PEACETALK: I am not from a powerful family, not from a political clan, but I have my principle and dignity to protect

(MindaNews / 02 March) — I would like to request the person responsible to the alleged “mistake” committed to have the decency to officially write me directly as when I was requested to submit my notarized PDS (personal data sheet) for my nomination to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), there were personalities who contacted and called me.

I am not from a powerful family, not from a political clan, but I have my principle and dignity to protect, that of my children and the basic sectors I have been working with all these years.

Hindi po ako nag-apply. Hindi ko po pinangarap na mag-apply dahil alam ko na ang katulad kong maliit na tao na galing sa laylayan ng lipunan ay walang puwang sa mundo ng mga may kapangyarihan, may mga pera at koneksyon.

Kaya ako po ay nagpasalamat sa nag-nominate sa akin at sa tiwalang ibinigay na ang isang solong nanay na katulad ko ay nakita niyang may kakayanan na maisama sa BTA upang tunay na pagbabago at kapayapaan ay maisulong at magawan ng mga kaukulang batas upang maipaabot sa lahat lalo na sa mga batayang sektor na walang kakayahang lumapit at maisaboses ang kanilang mga hinaing at pinapangarap.

The mistake that happened is a mistake committed to the masses who believe in me like PCART, BASULTA CSOs, Women and Youth of Tawi-Tawi who were not heard and accepted to work even if they are qualified and eligibles as they do not have padrinos and connections.

However, I am hoping that the BTA will stand in righteousness with the good people they have – Atty. Raissa Jajurie, Atty. Laisa Masuhud Alamia, Kakah Hadja Bainon G. Karon, Kakah Engr. Aida Silongan, Atty. Maisara Dandamun-Latiph, Atty. Suharto Mastura Ambolodto, Engr. Tundra Gon, Totoh Al-syed Sali, Hji. Eddie Alih, Prof. Salie Udja, Prof. Adzfar H. Usman.

It is not about position, it is not only serving the Moro, it is hearing the most unheard voices on the ground from the unserved Lumad, Moro and Christian settlers.

As a Balik-Islam, I have entrusted everything to ALLAH SWT. For HE is the Best Planner. And HIS is the Best of Plans.

Such that when I first received SMS from OPAPP (Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process) and submitted my notarized PDS, my prayer to my RABB is to keep me in HIS Guidance and Protection. And HIS Will be done. That if my inclusion will be for the good of the greater majority, and will strengthen my eeman, then I will serve. But, if it will not strengthen my eeman, and will destroy me, I pray that HE keeps it away from me.

It is an honor to be nominated and reached that far for someone/somebody has recognized my contribution. With all humility, I thank them.

Compared to all other nominees, I am a nobody, thus, I remained grounded. When I was told by fellow nominees that they received information that their nominations were denied, I readied myself to remove my native attire. Then I received the message to proceed to Malacanang.

Inside the (Rizal) Hall, I was asked my name and was ushered to a chair with my name in it.


I was given the program and the laminated Oath of Office given to all other BTA appointees to read during the oath-taking.

We had a rehearsal for the photo ops. I am with the third batch. The protocol officer told us the place where he is standing is President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s (PRRD’s) place and I am to stand on his left side and will have to exit at his back.

For the final photo, (Presidential Peae Adviser) Sec. (Carlito) Galvez was on the left side of PRRD, thus, I stood left side of Sec. Galvez.

I received the SMS to attend the turn-over (from ARMM to BARMM on February 26 in Cotabato City), and attended the first caucus (of the BTA on February 27). And late in the afternoon, I received queries as my name is missing in the list that OP released.

Kun fayakun.

ALLAH SWT provides. My RABB delivers.

HIS is the best of plans.

I abide.

(Arlene Napoles-Sevilla, a professor and civil society leader in Tawi-tawi, posted this on her Facebook page at 10:30 a.m. on March 1, 2019. Sevilla was among 72 persons who were sworn in as members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on February 22, 2019 at the Rizal Hall in Malacanang. Malacanang released the appointment papers of 76 members. Of the 72 who took their oath, the appointment papers of 71 were released but not Sevilla’s. The 41st nominee of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front who was unable to attend the oathtaking as she was recuperating, was among those released as well as the appointment of four new members. As of 6 p.m. on March 2, or three days after the appointment papers were released, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity has yet to issue an explanation on what happened to Ms Sevilla’s appointment).