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History of Lupon

Lupon, situated in the province of Davao Oriental, Philippines, stands as a 1st class municipality with a population of 65,785 people according to the 2015 census. The name “Lupon” finds its roots in the indigenous term “naluponan,” denoting a landmass formed at a river mouth due to prolonged accretion. The settlers later abbreviated this term to “Lupon,” specifically referring to the mouth of the Sumlog river within the contemporary
boundaries of Lupon municipality.

Originally, Lupon was primarily occupied by the Mandaya and Mansaka communities in the hinterlands, and the native Kalagans along the shorelines, linking to Pantukan municipality and present-day San Isidro municipality. However, a surge in migration, involving local newcomers from Luzon and the Visayas, encompassing both Christians and Muslims, coupled with the introduction of logging concessions, has led to a gradual increase in Lupon’s population over the years.

Establishment as a Municipal District:

In 1919, Lupon initially assumed the status of a regular barrio under Pantukan. Subsequently, Governor General Francis Burton Harrison issued Executive Order No. 8, series of 1921, two years later, designating Lupon as a Municipal District. This district encompassed eight barrios, namely Poblacion Lupon, Sumlog, Cocornon, Tagugpo, Piso, Maputi, Langka, and Banaybanay.

During this period, Datu Comara Manuel served as the municipal district president from 1921 to 1929. The American Occupation in the Philippine Islands aimed at quelling potential rebellions against the regime. As part of this strategy, Mindanao was transformed into a Moro Province, impacting the Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, residing in the region. Lupon briefly adopted the status of a sultanate with Datu Manuel as its sultan during this phase. However, this sultanate concept was short-lived as Datu Manuel was succeeded by subsequent municipal district presidents.

Following Datu Manuel’s tenure, the succeeding municipal district presidents included Alfredo Lindo (1929–1931), Luis Yabut (1931–1933), Teodoro Panuncialman (1933–1939), Carlos Badolato (1939 until the outbreak of World War II), Sixto Carreon (1940 onward to the Japanese Occupation), Cresencio Tuballa (1944–1945 during the Philippine Commonwealth military and Recognized Guerrillas period), Claudio Libre (1945–1946), Cresencio Tuballa
(1946), and Carlos Badolato (1946–1947).

Formation as a Regular Municipality:

On August 8, 1948, Executive Order No. 151, issued in 1948, marked the transformation of Lupon into a regular municipality. Teodoro Panuncialman assumed the initial role as the appointed mayor. However, this appointment was curtailed by the subsequent designation of Crisanto Magno as mayor from 1948 to 1950. Panuncialman was later reinstated for the term spanning 1950–1951.

In 1951, a local election saw Crisanto Magno becoming the first elected mayor of Lupon, serving from 1951 to 1955. Successive elected mayors then continued the unbroken mayoralty lineage of Lupon. Oswaldo Barol (1955–67), Eulalio Angala Jr. (1967–79), Francisco M. dela Cruz (1979–86), and others contributed to the municipality’s governance. The transition from the Marcos to the Aquino administration during the February 1986 Edsa Revolution led to Jose Lim’s appointment as Office In-Charge (1986–87). Francisco dela Cruz was subsequently re-elected (1988–98), followed by Quiñones (1998–2001), Guiñez (2001), and Vice Mayor Barabag, who assumed the mayoralty seat from 2002 to 2004 after Guiñez’s untimely death. Quiñones was re-elected in 2004, serving until 2007. Domingo Lim served as mayor from 2007 to 2016, succeeded by his wife, Erlinda D. Lim, who won the
2016 election, making history as the first woman to serve as mayor of Lupon.

The following is a list of Lupon’s mayors, encompassing various periods of the municipality’s dynamic history.

o Sultan Comara T. Manuel, Municipal District President (1921–1929)
o Alfredo P. Lindo, Municipal District President (1929–1931)
o Luis Yabut, Municipal District President (1931–1932)
o Teodoro M. Panuncialman (1932–1933)
o Appointed Mayor (1946–1947)
o Carlos Badolato, Municipal District President (1933–1939)
o Appointed Mayor (1946–1947)
o Sixto Carreon, Municipal District President, Japanese Occupation (Wartime)
o Cresencio Tuballa, Municipal District President (1942–1944) Guerilla Mayor
o Appointed Mayor, (1946)
o Emiliano Montos, Municipal District President (1944–1945)
o Crisanto M. Magno, Appointed Mayor (1948–1950)
o Elected Mayor (1951–1955)
o Oswaldo P. Barol, Elected Mayor (1955–1967)
o Romeo M. Bote Sr., OIC Mayor (1967)
o Capistrano V. Roflo Sr., OIC Mayor (1967)
o Eulalio A. Angala Jr., Elected Mayor (1967)
o Francisco M. Dela Cruz, Elected Mayor (1981-1985 & 1988-1998)
o Jose A. Lim, OIC Mayor (1986–1987)
o Faustino T. Suzon Sr., OIC Mayor (1987)
o Arfran L. Quinones, Elected Mayor (1998–2001 & 2004-2007)
o Manuel B. Guinez, Elected Mayor (2001)
o Hadji Bonso S. Barabag, Mayor By Succession (2001–2003)
o Domingo A. Lim, Elected Mayor (2007–2016)
o Erlinda D. Lim, Elected Mayor (2016-present)