Human rights and public service have always been the defining themes in Laisa Masuhud Alamia’s career. Prior to being a member of the Bangsamoro Parliament and its Minority Floor Leader, Atty. Alamia has served as a human rights lawyer, an educator, and a frontline healthcare worker. Her experience working in different sectors and on various advocacies have shaped her perspective as a Muslim Bangsamoro woman who now stands among leaders and changemakers in the region and beyond.
Prior to the Bangsamoro transition, Atty. Alamia served as the executive secretary of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) for six years — the only woman to have held the position. During this time, she also served as the regional secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Her experience as a lawyer has aided her in performing executive functions, but it is her experience specifically as a human rights lawyer that started her career in the regional government. She was first appointed by former President Benigno Aquino III in 2013 as the first Chairperson of the Regional Human Rights Commission (RHRC), after serving at the helm of its predecessor — the Commission on Human Rights-ARMM Regional Office — as its OIC – Regional Human Rights Director.
She also served in the national government as part of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) where she held the position of Senior Economic Development Specialist, prior to being appointed as Clerk of Court of Regional Trial Court, Branch 13 in Zamboanga City.
She is a Career Executive Service (CES) Eligible, certified and conferred by the Career Executive Service Board (CESB). She is currently also a delegate to the Philippine Congress-Bangsamoro Parliament Forum, while serving as the Vice-Chairperson of the Committee on Rules and an Ex-Officio member of all committees in the Bangsamoro Parliament.
Prior to becoming a lawyer and public servant, Atty. Alamia worked as an intensive care unit nurse at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for two years.
Currently a senior partner at Alamia Santiago & Partners (ASP) in Zamboanga City, Atty. Alamia has had experience in handling cases related to human rights issues during her years as program manager of Nisa Ul-Haqq Fi Bangsamoro (Women for Justice in the Bangsamoro) and as project coordinator of the Bangsamoro Lawyers’ Network. She is also a founding member of the board of Kalisa Action Network (KalisaAN), an organization that was established to realize the Bangsamoro Organic Law’s vision of a just society through the advancement of the rights and welfare of Bangsamoro women and children.
She has received fellowships and grants for capacity building from various international institutions such as the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Minority Rights Group International (MRG), International Human Rights Internship Programme, ESCR-Net, International Budget Project, and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
She continues to take on consultancies with national government agencies, local government units, non-governmental organizations, and international institutions on matters of human rights, gender-related issues, Islam and women’s rights, local governance, conflict resolution and peace-building, international humanitarian law, research and advocacy, and policy reform.
Atty. Alamia is a member of the global Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE) and is part of its Global Muslim Women’s Shura Council. The said council issues opinions informed by legal jurisprudence and Islam regarding a number of contentious issues relevant to Muslim women, such as those related to female genital cutting, adoption and the care of orphans, women’s religious leadership, and child marriages.
She is an alumna of the US Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP), a professional exchange program funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
She was a member of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU) Faculty of Law, and has represented the said university as its legal counsel. She continues to be an active Board of Trustees member of the Ateneo in both its Davao City and Zamboanga City campuses.
Atty. Alamia graduated Cum Laude and Valedictorian from the Ateneo de Zamboanga University and completed her law degree at Western Mindanao State University. She has been granted a slot at the National Defense College of the Philippines where she is currently taking up her Masters in National Security Administration for Executives (EMNSA) through a grant from former Senator now Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda.