PEACETALK: Let Samira’s voice be heard

Please, please spare Samira Gutoc from your never-ending political bickering and labelings.  She’s one brave, courageous woman who is very well grounded and hands-on in the Marawi Crisis from Day 1.

No guys, you cannot win any argument with a woman who is right there in the frontlines dealing with the rescue of civilians caught in the crossfire, begging that civilians be given time to return home to pick up their belongings.

And isn’t it ironic that a Muslim woman like her is the one begging for the bombings to stop for fear of the safety of Catholic priest Fr. Chito Suganob?

No, you cannot discredit her with your GASGAS na dilawan labeling.

Remember, she was appointed by Digong as Commissioner of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission. She resigned in protest at the height of the carpet bombing of Marawi that practically levelled the city to ground zero.


This Maranao woman has got balls to speak for the truth. Let her voice be heard instead of being attacked by your cruel judgment and killer dilawan labeling.

I was with Samira during the lobby effort to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law in Congress up to the last session of the 16th Congress.

The Maranaos were the most vocal in forewarning Congress on the looming threat of extremism if the BBL will not be passed. And true enough, extremism is now the name of the game.

We are overtaken by events and government cannot simply apply an old solution to a new problem which now has global ramifications.

I will bet my 20-years of peacebuilding experience in Mindanao to suggest that the key to solving the Marawi crisis is to listen to women like Samira.

She has been calling for a dialogue with Digong but she has not been given the time, YET. Just like what he did in the anti-SONA rally yesterday, will Digong directly talk to the Maranao leaders especially the IDPs and listen to their proposals?

The sooner the President does this, the closer he will be to the resolution of the Marawi Crisis. Ignoring them will consign Mindanao to a senseless war akin to the horrors of Iraq and Syria.

If we truly love Mindanao, we should start listening to voices like Samira. (MindaNews is the opinion section of MindaNews. PeaceTalk is open to anyone who wishes to share his / her thoughts on peace in Mindanao. Lawyer Mary Ann Arnado is spokesperson of the Mindanao Peoples Caucus).