Young politicians speak about winning amid discriminations


Filipino Muslim women attending a workshop. Photo grabbed from

IT IS A RELIEF to hear younger political leaders speak in public and demonstrate they too can work and make a difference. The thing about young blood politicians is that aside from minimal experience in poor governance, they can also easily inspire the youth.

So when you hear them speak of not allowing discrimination to hinder growth of the youth, I wonder what they will tell those who discriminate, the offenders.

STORY: Be proud of your identity, Moro grads told

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/01 April) –Two young politicians have urged
Moro graduates from tertiary institutions here to “stand out proud” and “never
allow discrimination and being a part of the cultural minorities hinder
(their) dreams and aspirations.”
Speaking at Phela Grande Hotel here to Moro college and university graduates
this year, Sarangani Gov. Miguel Rene Dominguez and Rep. Darlene Antonino
Custodio of the first district of South Cotabato, both told the graduates “to
succeed not in spite of what you are, but because of what you are.”

“Never allow discrimination against you to succeed,” said Dominguez. “Work
hard to achieve your dreams and aspirations.”

The 30-year-old governor told the graduates to “never allow being a part of
the cultural minorities to hinder your endeavors.”

Custodio, 33, urged the graduates to “be confident and believe in yourself.”

“Look at me,” she said, “I’m a woman, which makes be a part of the minority in
Congress. I’m young, which makes be a part of the minority in Congress. And
I’m in the Opposition, which makes be a part of the minority in Congress.”

“Unless you are confident and you believe in yourself, that’s the time when
people will believe in you,” the lawmaker said.

Dominguez recalled, “There were times when Muslims would come to me, asking
for help, asking for a job, because they were discriminated against by other

With this, he told the graduates to “work hard and brave discrimination and
all forms of challenges that may come your way, so you’ll land in a god job.”

Engineer Abdul Gafur Kudarat, 27, president of Young Moro Professionals
Council who organized the occasion as tribute to Moro graduates, disclosed
that discrimination is rampant in General Santos City, especially in employment.

“There had been instances when Moro women were denied of jobs not because they
were unqualified but either because they wore a headscarf or it’s written in
their resumes that their religion is Islam,” he said

“But when these women came back to the same establishments with their
headscarf taken off or their religion changed to Seventh-day Adventist, they
were accepted,” he revealed.

But Custodio said that “the city of General Santos prospers not in spite of
multiculturalism but because of multiculturalism.”

“In the same way,” she said, “I encourage you to strive and work hard to be
successful not despite who you are, but because of who you are.”

Recent reports had it that Sarangani Vice Governor Bridget Chiongbian-Huang
planned to challenge Dominguez for the gubernatorial post.

Like Dominguez, Huang, daughter of Sarangani Rep. Erwin Chiongbian, also
belongs to the Sarangani Reconciliation and Reformation Organization (SARRO)
which is allied with the administration.

Huang is yet to comment on the allegation of Malapatan Municipality Vice Mayor
Norberto Butiong, who reportedly knew about her supposed plan to run for governor.

Custodio, meanwhile, is being challenged by boxing champion Manny Pacquiao,
who is running the President’s party Kampi. (Norodin M. Makalay/MindaNews)


About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

2 responses to “Young politicians speak about winning amid discriminations”

  1. Vida Soraya says :

    Hello. May I please have your permission to use this photo in a powerpoint presentation for my thesis defense? It’s about amending the Code of Muslim Personal Laws to incorporate international law provisions on women’s empowerment. Thanks!

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