Muslim solon resigns to return to community work
Anak Mindanao Party-list Rep. Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman has resigned from her position to focus again on community work among the disaffected youth in conflict-weary Mindanao.
Hataman, a second-termer, made the announcement in a Monday privilege speech. She yielded her seat to the party-list group’s third nominee, Amihilda Sangcopan, the group’s chief-of-staff from the 12th to the 14th Congress (a second seat is currently held by Rep. Makmod Mending Jr.).
“This was no easy decision, and perhaps the craziest I’ve done so far. But those who knew me, and knew my soul, have long suspected I was longing to be back home,” Hataman said in her speech.
She cited the impact of the Marawi conflict in her realization that “there is no higher office or lower rank, what matters is where and how you can serve best.”
Expressing frustration, she said “the impact of what happened brought me to so many questions and self-reflections, thoughts of where I am and where I am most needed.”
Hataman said groups have capitalized on the “youth’s frustration over the seeming loss of our struggles, the imminent failure to realize our aspirations.”
This led her to think: “Had I remained in the communities, as one of them, and spoke to them of peace, perhaps I could have convinced a child or two that it is possible.”
“We often speak of winning hearts and minds. The fight is no longer anywhere but in our very communities and homes, the hearts and minds we so desperately need to win over are not anyone else’s but the hearts and minds of our own children,” she said.
Hataman made one last plea for her House colleagues to pass the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, of which she was listed as a co-author.
“I leave appealing to your compassion and discernment, with hope in our leaders, and faith in the President to make true his vow to pass the BBL. I appeal to you, we may be a little too late, as we all know now, but please let us not miss this opportunity, probably the last, to win back our people,” Hataman said.
“As I go back, may this be a gift I can offer them from you, not a gift as a token of benevolence, but a gift we so truly deserve, not just from the House of Representatives, not just from this administration, but from the Filipino people,” she added.
After the speech, Dinagat Islands Rep. Arlene Bag-ao manifested her support for Hataman and sadness for the departure of an ally for the BBL and the fight against discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community
“Her departure is one big loss to the 17th Congress, but I’m sure we can still be with her in other campaigns for justice, peace and democracy,” Bag-ao said.
Hataman’s resignation was witnessed by her husband, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Governor Mujiv Hataman, a former AMIN representative himself.
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