Former senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc on Tuesday maintained she did not betray her principles even after joining Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso’s Aksyon Demokratiko party.
“Hindi po ito pagta-traydor sa prinsipyo na ni-lay out naman ng iniina ko sa pulitika. Aminado po ako na maraming nagtatampo sa akin ngayon, talagang hindi po ako magkakaroon ngayon ng future po sa political awareness ng tao kung wala po si [Vice President] Leni [Robredo] (This is not a betrayal of the principle laid out by someone I consider as my mother in politics. I admit that many are upset with me now, I really would not have a future in people’s political awareness without Leni),” Gutoc said in an interview with DZMM TeleRadyo.
“I still continue, naniniwala sa human rights, demokrasya, pag-poprotekta sa teritoryo ng Pilipinas (I still continue to believe in human rights, democracy, protection of Philippine territory),” she added.
Gutoc, a Mindanaoan civic leader, formally accepted Aksyon Demokratiko’s nomination to join its senatorial line-up during the national convention on Monday, Sept 27.
She was a senatorial candidate under Otso Diretso party in the 2019 elections but failed to win.
Gutoc also clarified she talked to Senator Kiko Pangilinan, who is the leader of the Liberal Party, as well as with Vice President Leni Robredo, before shifting to Aksyon Demokratiko.
She then also shared how she ended up joining the Aksyon Demokratiko.
“Along the two years po ay nagkakaroon naman po ng LP organizing, ‘yun nga po, in pursuant sa sinasabi ni VP Leni, nag-uusap sila ngayon ni Isko ngayon, nag-uusap kay Pacman, everybody is dialoguing (Along the two years, they have been organizing LP, that is, in pursuant to what VP Leni is saying, they are talking to Isko now, talking to Pacman, everybody is dialoguing),” Gutoc told DZMM.
“Pero, hindi ako kagaya nila na mga sitting politicians. Ako po ay isang community leader na wala po akong opisina by which I can be able to do that. And one thing na nai-offer po, na nakita ko sa Aksyon Demokratiko, for the past two years na youth dialogues ako, is a concrete position in a political party, Aksyon Demokratiko, na national board executive position (But, I am not like those sitting politicians. I am a community leader who does not have an office by which I can be able to do that. And one thing that has been offered, that I have seen in Aksyon Demokratiko, for the past two years that I am youth dialogues, is a concrete position in a political party, Aksyon Demokratiko, which is a national board executive position),” she said.
Domagoso’s plans for the Marawi evacuees and other minorities in the country were also one of the reasons why Gutoc joined his party.
On Wednesday, Sept. 22, Domagoso officially announced his presidential bid in the 2022 national elections.