3 May 2019

“Ang May 13 po ay parang ‘Endgame.’ And electing any corrupt and dishonest candidates this May 13 will spell doom for our country’s future.”

Samira Gutoc, an #OtsoDiretso senatorial candidate and Marawi civic leader, issued this caution even as she enjoined all voters not to be swayed by mere surveys and instead take a stand against candidates known to be facing or have faced cases of corruption.

“Either we stand united against corruption and government neglect, or we fall and hope our country will not self-destruct with the same set of politicians who always do a disservice to the Filipino people,” Gutoc pointed out

“Kawawa po ang ating bansa kung ang mga sinungaling at magnanakaw na naman ang uupo sa gobyerno. Ano ang aasahan natin sa hindi nagsasabi ng totoo at sa malikot ang kamay pag nasa poder na ng kapangyarihan? Lolokohin pa rin nila ang taumbayan.”

As the May 13 midterm election nears, Samira Gutoc of the Otso Diretso opposition slate appealed that the voting public to “take a stand” and stop voting for candidates who have histories of lying and have records of corruption.

“Isa sa mga mahalagang natutunan ko sa gyera sa Marawi is that the Filipinos deserve better, especially when it comes to leaders and public servants. On election day, I hope that we value and respect our votes and ourselves by not choosing candidates without integrity, for example, those who have lied about their credentials and have records of corruption. Lalo na po yung mga incumbent officials na pinayagan ang tatlong beses na deklarasyon ng Martial Law sa Mindanao,” Samira Gutoc said.

“As a mother, I have high hopes for our country, and for the future of our children. Filipinos deserve better, our children deserve better. We should not be caged by criticisms saying our nation fails because we have too much freedom and democracy. The corrupt, lying and self-serving politicians are the ones pulling our country from progress, not democracy and freedom,” the peace advocate stressed.

Gutoc, a former ARMM assemblywoman said, also likened the election process to applying to jobs where honesty is expected of applicants.

“Kapag nag-aapply ang ordinaryong Pinoy, kailangan walang crime o derogatory record, may background check, may interview, at sa application form nakalagay na dapat totoo lahat ng datos na nilagay bago tanggapin sa trabaho. Sana ganito rin tayo sa pagpili ng leaders. Do this not for candidates, but for yourself and the country,” the former journalist said.

“Please do not let the surveys, the big billboards and other ads dictate you who to vote. Choose decent and qualified ones with proven and clean track record. More importantly, choose those who choose to serve you honestly and selflessly,” Gutoc added. ###

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Samira Gutoc, an Otso Diretso senatorial candidate, champions peace. She was recognized by the Philippine Daily Inquirer as Filipino of the Year in 2017 and by the Junior Chamber International as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM).