Former Otso Diretso senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc-Tomawis has joined Aksyon Demokratiko's national executive board, the party said Friday, placing her alongside party leaders Isko Moreno and Vico Sotto.
Gutoc, a Muslim community organizer for women and persons displaced by armed conflict in Mindanao, failed to clinch a senate seat in the 2019 elections. She recently expressed her intention to run for senator again next year.
Explaining her decision, Gutoc said she's "always been a fan" of the late Senator Raul Roco, who founded Aksyon Demokratiko.
"Aksyon's focus on jobs, hunger, peace, empowerment of the masses and of the youth resonated quite powerfully with me, as these are the same objectives I have set for my work," Gutoc was quoted in the party's statement.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, who also recently joined the party and became its president, welcomed Gutoc.
"Mahalaga sa ating kasaysayan at sa kasalukuyan ang ating mga kapatid na Muslim. Sabi ko nga, Muslims brought greatness to us even before the Spaniards reached our shores. Kaya masaya akong maging kasapi sa Aksyon si Samira Gutoc," he said.
Gutoc and Moreno are among the most widely recognized names to join the party recently wherein Pasig Mayor Sotto has been sitting as executive vice president.
Moreno is among those reportedly running for president in the 2022 elections, although he has yet to make an announcement about his plans for the upcoming polls.