Ismael Sueño

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Ismael "Mike" Dres Sueno is the current Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government DILG under President Rodrigo Duterte. A member and former national chairman of PDP–Laban, he served as Governor of South Cotabato under former President Corazon Aquino.

Early life and education

Sueño was born and raised in Koronadal to Perfecto Sueño Sr., the first municipal vice mayor of Koronadal, and Ma. Neri Dres.

He obtained his associate degree in Arts from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Seminary in Marbel in 1964 and his bachelor of arts degree in Philosophy from the Regional Major Seminary.


Sueño served as mayor of Koronadal, South Cotabato from 1980 to 1986. When Ferdinand Marcos was toppled during the 1986 People Power Revolution and Corazon Aquino took over the government, she named Sueño officer-in-charge for the next two years.

Sueño served as governor of South Cotabato from 1988 to 1992. Among his significant contributions were promoting law and order, ensuring speedy delivery of basic services, and advocating community development.

In 1997, then president Fidel Ramos appointed him to the Southern Philippine Council for Peace and Development (SPCPD) Consultative Assembly. In 1998, he ran in tandem with presidential candidate Emilio Osmeña under the Probinsya Muna Development Initiative (PROMDI) ticket but lost. He also lost his congressional bid in 2001.

After retiring from government service, he remained active in local and community organizations in South Cotabato. He founded the South Cotabato Foundation Incorporated and Tinguha Foundation. Both are providing assistance to the poor.

He also manages his family agricultural business together with his entrepreneur wife Jocelyn Pamunag Bernardo. They have three children: Ivy Joy, Ismael Jade and Izah Jane.

DILG post

As the current DILG secretary, Sueño said that he will use the Alsa Masa strategy to promote people's participation in government affairs. However, he said his proposed strategy would not include arms and violence. He emphasized that using the Alsa Masa strategy, citizens will serve as the eyes and ears of the government in promoting peace and order in communities.

He added that he will publish a new guideline for barangay officials for addressing the concerns of their constituents.




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