Former communications assistant secretary Mocha Uson and former presidential spokesman Harry Roque have decided to throw their hats in the 2019 mid-term elections, running as partylist representatives.
The controversial Uson, who boasts of some five million followers of her blog, yesterday filed her certificate of candidacy for a seat in Congress as representative of Kasosyo partylist.
Uson supported President Rodrigo Duterte in the 2016 elections and defended him fiercely against his critics, including Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.
She resigned her post last 3 October in the wake of controversial posts on Federalism and sign language that earned brickbats from critics of the administration and her personal detractors.
However, she warned that “the fight has just begun.”
Meanwhile, Roque announced yesterday he is dropping his senatorial bid and will instead run anew as partylist representative.
Roque said his decision to ditch his plan of winning a Senate seat came after a heart-to-heart talk with President Duterte Sunday night.
“I’m taking the advice of the President. While it was always my intention to file a certificate of candidacy for the position of senator, I will actually file tomorrow a certification of nomination for party list under Luntiang Pilipinas which is an environmental partylist group,” Roque told Malacañang reporters.
It was his farewell briefing before the Malacañang Press Corps led by his replacement as the President’s official mouthpiece, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.
According to Roque, Duterte opined he has better chance of winning a seat in the House of Representatives rather than in the Senate.
“It’s going to be a really tight race in the Senate. We have seven reelectionists and five comebacking senators in addition to the new faces and finances have always been a hindrance, anyway,” Roque said.
Roque is the environmental partylist’s first nominee while Ciara Sotto, youngest daughter of Senate President Vicente Sotto III, is the second nominee.
According to Roque, his decision to represent an environmental group came in the heels of massive landslides which left a wide swath of destruction in Itogon, Benguet and Naga, Cebu. He vowed to push for a total ban on open-pit mining.
“If you recall the President has repeatedly said that he wants open pit mining closed and this will be the advocacy that we will be pushing in Congress,” he said.
Earlier, Roque went on a “personal leave” days after he said he was “kept in the dark” about Duterte’s whereabouts.
“I cannot be effective as a spokesperson unless I know everything about the President. Now, people think I lied, I’m telling the nation I did not, I did not know,” Roque had said earlier.
Now, Roque said he can be his “old self” again and freely express his personal views.