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By Ali G. Macabalang

Marawi City – News about the destruction of the ancestral home of the late former Senator Ahmad Domacao Alonto Sr.’s was met with a heavy feeling of sympathy by local and foreign personalities, who know of the historic exploits of the Muslim icon.

Debris and smoke rises after a Philippine Air Force fighter jets bombed suspected locations of Muslim militants, in Marawi city, southern Philippines. (Manila Bulletin file photo)

Relatives, friends and local followers of the late popular Maranao parliamentarian described as “very unfortunate” the devastation of the Alontos’ century-old compound along Pangarungan Street in Sabala Manao village, one of suburbs here that absorbed heavy damage because of the fierce fighting between security forces and Islamic State-inspired militants that began on May 23.

“Our hearts bled upon learning the sad news,” Zia Alonto-Adiong, incumbent legislator of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), told reporters in reference to a report about the destruction of his grandfather’s abode.

Other relatives, led by daughter and incumbent Lanao del Sur Gov. Soraya Alonto-Adiong and nephew Abul Khayr D. Alonto, a member of President Duterte’s cabinet serving as head of the Mindanao Development Authority (MDA), also expressed displeasure about the sad fate that befell their ancestral home.

The Alontos considered the residential compound, known as “Kotah,” as a sacred place because it is also where the late senator was buried along with his mother Bai Bariga Baraguir Alangadi-Alonto and father, Sultan Alauya Alonto I, one of the country’s first Muslim senators.

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