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Palace grieves passing of MinDA chair Alonto

May 10, 2019 - Friday 11:05 AM by Jon Joaquin, MindaNews , Ruth Palo

Article Banner Image Secretary Abul Khayr Alonto in MindaNews file photo by MANMAN DEJETO

DAVAO CITY -- Malacañang on Friday expressed its “deep sympathies and condolences” to the family, friends, colleagues, and loved ones of the late Secretary Datu Abul Khayr Dangcal Alonto, chair of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

Alonto succumbed to pnreumonia on Thursday night in a government hospital in Quezon City. He was 73.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Alonto “devoted his professional career in contributing to the socioeconomic transformation of Mindanao from a land of promise to a land of fulfillment.”

“The nation is grateful for his services and we are confident that his legacy would continue to inspire leaders, government workers, and people to advance the cause of peace and development in Mindanao,” he said.

“We are going to miss his amiable and smiling presence. We pray Allah grant him eternal repose of his soul,” he added.

Panelo said Alonto served the government in various capacities before he became a member of President Duterte's cabinet.

“He was elected as Vice Mayor of Marawi City in 1972 and later became Acting Mayor of Marawi City in 1974. He was likewise elected as an Assemblyman in 1979 and sat as the Interim Head of the Regional Autonomous Government. He was the first Muslim Chairperson and Secretary of the Mindanao Development Authority,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Alonto MinDA chair in 2016, after Jesus Dureza and Luwalhati Antonino.

Romeo Montenegro, MinDA’s Deputy Executive Director told MindaNews Friday morning that Alonto was admitted two weeks ago after complaining of chest pain. He underwent an angiogram and was found to have blocked coronary arteries.

“Angioplasty was done but complications with lung problem worsened his condition since Wednesday,” he said.

Montenegro said Alonto’s remains were flown early Friday morning to Laguindingan airport in Misamis Oriental, “then to Marawi where burial in accordance to Islamic law will be made around noontime today.”

Montenegro, who was in Manila to attend meetings on Alonto’s behalf, “was there last night with his family on his last breath.” With Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews