the Regional Autonomous Government and subsequently elected Speaker of the Regional Legislative Assembly, in absentia after he resigned as the Interim Head of the Regional Autonomous Government.
Secretary Alonto also organized and established the Muslim Federal Party in 1982, which became the rallying Flag of the Muslim participation in the Protest Movement, and Nacionalista Party Vice President for Mindanao.
He was the Deputy Secretary General of the National Unification Council during the 1986 Snap Presidential Election and underwent serious studies on Federalism in Malaysia, United States of America, Germany, and Switzerland. He was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Chief of Mission to Nigeria and 21 African States in 1994.
Secretary Alonto also participated in business ventures and became Chairman of the Janoub Philippines Development Corporation, one of the pioneers in bringing in foreign investments to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) particularly the development of the region’s palm oil industry.
In February 2014, the original members of the MNLF Central Committee installed Secretary Alonto as Chairman of the MNLF. He is a staunch supporter of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, a bill deliberated in the 16th Congress of the Philippines which seeks for the establishment of a proposed new autonomous political entity known as the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, to replace the current ARMM