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samira gutoc


With less than 2 months to go before #Halalan2022, I find myself looking at the list of candidates and already making notes on who I will vote for.


Nagulat ako to discover na hindi pa pala complete ang list of senatoriables ko. Ang dami pang kulang at parang ang hirap kumpletuhin! Kabudlay gid bala.


So konting research-research muna which led me to someone nga parang very controversial: si Samira Gutoc of Aksyon Demokratiko. Parang ang daming mga issues that people have brought up about her kaya na-intriga ako. I asked a friend na kilala ko na supporter ni Samira and he gave me some links to read.


Recent controversies aside, I was impressed with Samira’s track record. From college pa lang in UP, she was already advocating for Muslim and women’s rights. Hindi mo na pwede mahimo-himo ang background nya from more than 20 plus years ago. Since then, madami na rin syang programs lalo na in her hometown of Marawi.


And the reason I bring this up if because naniniwala rin ako na kulang tayo sa Muslim representation. Right now, the only other senatoriable na daw pwedeng maging credible Muslim rights advocate is Robin Padilla.


I want to research more on Samira Gutoc because I think she might make it to my list. How about you?


Other possible reasons why Samira made the influencer’s list:

Much needed Muslim representation in the Senate

Proven track record as socio-civic worker

Champions women and children’s rights

Heads “Ako, Bakwit”, for rights of IDPs (Internally Displace Persons)

Peace warrior who also spearheads inter-faith dialogues














Samira A. Gutoc

Manican Mansion, Sarimanok, Bangon, Marawi City


Samira has worked with an array of stakeholders for more than 20 years as a journalist, speaker, consultant, environmentalist, trainer, women's, IDP rights’ and peace advocate, civil society leader, and former legislator in the ARMM.

She was nominated as 2017 Inquirer's Filipino of the Year for her expose on human rights violations in Marawi. She was awarded 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.

She was a key actor as a speaker and lobbyist in pushing policies on Gender and Development (GAD), Women in Peace and Security (LNAP), Women in the Army and PNP. Currently, she highlights the value of women IDP organizers and leaders, and protection of widows and orphans.

She chairs the anti-crime watch movement Kazalimbago Movement since 20016 whose sister group Ranao Rescue Team (RRT), assisted in helping the rescue of Marawi priest Fr. Chito Soganub, among other hostages and thousands of trapped civilians during the May siege.

She is the spokesperson of Ranao Rescue Team which is assisting government and survivor families of missing and dead persons from the siege, and was recently awarded by the UN Development Programme N-Peace Award as a community organizer in Marawi City.

Towards highlighting the evacuees’ situation, their rights and humanitarian situation, she has been a resource person to the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times and has also appeared on Al Jazeerah.

She was a former member of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission which drafted the Bangsamoro Basic Law, and a former director of Amanah Islamic Bank. In the previous administration, Samira was appointed as OIC sectoral representative for women in the ARMM Legislative Assembly. She also served as Member of the Philippine Army (PA) Multi -Sectoral Advisory Board.

In February 2020, she co-founded Ako Bakwit, Inc., a rights organization, where she is currently serving as the Chair, which aims to promote and protect the rights and welfare of the internally displaced people in our country.

She obtained her degrees in Communication and Master in International Studies at the University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman. She finished her law degree at the Arellano School of Law and acquired a fellowship program at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies.

Samira is married to Engineer Abdul Maomit Tomawis and has a three-year-old son.

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