By Ali G. Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – The Senate has approved unanimously on final reading the bill naming the 114-kilometer road between Marawi City and Wao, Lanao del Sur in honor of a late former Congressman and governor who initiated the opening and concreting of the vital road network.
Senate Bill 7355, known as proposed Act renaming the Maraw-Maguing-Bumbaran-Wao road as Governor Mamintal Adiong Sr. National Highway, drew 20 affirmative votes, with no dissenting and abstention votes, during the plenary session of the higher chamber on Monday, Sept. 6, night.
The bill was authored by Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri as counterpart to a measure reportedly approved earlier by the House of Representatives, according to Philippine Muslim Today (PMT) news sources.
Lanao del Sur 1st District Rep. Ansaruddin “Hooky” Adiong, who authored the earlier adopted House bill, thanked the Senate leadership and members for their unanimous support.
The Maranao lawmaker is the third son of the honoree. The two others are incumbent Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal “Bombit” Alonto-Adiong Jr. and Bangsamoro Parliament Member Zia-ur Rahman.
The honoree-father, a former three-term Congressman, died of lingering ailment July 3, 2004 shortly after taking oath for his second-term gubernatorial victory.
His death overtook his plan to open a road linking Bumbaran and Wao town to the mother province of Lanao del Sur and end their decades of isolation. People of the two towns had to cruise eight hours along Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte and three cities before reaching the Marawi City-based provincial government.
“It has always been the dream of my father…to (link) Marawi City to Wao and Bumbaran and our adjacent provinces to unite us in one province, on one hand, and in one Mindanao, on the other. He desired it as “the dream road,” Rep. Adiong said in a post minutes after the Senate vote.
The distance between Marawi City and Wao town is 113 kilometers. But since the creation of Lanao del Sur in 1957, the road was only up to Maguing town, which is 73.91 kilometers away from Wao.
When elected governor in 2007, Bombit or Mamintal Jr. pursued his father’s plan to construct the 73-kilometer road straddling Maguing, Bumbaran and Wao towns. Concreting works along the stretch were completed in his third and final gubernatorial term in 2016.
Bombit and his mother, Soraya Alonto-Adiong, ran and won as vice governor and governor, respectively in 2019, and had since pushed for the building of four concrete bridges along the Maguing-Bumbaran-Wao highway, sources said.
Three of the bridges were fully completed last July and the fourth biggest bridge was due for completion in October this year, according to the CDH Construction firm commissioned to build the four bridges.
While the four bridges were under construction, makeshift detours were installed for Bumbaran and Wao people as well as travelers from as far as South Cotabato to pass through. (AGM)