Samira Gutoc airs TV ad a week before May 13 polls

Mara Cepeda

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Samira Gutoc airs TV ad a week before May 13 polls
Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc speaks in a mild-mannered way in her TV ad, unlike her usual feisty campaign speeches

MANILA, Philippines – Outspoken Otso Diretso senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc released her first and only television advertisement for the campaign period one week before the May elections.  

The Marawi civic leader’s 30-second TV ad was aired during the commercial break of a noontime entertainment show on a major television network on Sunday, May 5. She has since posted a copy of the video on her Facebook account.

The ad focuses on the Marawi civic leader’s push for peaceful communities and peaceful homes. (WATCH: #TheLeaderIWant: Samira Gutoc on Mindanao representation in the Senate

The Maranao peacekeeper starts the video by saying she is used to fighting for what is right.

“Samira Gutoc para sa Senado. Sanay tayo sa laban, laban para sa tama, para sa dignidad,” says Gutoc, who has been on the frontlines of the recovery efforts in war-stricken Marawi City as focal person of the Ranao Rescue Team, a group of volunteers that helped civilians escape from fighting in the city.

(Samira Gutoc for the Senate. I am used to fighting, fighting for what is right, for dignity.)


What follows is a montage of the most affected area in Marawi City, where rehabilitation began only in October 2018 after 4 months of delay.

“Sa mga labang ito, luminaw sa akin na mas malalim ang pagkakapareho natin kaysa sa pagkakaiba. Gusto natin ng ligtas, masaya, at sama-samang pamilya,” Gutoc says.

(In these battles, it became clear to me that our similarities are much deeper than our differences. We want our families to be safe, happy, and united.)

Gutoc then shakes her head as she says she is against thieves.

“Agree tayo. Peace tayo. Pagtulungan na lang natin maabot ito. Samira Gutoc ng Otso Diretso para sa Senado. Peace tayo!” says Gutoc to end the ad.

(Let’s agree on this. Let’s make peace. Let’s work together to achieve this. I am Samira Gutoc of Otso Diretso running for the Senate. Let’s make peace!)

In the ad, Gutoc delivers her lines in a mild-mannered way, in stark contrast to her usual impassioned speeches on the campaign trail.

With the airing of Gutoc’s ad, this means 7 out of the 8 Otso Diretso bets have already released their respective TV ads. Former interior chief Mar Roxas and reelectionist Senator Bam Aquino – the veteran candidates who have made it to the so-called wininers’ circle in preelection surveys – have released a number of ads already.

The lower-ranking Otso Diretso bets – Gary Alejano, Chel Diokno, Romy Macalintal, and Erin Tañada – released theirs during Holy Week.

This leaves ex-solicitor general Florin Hilbay without a TV ad days before the polls. His staff member told Rappler that the chances of Hilbay being able to have an ad aired on TV are bleak. –

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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.