Lawmaker quits House

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Saying that she is more needed in Mindanao than at the House of Representatives, AMIN party-list Rep. Sitti Turabin-Hataman stepped down as a lawmaker on Monday.

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In her privilege speech, Turabin-Hataman, who has been a House member for four years, said she will go back to Mindanao after having realized that she is needed there more than anywhere else.

“This realization became strongly evident when Marawi happened. I am not from the city, but 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,” Turabin-Hataman said.

“Although there are many factors coming together that led to the incident, it is a known fact that our people’s, particularly our youth’s frustrations over the seeming loss of our struggles, the imminent failure to realize our aspirations, became a vulnerable sentiment used by these groups to their advantage,” she said. “When Marawi happened, especially when I heard how young some of the members of this group were, I can only ask myself, 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.”

She called on officials and community leaders to win back the youth from the path of extremism.

“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,” Turabin-Hataman added.

She pushed for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which she co-authored.

“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,”

Turabin-Hataman said Amihilda Sangcopan, AMIN’s chief of staff, will replace her.

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