MINDANAO 2019-2022: In Mindanao, only 25 women elected out of 118 govs, city mayors, reps

(MindaNews / 23May) – Out of 118 posts for governor, city mayor and congressional district representatives in Mindanao for 2019 to 2022, only 25 were won by women, down from 33 in 2016-2019.

Women governors: (Clockwise from top left) – Kaka Bag-ao of Dinagat Islands (photo: Bobby Timonera / MindaNews), Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo of Lanao del Norte (photo: Bobby Timonera / MindaNews), Nancy Catamco of North Cotabato (photo from Nancy Catamco Supporters Facebook page), and Bai Mariam Mangudadatu (photo from Agila ng Maguindanao Facebook page)

Mindanao has 27 provinces, 33 cities and 60 congressional districts but only 58 representatives have been elected as elections in the reconfigured 1st and 3rd districts of South Cotabato (General Santos City will be the third) will still be scheduled on or before November 2019.

In the first post-EDSA elections of 1987 and 1988, there were 10 women governors, city mayors and representatives. In 2019-2022, 25 represents 21.2% of the 118 posts.

From nine women governors during the 2016-2019 term, it is now down to four; from 17 women representatives elected in 2016, only nine made it in 2019.

It is only in the number of city mayors where an increase was noted: from eight elected in 2016 to 11 who will serve from 2019 to 2022.

Out of 27 governors, only four women (14.8 %) were elected: Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao (LP) of Dinagat Islands, Imelda Quibranza Dimaporo (PDP) of Lanao del Norte, Bai Mariam Mangudadatu of Maguindanao (NP) and Nancy Catamco (PDP) of North Cotabato.

Bag-ao, Mangudadatu and Catamco were elected to a first term while Dimaporo is serving her fifth.

Out of 33 city mayors, 11 women (33.33%) were elected: Judy Amante (PDP) of Cabadbaran, Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi (NPC) of Cotabato, Rosalina Jalosjos (APP) of Dapitan, Sara Duterte (HnP) of Davao, Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman (LP), Rosita Furigay (PDP), Michelle Marie Denise Nakpil Rabat (Ind), Roxanne Pimentel (PDP) of Tandag, Jennifer Tan (NP) of Tangub; Azucena Huervas (BPP) of Valencia; and Maria Isabelle Climaco (LP) of Zamboanga.

Of the 58 representatives, only 10 or 17.2% are women: Angelica Rosedell Amante (PDP) of Agusan del Norte’s District 2, Malou Acosta (BPP) of Bukidnon’s District 1, Lorna Bautista-Bandigan (HnP) of the lone district of Davao Occidental, Mercedes Cagas ( NP) of Davao del Sur’s lone district, Juliette Uy (NUP) of Misamis Oriental’s District 2, Bai Rihan Sakaluran (NUP) of Sultan Kudarat’s District 1, Glona Labadlabad of Zamboanga del Norte’s District 2, Divina Grace Yu (PDP) of Zamboanga del Sur’s District 1, and Ann Hofer (PDP) of Zamboanga Sibugay’s District 2.

On their own

While most of the 24 women voted to office are wives or daughters or sisters of politicians, three began their political careers on their own: Dinagat’s Bag-ao, Valencia’s Huervas and Davao Oriental’s Malanyaon.

Huervas started as a chapel leader in the 1980s. She was elected barangay councilor in 1997 and barangay chair in 2002. A BS Agriculture graduate, Huervas later became the President of the Association of Barangay Captains, earning her a seat as Councilor. In 2010, when she was asked by the Mayor Leandro Catarata to run for Vice Mayor, she hid in their village but was eventually convinced to run. She won and in 2016 run for the mayoralty and was reelected on May 13.

Bag-ao, a human rights lawyer, represented Akbayan party-list in 2010 to 2013 but was also appointed caretaker of Dinagat Islands in 2012 after the fugitive Rep. Ruben Ecleo, Jr. was dropped from the rolls on May 31 that year. Bag-ao dared to challenge the Ecleos in 2013 to represent the lone congressional district, and won. She was reelected in 2016 and on May 13 won the race for Governor.

Malanyaon won a fourth term as representative of Davao Oriental’s 1st district which she represented from 2001 to 2007 before she was elected Governor in 2007, serving for three terms until 2016. She returned to Congress in 2016. Malanyaon, an accountant, began her political career in Davao City as OIC councilor from 1986 to November 1987, at the same time Rodrigo Duterte was OIC Vice Mayor. She was elected councilor from 1988 to 1992.

In the case of Catamco, an Obo Manobo who was elected Representative of the 2nd district of North Cotabato in 2010 and served three terms until 2019, she was known in the House of Representatives even before she became a representative. Catamco was among those implicated in alleged bogus NGOs linked to Janet Napoles that siphoned millions of pesos of pork barrel fund. She denied the allegations.

Former Rep. Bernardo Pinol, Jr., was among those who had earlier alleged Catamco’s involvement in the alleged bogus NGOs. Pinol’s brother, Socrates, was Catamco’s running mate in the 2019 polls. He lost to outgoing Governor Emmylou Talino-Mendoza.

Wives, daughters, sisters

Twelve of the 25 are wives of politicians: Judy Amante, Cagas, Dimaporo, Furigay, Hataman, Hofer, Labadlabad, Mangudadatu, Pimentel, Tan, Uy and Yu.

Seven are daughters of politicians: Acosta, Angelica Amante, Bautista-Bandigan, Climaco, Duterte, Rabat and Sakaluran.

Two others are sisters of politicians: Guiani-Sayadi and Jalosjos.


Lanao del Norte’s Quibranza is wife of 2nd district Representative and former Governor Abdullah Dimaporo. She succeeded her husband as governor from 1998 to 2007, was representative of the 1st district from 2010 to 2016 and was governor again from 2016 to 2019. Her son Mohamad Khalid was governor from 2007 to 2016 and has been reelected as 1st district Representative while her husband has been elected to a third term as 2nd district Representative.

Bai Mariam Mangudadatu, mayor of Datu Abdullah Sangki town in Maguindanao, is wife of incumbent 1st district Rep. Suharto Mangudadatu of neighboring Sultan Kudarat province. Rep. Mangudadatu, who also served as Representative from 2004 to 2007 has been elected Governor of Sultan Kudarat, a post he also held from 2007 to 2016.

Judy Amante, estranged wife of Agusan del Norte 1st district Rep. Erlpe John Amante, ran for mayor of Cabadbaran City in 2016 but lost to Katrina Marie Mortola, Erlpe’s partner. In the 2019 polls, Judy Amante defeated Mortola while her sister-in-law, incumbent Governor Angelica Rosedell Amante, defeated brother Erlpe in the 2nd congressional district.

In Basilan, Rosita Furigay earned a third term as mayor of Lamitan City (20013 to 2022), a post her husband Roderick held from 2004 to 2013.

Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman, elected mayor of Isabela City, is the wife of former ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman and now Representative-Elect of Basilan’s lone district. Before that, she served as Anak Mindanao party-list Representative from June 30, 2013 until she resigned in October 2017 to focus on community work.

In Surigao del Sur, Pimentel was elected mayor of Tandag in 2013, succeeding her husband Alexander who served from 2007 to 2013 and from 2016 to 2019. Alexander filed his certificate of candidacy for mayor but when his governor-brother, Vicente Pimentel, passed away in December last year, he became the substitute candidate for governor and Roxanne became the substitute candidate for mayor.

In Misamis Occidental, Tan and her husband, Philip, have been succeeding each other as mayor of Tangub City since 1992. Philip was mayor from 1992 to 2001 and from 2010 to 2019 while Jennifer was mayor from 2001 to 2010 and is returning as mayor by June 30, 2019. Philip has just been elected Governor.

Cagas of Davao del Sur is wife to Douglas, who won a fifth term as Governor. She succeeded her husband and son Marc Douglas in Congress, as representative of the 1st district, later lone congressional district when Davao Occidental was carved out from Davao del Sur to form a new province. She earned a third term in the post held by her husband from 1998 to 2007, and her son from 2007 to 2013.

Uy was voted to a third term as Misamis Oriental’s District 2 representative. Uy is the wife of Julio who lost his bid for Governor.

Labadlabad succeeded her husband Rosendo as Zamboanga del Norte’s 2nd district representative. Rosendo represented it from 2010 to 2019.

Yu, first elected in 2016, won a second term as representative of Zamboanga del Sur’s District 1. Her husband, Victor, represented it from 2007 to 2016. Victor has just been elected Governor.

Hofer earned her fourth term as Zamboanga Sibugay’s District 2 representative to Congress. She was its representative from 2007 to 2010, on the third term of her husband-Governor George, and from 2013.


Angelica Amante, a nurse, entered politics in 1995 as the first woman Governor of Agusan del Norte. She held the post from 1995 to 2004, represented the 2nd district from 2004 to 2007 and 2010 to 2013 and returned to be governor from 2013 to 2019. She will return to Congress to represent the 2nd district, a post held by her father Edelmiro from 1987 to 1995; 2001 to 2004; and 2007 to 2010; and by her brother Erlpe from 2013 to 2019.

Bautista-Bandigan, elected to a second term representing the lone district of Davao Occidental, is the daughter of Benjamin Bautista, Sr., who had served as Malita mayor and legislator representing the then 2nd district of Davao del Sur before EDSA 1986 and shortly thereafter. Davao Occidental had its first election in 2016. Before that, the 2nd district had a succession of Bautistas as representative: Benjamin Sr., from 1987 to 1998; his son Franklin from 1998 to 2001; his other son Claude from 2001 to 2007; and back to Franklin from 2007 to 2016.

Climaco, who taught at the Ateneo de Zamboanga, was elected to a third term as mayor of Zamboanga City, defeated opponent Celso Lobregat (PDP). Climaco is the daughter of the late Vice Mayor Jose Climaco, younger brother of Mayor Cesar Climaco who was assassinated in November 1984.

Duterte, a lawyer, entered politics in 2007, as vice mayor to her mayor-father, Rodrigo, now President. When the patriarch could no longer run for mayor of Davao City because of term limits in 2010, they swapped posts – Sara was elected mayor and Rodrigo, vice mayor. In 2013, Rodrigo ran for mayor again and Sara opted to go into private practice, returning in 2016 as substitute candidate to her father, who opted to run for President instead of mayor.

Acosta, who earned her third term in Bukidnon’s first congressional district, is the daughter of Socorro and sister of Neric, who represented the district from 1987 to 2007, in succession of three terms each.

Rabat, daughter of former Mati mayor Francisco Rabat and Edith Nakpil, is returning as mayor of Mati after two terms under cousin Carlo Luis Rabat. Michelle was the first elected mayor of Mati since its conversion into a city in 2007. She was mayor from 2007 to 2013, followed by Carlo Luis from 2013 to 2019.

Sakaluran of Sultan Kudarat’s District 1, is presently the mayor of Lutayan town. She was elected mayor of Lutayan in 2016, succeeding her mother, Ruth, who was mayor from 2007 to 2016 and before that, her father, Raden, from 2004 to 2007. Raden was representative of the district from 2007 to 2013


Lawyer Guiani-Sayadi served as Solicitor General of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) before she joined City Hall as City Administrator to her brother-mayor Japal Guiani, Jr. She was elected Vice Mayor of Cotabato City in 2016 but assumed the mayoralty in September 2016 when her brother-mayor passed away.

Jalosjos of Dapitan, sister of Romeo Jalosjos, was elected mayor in 2013, re-elected in 2016 and in 2019. Her nephew, Romeo Jalosjos, Jr. won in the 1st district congressional race but another nephew, Seth Frederick Pal, lost his bid for Governor.

Women Vice Governors, City Vice Mayors

Only four of 27 vice governors are women: Maria Carmen Zamora (HnP) of Compostela Valley, Cristy Atay (PDP) of Lanao del Norte, Aurora Almonte (NP) of Misamis Occidental, and Emmylou Mendoza-Talino (NP) of North Cotabato.

Of 33 city vice mayors, only four are women: Ma. Glenda Monette Rabat (UNA) of Mati, Simplicia Neri (NP) of Ozamiz City, Eva Lorraine Estabillo (PDP) of Tagum, and Eleanor Momo (PDP) of Tandag City.


Two provinces elected women governors and vice governors: in Lanao del Norte, Dimaporo and Atay; and in North Cotabato, Catamco and Talino-Mendoza.

The cities of Mati and Tandag elected women mayors and vice mayors: in Mati, Rabat and Rabat-Gayta; and in Tandag, Pimentel and Momo. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)