“Let us not miss this opportunity, probably the last, to win back our people”: Rep. Turabin-Hataman

AMIN Party-list Rep. Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman, wife of ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman has resigned from the House of Representatives (HoR) to return to community service where she came from and used to be prior to her becoming a party-list representative.

In an interview by ABS-CBN South Central Mindanao this morning, RG Hataman disclosed that his wife long planned for her exit from the HoR to continue her engagements with the people in the communities.  

In her privilege speech delivered at the House of Representatives on October 03, 2017, Rep. Turabin-Hataman, after extending her greetings to her colleagues said, “This was no easy decision, and perhaps the craziest I’ve done so far. But those who know me, and know my soul, have long suspected I was longing to be back home. I have always been a community worker, before I became part of government as Executive Director of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos. In 2013 I was given the trust by Anak Mindanao to be its first nominee, and eventually the honor of being AMIN’s representative in the 16th Congress and in the 17th Congress before today. I pray that in the four years I served Anak Mindanao as its voice in the House of Representatives, I have returned this honor. 

Rep. Turabin-Hataman told her audience that she had left to the two AMIN Reps. Makmod Mending Jr, and Ms. Amihilda Sangcopan AMIN’s priority bills which include the Bill against Discrimination On Account of Ethnicity and Religious Belief; the Islamic Banking Bill, the Bill for the Establishment of the Institute of Sulu and Mindanao Traditional Arts and the National Hijab Day which was just passed by the Committee on Muslim Affairs.

“Being a member of the House of Representatives is indeed a great honor, to be the people’s voice, to be their representative, to decide and cast a vote for and in their behalf, on policies and laws that affect their lives, from conception to death. To run this government and determine this country’s future, to build the foundations upon which this nation’s tomorrow shall stand, and create a path unto which the children of this nation, our own children, shall take their journey. The very thought of this great responsibility overwhelms me, it scares me. As a struggling Muslim, I fear being made accountable in the next life of the trust given to me by the people, when I cannot even begin to imagine how I shall account for my own weaknesses. But with the guidance and hard work of all Anak Mindanao members and partners, from our AMIN sa Kongreso staff, to our AMIN volunteers in the communities, to those who continue to believe in us, who kept reminding us of the more than 700 thousand who voted and therefore trusted us, this representation held on”, Rep.Turabin-Hataman said.

 “Our sad reality today is that many can no longer see beyond titles and positions. May we realize that these are not the goals, but are mere platforms and opportunities, ways on how to fulfill a greater calling in life, and for me as a Muslim, as a path to gain a better life in the hereafter in shaa Allah. Whatever title or position or status we have, when it no longer serves that purpose, becomes meaningless. There is no higher office or lower rank, what matters is where and how you can serve best. This is a reminder foremost to myself’, she stressed.

“This realization became strongly evident when Marawi happened.  When Marawi happened, especially when I heard how young some of the members of this group were, 10, 12, 15, I can only ask myself, where did we fail? When and how did we lose them? 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”, Rep. Turabin-Hataman further said in her privilege speech.

On the issue of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), she made her last plea to all the honorable members of the chamber.  She told them that there is another opportunity for them.

 “I am grateful to Deputy Speaker Bai Sandra Sema for allowing me to co-author the Bangsamoro Basic Law drafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, my last act as member of the House of Representatives”, she said. 

She appealed to the compassion and discernment of her colleagues, with hope in the country’s 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. 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 truly deserve, not just from the House of Representatives, not just from this administration, but from the Filipino people.