Bangsamoro commission member quits over Duterte rape joke, Marawi assault
DAVAO CITY – Offended by President Duterte’s recent rape joke and aghast over the aerial bombardment in her hometown Marawi City, Samira Gutoc-Tomawis, one of the President’s appointees to the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), has resigned from the body tasked to draft a new charter for Bangsamoro autonomy.
“It is an insult to me as a Marawi BTC member that I cannot do anything,” Tomawis told the Inquirer.
According to Tomawis, she has yet to send her resignation letter to the BTC but she has already informed the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Office of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process about her decision.
The BTC has 21 members, 11 from the MILF and 10 from the government. The government members were appointed by Mr. Duterte.
Tomawis said she offered to quit by August but the crisis in Marawi and the President’s joke about owning responsibility if soldiers fighting terrorists in her hometown would rape women hastened her decision to leave the commission.
She said the President’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao was also among the reasons that pushed her to resign.
“Then there’s policy questions on handling terrorism at the expense of civilian evacuations, and now in my very homeland, Marawi,” she said.
A military operation targeting Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon on Tuesday last week developed into a full-scale battle with the Maute terror group, prompting President Duterte to place the entire Mindanao under martial law. GAL