Samira Gutoc, 48, is a former assemblywoman of the ARMM Regional Legislative Assembly and a former member of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission. She is an advocate for Marawi, internally displaced peoples, women and peace.

She resigned from the BTC after the imposition of Martial Law in Mindanao and President Rodrigo Duterte’s harmful joke about taking the blame for soldiers who commit rape under Martial Law.

She is the current chairperson of Ako Bakwit, Inc. which promotes the rights and welfare of IDPs, or those forced to evacuate due to armed conflict or natural disasters. She was also the spokesperson for the Ranao Rescue Team which provided relief and legal assistance to civilians fleeing the Marawi siege.

Gutoc unsuccessfully ran for the Senate in 2019, under the opposition coalition Otso Diretso slate that was trounced by administration allies.

In her second bid for senator, Gutoc vows to improve the country’s pandemic response by seeking an audit of the COVID-19 funds and pushing for wider access to health services and mass testing. She has also flagged a lack of funding for Marawi City’s pandemic response.

Gutoc is still pushing for the immediate rehabilitation of Marawi City which was battered by a five-month siege in 2017 and a framework that will protect the rights of IDPs.

She is currently seeking a Senate seat under Aksyon Demokratiko, the party backing Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso for president. She justifies the move as necessary to escape the labels attached to her after she became a guest candidate of the Liberal Party in 2019, likening it to Vice President Leni Robredo’s decision to run as an independent for the 2022 presidential race.

Gutoc supports the legalization of divorce, medical marijuana, and allowing the International Criminal Court to probe the Duterte administration's bloody anti-drug campaign. She opposes the reimposition of the death penalty and the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

She is now in favor of pursuing a shift to a federal system of government, a departure from her previous stance as a senatorial candidate in 2019 when she said she did not believe it was time for such a change.

Platform and Policy

The candidate's top priorities if elected to office, tracked against previous promises and accomplishments, if any

Select a policy profile below to view more details
Upholding Displaced Persons' rights
Government transparency
Healthcare accessibility
Anti-discrimination against Muslims
Related Policy Proposal:
  1. Provide compensation for Marawi residents who lost their property
  2. Provide framework on how to assist and protect individuals forced out of their homes due to violence and conflict; the proposed bill will also include a framework for displaced individuals due to natural disasters and calamities
  3. Institutionalize and systematize how authorities would keep tabs on missing persons and ensure the proper treatment of remains of victims of conflicts and disasters
Previous Platform:
During the 2019 senatorial elections, if given a Senate seat, Gutoc promised to closely monitor Marawi rehabilitation and to ensure the participation of Maranaos in the rebuilding process
Track Record / Accomplishment; Date:
Gutoc served as the focal person and spokesperson of Ranao Rescue Team, a group of volunteers that helped civilian escape from fighting in the city
Deviation from Previous Platform:
Related Policy Proposal:
Prioritize small-scale accounting of the pandemic response funds
Previous Platform:
Track Record / Accomplishment; Date:
Deviation from Previous Platform:
Related Policy Proposal:
  1. Proposes an audit of the pandemic funds, particularly for the spending in Marawi City
  2. Speaks of lack of healthcare spending in Marawi City, compared to hospitals in Metro Manila
Previous Platform:
Track Record / Accomplishment; Date:
Deviation from Previous Platform:
Related Policy Proposal:
Ensure that the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos would be active in giving Muslims, especially those outside Muslim Mindanao, access to burials that respect their traditions
Previous Platform:
As a senatorial candidate in 2019:
  1. Called for the inclusion of women in combatting terrorism and in the decision-making and discussion of peace and security
  2. Vowed to push for bills that would require local government units to establish local women’s councils and a comprehensive anti-discrimination policy
Track Record / Accomplishment; Date:
Deviation from Previous Platform:
Major Accomplishments

The candidate's top five accomplishments and contributions for the last 15 years or so

Public Office

Gutoc represented the women’s sector in the ARMM Regional Legislative Assembly from 2012 to 2013, the unicameral legislative branch of the ARMM government.

In February 2017, she was appointed as a member of the Bansamoro Transition Committee, which was tasked to aid in the drafting of Republic Act No. 11054, or the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

She resigned by May 2017, initially citing personal reasons and later stating that she was insulted by the president’s joke about taking responsibility for rapes committed by soldiers deployed in Marawi City and her dismay over the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao, signalling a policy priorizing the fight against terrorism at the expense of civilan evacuations.

Gutoc was also a member of the Philippine Army Multi-Sectoral Advisory Board. In 2018, she called for the government to reconsider its military campaign against communist rebels and prioritize peace-building efforts.

In 2022, she had to clarify her continued opposition to the bloody anti-drug campaign after she said in an interview that it could have been the Duterte administration’s greatest achievement but for the thousands of alleged killings. During the same interview, she said the establishment of the Bangsamoro region was the Duterte administration’s greatest feat.

Member of the 7th ARMM assembly
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Representing the women’s sector
Member of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission
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February 2017 to May 2017
Resigned due to disapproval of the government’s handling of Marawi siege and President Duterte’s joke that he would take the blame for soldiers who commit rape during Martial Law in Mindanao

Private Sector

After the months-long siege of Marawi in 2017, Gutoc was active with the Ranao Rescue Team, a group that assisted civilians fleeing from areas of armed conflict.

Relief and recovery campaigns had to manage the urgent challenges such as mass displacement of residents, massive destruction of physical infrastructure, loss of life and injury to civilians, loss of businesses and employment, and dispossession of official documentation such as personal identification, legal titles and other civil and commercial documents. Moro leaders, RRT and other advocate organizations repeatedly called for full participation of Maranaos and Bangsamoros in the relief and rehabilitation efforts for Marawi City.

Gutoc also led a group of indigenous peoples in filing one of the 37 petitions challenging the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, the provisions of which were upheld by the Supreme Court in February 2021.

As a Muslim civic leader, Gutoc has been recognized by Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim Christian Understanding as among the 500 Most Influential Muslims. She is a recipient of the 2018 N-Peace Award by the United Nations Development Programme.

Marawi relief efforts
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In 2017, joined Ranao Rescue Team, a civic society group that provided legal and other relief missions to displaced people
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  • “A Girl From Marawi”, The Philippine Business and News
  • “My, My, My Marawi”, MindaViews
Business executive
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Former director:
  • Marawi Resort Hotel, Inc.
  • Al Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines (2008-2012)
Islamic studies
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Fellow at Oxford Center of Islamic Studies in London
Actions and/or Proceedings

Actions and/or proceedings pending against or resolved in courts or tribunals involving the candidate, based on publicly available information

Resolved Actions and/or Proceedings

Subject Matter Relevant Dates Accrued Liability Status
Inciting to sedition, cyber libel, libel and obstruction of justice
The CIDG filed complaints against Gutoc, Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Vice President Leni Robredo, and 34 other persons linked to the Liberal Party over the viral “Bikoy” videos tagging President Duterte and his family in the illegal drug trade
All persons accused denied involvement, citing harassment by the government

Inciting to sedition, cyber libel, libel and obstruction of justice charges filed on July 18, 2019
The Department of Justice in February 2020 junked the sedition raps against Vice President Robredo, Senators Risa Hontiveros and Leila de Lima, Gutoc and other Otso Diretso slate bets due to lack of probable cause
Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth

Also known as SALN, this document is a declaration of one's personal finances. Philippine Law requires the SALN to be submitted by all public officials and employees to the Ombudsman. Public officials and employees may opt to voluntarily disclose their SALN to the public.

There is no publicly available information on this matter at this time. Requested information from the candidate was not provided.
Campaign Details

Key details about the candidate's campaign

Alliances and Endorsements: Included in the senatorial slate of Isko Moreno Domagoso
Party History:
Senatorial candidate of the Otso Deretso coalition
Aksyon Demokratiko
Major Donors

Candidate's major donors and campaign funding sources

There is no publicly available information on this matter at this time. Requested information from the candidate was not provided.
Major Advocacies

The candidate's top advocacies in the last 15 years or so

IDP rights and protection
Peace education
Women’s rights
IDP rights and protection

As a Senate reelectionist in 2022, vows to:
1. Co-founder and Chairperson of Ako Bakwit, Inc.
2. Ranao Rescue Team spokesperson
Peace education

1.Has chaired the Anti-Crime Watch Movement “Kazalimbago Movement” since 2016
2. Founder of Asian Peace Alliance, associated with Asia-Pacific Peace Research Association
Women’s rights

1. Appointed as the women sector representative to the 7th ARMM Regional Legislative Assembly
2. Resigned from the Bangsamoro Transition Commission in May 2017 after President Duterte’s rape joke
3. As a senatorial candidate in 2019, vowed to propose a law for the protection of women, especially those from indigenous groups

1. Served as a working group member of the Philippine Muslim Women Council which advocates for the protection of the watershed
2. Pushes for the creation of Lake Lanao Development Authority
Personal Details

Basic information on the candidate's family, background and work experience

Name to appear on the ballot: GUTOC, SAMIRA
Full Name: Samira “SAM” Ali Gutoc-Tomawis
Birthdate: Dec. 19, 1974 (48 years old as of election day)
Birthplace: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Residence: Marawi City, Lanao del Sur
Religion: Muslim
Languages Spoken: Filipino, English
Candidato Gutoc, father, former ambassador to Saudi Arabia
Bae Tomanina Ali, mother, real property developer
Marital Status:Married to Abdul Maomit Tomawis
Children: Amir

• Master in International Studies, University of the Philippines-Diliman

• Bachelor of Laws, Arellano University School of Law, 2006

• Bachelor of Arts in Communications, University of the Philippines-Diliman

Work Experience:

• Focal person and spokesperson, Ranao Rescue Team

• Member, Bangsamoro Transition Commission, February-May 2017

• Sectoral Representative for Women, 7th ARMM Legislative Assembly, 2012-2013

• Former member, Philippine Army Multi-Sectoral Advisory Board

• Former member, Board of Regents of Mindanao State University

• Member, Local School Board Marawi City

• Convenor, Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy

• Coordinator, Young Moro Professionals Network