At the age of 50, EMMYLOU “Lala” J. TALIÑO-MENDOZA, has spent more than half of her life in unbroken elective political positions from 1993 to 2022. Presently the newly elected Governor of Cotabato province, she has served one term as Vice Governor from 2019 to 2022, three terms as Governor from 2010 to 2019 and three terms as representative of the province’s first district to Congress from 2001 to 2010. She entered public life at age 20 in 1993 as Chairperson of the Sangguniang Kabataan and then ex-officio member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and, in 1998 elected as Senior Board Member of Cotabato Province and notably authored the first ever Gender and Development Code of Cotabato.
During her nine-year stint in Congress, she once chaired the Committee on Public Information which investigated the “Hello Garci” scandal and fearlessly steered the proceedings along objective direction amidst the seriousness of the controversy. She earned the respect of her colleagues and admiration of the public for the bold and impartiality of the committee’s report. She was a regular delegate to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and a member of the Committees on Rules, Accounts, Legislative Franchises, and National Defense in the 12th, 13th and 14th Congress. In the 13th Congress became a member of the Legislative Oversight on the Visiting Forces Agreement (LOVFA). During the 14th Congress, she also became a member of the powerful Commission on Appointments and Vice Chairperson of the Committee on Legislative Franchises.
Also, during her tenure at the House, she was a participant in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) from September 14 to October 2, 2009 under a grant of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States State Department.
In 2012, the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, Cotabato conferred on her an honorary degree of Doctor of Science in Rural Development. She was a participant to the International Urban Training Program organized by the International Urban Training Center (IUTC), Republic of Korea on November 6-13, 2016 and also completed the Agribusiness Executive’s Program (AEP) at the University of Asia and the Pacific from June 14 to November 10, 2018.
Governor Taliño-Mendoza is the eldest of four children of Mayor Rogelio Tamondong Taliño and Noemi Cabrillos Jacolo, a retired teacher and entrepreneur.
She was a consistent honor student from grade school to high school at the Notre Dame of Kidapawan for Girls (now St. Mary’s Academy) and earned her undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from the Ateneo de Davao University. She also completed her Bachelor of Laws from the University of Mindanao in 2000.
In order to widen her vision of the unique security atmosphere of the province, Governor Taliño-Mendoza enrolled in the pilot class of Executive Masters in National Security Administration (E-MNSA) being conducted by the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) on July 2020. Her experiences and desire to address the armed-conflicts in her hometown motivates her to conduct the research study on “Assessment of Amicable Settlement as Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism for Resolving Rido Cases in the Province of Cotabato” for which she was awarded a Bronze Medal for Best Thesis. She graduated with honors from this degree on 05 August 2021 and received a Certificate of Merit for Academic Excellence.
Married to Deputy Speaker Atty. Raymond Democrito C. Mendoza, President of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines and Representative of the TUCP Party list, they are blessed with a son, Emilio Ramon, a junior high school student at the Ateneo de Manila University. She is also mother to 3rd District Congresswoman and Assistant Majority Floor Leader Ma. Alana Samantha Santos, her daughter with former late husband, who recently earned her Master’s degree in Development Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia.