Gutoc uses ‘faithful boyfriend’ analogies to teach students about peace

Mara Cepeda

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Gutoc uses ‘faithful boyfriend’ analogies to teach students about peace


'Peace education starts with having only one girlfriend!' Otso Diretso senatorial bet Samira Gutoc tells high school students in Iriga City

Senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc decided to use a Valentine’s Day “hugot” or gut issue to teach high school students in Iriga City what peace education is all about.

On Wednesday, February 13, the lone female senatorial bet of the Otso Diretso ticket told students at Zeferino Arroyo High School that peace education starts from childhood. (READ: Otso Diretso heads to Leni and Jesse’s turf to woo Bicolano vote)

But what got the young crowd loudly cheering was when Gutoc likened peace education to a boyfriend faithful to his girlfriend. (WATCH: #TheLeaderIWant: Samira Gutoc on Mindanao representation in the Senate)

“Ladies, dapat si boyfriend ay hindi [naghahanap ng iba] at iiwanan kaming mga babae basta-basta. 

 (Ladies, your boyfriend should not be out womanizing then leaving us women just like that)! Peace education starts with having only one girlfriend,” said Gutoc.!

When the cheers subsided, the Maranao civic leader added, “Peace education is about appreciating us – ‘yung iba’t ibang klaseng tao, iba’t ibang klaseng kulay (different kinds of people, different races).”

Gutoc then told the students that peace education is all about respect – from refusing to troll other people on social media to refraining from using one’s mobile phone when eating with the family. 

“Peace education is respecting. Peace education is honoring our elders. ‘Yung kanilang, ‘wag na lang kayong masyadong nagse-cellphone ‘pag kumakain. Puwede ba, kausapin si grandmother, si mother, when you eat sa hapag-kainan?” asked Gutoc. (It’s like when they tell you not to use your cellphones while eating. May you please talk to your grandmother and your mother at the dining table?)

“So don’t forget, children, young people, youth. Importante ang peace education sa atin. That is our primary puhunan (Peace education is important to us. That is our primary investment),” she added. 

Gutoc’s speech was a big hit among the students. (READ: Can Otso Diretso do a repeat of Robredo’s 2016 victory?)

On Wednesday, the Otso Diretso senatorial ticket barnstormed in Iriga City, where detained Senator Leila de Lima, their ally, grew up.  

They also visited the tomb of the late interior secretary Jesse Robredo in Naga City in the afternoon, before holding a proclamation rally at Plaza Quezon. Vice President Leni Robredo, Jesse’s widow, graced the event. –

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.