04 Mar Councilor Maximo “Dondon” Allorin – The Lone Ranger Advocate in the Fight Against Illegal Drugs in Cagayan de Oro
Maximo “Dondon” Allorin may not be a name most Kagay-anons have heard of in the CDO world of politics, but in Iponan where he permanently resides, he is one of the barangay councilors there, and with a heavy penchant in waging an anti-illegal drug campaign in that barangay to remove the vestige of Iponan being number two as a haven for illegal drugs among the youth. The large number of arrests and drug-den raids in the barangay is attributable to his efforts. In the last barangay elections he won the number two slot.
Dondon and the Allorin Clan
The Allorin clan originated from Nasipit, Agusan del Norte. Dondon is another of those “expats” who decided to make Cagayan de Oro their permanent home and is now rightfully considered as a Kagay-anon. Dondon has a standing anecdote that as a politician, when he asks the crowd if anyone is related to the Allorin clan, not a single person raises a hand or acknowledges. To this he then tells the audience if they can adopt him since he’s all alone as an Allorin in Cagayan de Oro. He took up Civil Engineering at the Cebu Institute of Technology as a working student scholar, and then transferred to the FEATI University in Manila, graduating in 1993 with the same course.
Dondon did not directly migrate to Cagayan de Oro. He took the long way around before finally ending up in the city. After his college studies in Manila, he worked for a time in Manila and Cebu as a project manager, construction manager, sales representative, and area manager, before being assigned to Mindanao, particularly, in Cagayan de Oro.
In 2000, Dondon decided to open his own small business. In 2002, he resigned from his regular job to focus on his business. At present, his construction and home improvement business in the city is fairly booming. At present, Dondon is national vice-president of the Barangay Councilors League of the Philippines, as well as the Southern Governor for the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
His anti-illegal drugs advocacy
As an anti-illegal drugs advocate, Dondon feels that it’s high time someone took the cudgels of fighting the increasing illegal drug problem in the city, especially since the youth is the sector mostly affected by this problem. This problem has been generally ignored in the past by most politicians who merely shrug it off as part of a fast-growing city. So far, Dondon is the only candidate running in the elections with this advocacy, because according to him, if he won’t, who will, and if no one will, 3 to 5 years from now the drug problem will become a full-blown problem similar to the drug problem conditions in Manila.
In fact, in the Lumbia Penitentiary alone, 70 percent of jailed inmates are due to drug related cases. Many of these cases come from barangays Iponan, Barra, Macanhan, and Sto. Niño in Cogon. In the whole Philippines there are more than 3 million drug related cases filed each year, ranging from ordinary possession, usage, and up to drug manufacturing and selling. In Cagayan de Oro alone, almost 15 tons of drugs and drug related consumables are sold and consumed annually. Even before he sat down as barangay councilor, Dondon was already part of an anti-drug task force of civilian volunteers working in cooperation with the CIDG and PDEA.
What can and ought to be done
Should Dondon win a seat in the city council with an office by the river, his first plan of action is to have a really fully equipped and running drug rehabilitation center in the city funded by the city government. At present, the nearest government drug rehabilitation center run by the NBI and provincial government is in Alae, Bukidnon. There are a few in the city run by private entities, but these are very expensive and far from the wallets of families living below the poverty line. With the growing drug related problems in the city particularly hitting the youth, it’s high time that CDO have its own drug rehabilitation center supported by the local government.
Dondon also believes that CDO should have its own Drug Hotline available 24/7 so families can call or text to air their problems, especially when their children become involved in illegal drugs and can no longer be controlled. This is also necessary should concerned citizens be willing to share drug related information to authorities while still staying anonymous. He also believes that drug related cases and arrests for users may go down in number if authorities first focus on voluntary rehabilitation and recovery.
As a councilor, he plans to pass a city-wide ordinance for all high schools to have an illegal drugs symposium at least twice every school year. In the barangay level, he wants the local government to provide better equipment and higher stipends to the barangay police because they are the front-liners in the war against illegal drugs. This also includes at least an annual seminar on how to handle drug related arrests. Dondon hopes that, upon winning in the elections, he gets to sit on the city council’s CADAC, or City Anti-Drugs Abuse Council, a multi-sectorial council and committee under the city council that encompasses important sectors like the youth, the religious sector, and even health and transportation.
In relation to his fight against illegal drugs, he wants a bigger effort towards the city’s sports programs so more athletes can be properly trained, developed, and recognized for professional sports. When more youth are involved in sports, there is less chance of being involved in illegal drugs.
As a politician, Dondon believes that party partisanship ends when the need to serve the people is stronger than party politics. He wants it known that everyone, including those in his party, is answerable to the people and to any wrongdoings they do contrary to the needs of the people. In this new era of “vote selling” – a new play on the old term of “vote buying” – Dondon is hoping that people, no matter how poor, can see beyond the money and vote with their proper conscience.