Cotabato City—Princess Tarhata Alonto-Lucman, former Governor of Lanao del Sur, passed away Friday. She was 95.
Alonto-Lucman was governor of Lanao del Sur until 1974 when her term was cut short two years after President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law in 1972.
Her family has not specified the cause of her death, but relatives say she died of old age.
Alonto-Lucman’s family established a lifelong political alliance with former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., who together with her late husband, Congressman Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman, defied the Marcos rule following the Jabidah Massacre on March 18, 1968.
The former governor was the sister of former Senator Ahmad Domocao Alonto, acknowledged father of the Mindanao State University (MSU) System, being the author of its legislated charter in 1957.
Princess Tarhata Alonto-Lucman was one of the country’s few women at the helm of political power in her time, along with Governor Aurora Crisologo of Ilocos Sur, whose husband Floro Crisologo was also a congressman and a contemporary of Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman.
The others were Senator Geronima Pecson, Senator Eva Estrada-Kalaw, and Justice Cecilia Munoz Palma, who was also elected Member of Parliament of the Regular Batasan Pambansa.
The Moro people have had some of the earliest list of women as top leaders, even prior to the West championing “women empowerment.”
Among them are Pangian Ampay, the 13th Sultan of Sulu, who lived in the mid-17th century, according to the Scottish geographer Alexander Dalrymple.
Rajah Potri, daughter of Maguindanao Sultan Qudratullah Untong, was also recorded by historians as the Sultan of Maguindanao from 1880 to 1888.
Both Senator Alonto and Governor Alonto-Lucman were children of Senator Sultan Alawiya Alonto of Lanao district.
Sultan Alawiya Alonto, a delegate to the 1935 Constitutional Convention, had his Commonwealth Senate term span up to 1947 towards the First Congress of the Philippine Republic, which started in 1946. This was because Philippine Congress had to make up for a legislative term lost in a period of conflict during World War II.
Notably, Lorenzo Tanada was among those elected in 1947 to fill in Senate slots vacated by Commonwealth senators, one of them being Sultan Alonto.