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Former Bangsamoro panel member is opposition’s first official Senate bet

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By Xave Gregorio

A Bangsamoro Transition Committee member, who resigned after a rape joke from President Rodrigo Duterte, is the first senatorial candidate of the opposition to file her certificate of candidacy (COC).

Coming to the Commission on Elections office from Liwasang Bonifacio with close to a hundred supporters, Samira Gutoc filed Thursday (October 11) her candidacy for senator.

She was accompanied by former presidential peace adviser Teresita “Ging” Deles in filing her COC.

“Ako po ay tumanggap ng imbitasyon ng oposisyon na tumakbo bilang senador,” Gutoc told reporters.

If she wins, she would be the second Maranao to step in the halls of the Senate, following former Senator Mamintal Tamano, and would be the first female Maranao to do so.

“Somebody has to stand up for non-violence, peace-building. As a Maranao, I can well-represent indigenous peoples … I represent the 10 million Muslim population in the Philippines,” Gutoc told ABS-CBN News Channel.

Gutoc has been a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao following the Marawi siege.