By MARK FRANCISCO
SENATORIAL aspirant Samira Gutoc held a successful motorcade and interaction with residents in Marawi City Sunday, December 12.
“Gaya ng mga una kong pahayag, patuloy ko pong isusulong ang kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan sa Marawi at maglalatag ng mga programa na magbibigay ng oportunidad para sa mga taga Mindanao,” Gutoc said.
“Dagdag sa aking mga adbokasiya para sa Mindanao ay ang mahigit tatlong dekada ko ng ipinaglalaban – karapatan ng mga kabataan, kababaihan, karaniwang manggagawa, indigenous peoples groups(IPs), Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), at Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). Patuloy ko pong tututukan ang mga isyu at oportunidad para sa mga sektor na ito upang makatulong sa higit na maraming Pilipino,” she added.
Gutoc is a seasoned peace advocate and crisis worker in Marawi City and the whole of Mindanao.
A law to protect the rights of internally displaced persons is at the top of her priorities.
The country currently has no law tailored to the needs and concerns of internally displaced persons. Draft bills have been pending in Congress for around a decade.
Gutoc (born 19 December 1974) is a Filipina civic leader, journalist, environmentalist, women’s rights advocate and politician. She served as a member of the Regional Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, which was tasked to draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
She is the founder of Asian Peace Alliance associated with Asia-Pacific Peace Research Association, writes for Asian Muslim Action Network, and established Ranao Rescue Team, a volunteer group that helps civilians displaced by the Battle of Marawi offering relief missions to civilians.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts in broadcast communication at the UP where she became the president of UP Muslim Students Association and the Metro Manila-wide Muslim Youth and Students Alliance. She then earned a Master’s in International Studies from the University of the Philippines Center for International Studies, in UP Diliman, then earned a Bachelor of Laws degree from Arellano University School of Law in 2006.
Gutoc-Tomawis was awarded by the United Nations Development Programme the 2018 N-Peace Award for her activism. She also received a fellowship from the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies.
She resides in Marawi, belongs to the Maranao ethnic group, and is a follower of Islam.