Former Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) member Samira Gutoc has agreed to run as senator in the 2019 elections under the opposition coalition.
Gutoc finalized her decision after meeting with Liberal Party (LP) president and opposition coalition campaign manager Sen. Francis Pangilinan on Wednesday.
In a statement, Gutoc said she will continue to push for her advocacy to advance the welfare of women and Muslims if elected to the Senate.
“We aim to bring understanding the issues of Muslims and women and to bring about harmony and peace in the country, especially in the region of Mindanao,” said Gutoc, a former legislator of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Gutoc was a member of the BTC, but she resigned due to President Duterte’s remarks about soldiers raping women, martial law declaration in Mindanao, and the non-stop bombings of Marawi City at the height of the Maute siege.
Gutoc also exposed the human rights violations in Marawi, where she spearheaded relief operations for her fellow residents. For her expose, Gutoc was nominated as 2017 Inquirer’s Filipino of the Year.
She was a nominee of the Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) and was recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) for Socio Cultural and Youth Development by the Junior Chamber International (JCI). She is also recognized as one of 500 Most Influential Muslims by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Jordan.
Gutoc is a graduate of Mass Communication from UP Diliman and earned her LLB degree from the Arellano University and a Master’s degree in International Relations from UP Diliman. She also completed a fellowship in Islamic Studies from Oxford in London.
Samira is married to Engr. Abdul Maomit Tomawis, and has a three-year-old son.