President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday appeared to give his endorsement for Presidential Communications
Assistant Secretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson to run for the Senate in 2019.
Duterte said it is up to the people decide if they want Uson to have a Senate seat.
“It’s not a one-man story or critique. Let the people decide. Kung ginusto nila iyan then
that's it. It would be honored by all including the military and police,” Duterte told reporters in
Uson was among those named by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez as possible 2019 senatorial
candidates under the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) party.
Other names mentioned by Alvarez were Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque; lawmakers Karlo
Nograles, Geraldine Roman, and Albee Benitez; and former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority
Chair Francis Tolentino, who is now a political adviser to Duterte.
A presidential appointee, Uson has been a known vocal supporter of Duterte since the
“You might not like her, her ways might not suit your values but if that guy or woman is
elected by the people then you have to honor the choice,” Duterte said.
Uson on Friday said she was unaware that Alvarez would announce her senatorial bid and that,
if she were to run for office, it would be because of the president’s encouragement.
“Kung tatakbo man po ako, ito po ay dahil si Pangulong Duterte na mismo ang nagpatakbo sa akin
dahil ang akin lamang hangarin ay matulungan ang Duterte administration to bring the change he
promised during the election,” she said.
For his part, PCO chief Martin Andanar said Uson is a shoo-in for the Senate.
Andanar said the ruling PDP-Laban party will have a lot of use for Uson, especially once the
campaign season for 2019 mid-term elections kicks off.
“Kung winnability lang ang pag-usapan or ‘yung the possibility of winning ay talagang no
brainer na si Mocha. She can really draw the crowd in a Senate campaign,” Andanar said in an interview
on Radyo Pilipinas Saturday.
Andanar said he was happy for Uson, whom PDP-Laban secretary general and House Speaker
Pantaleon Alvarez revealed in an oath-taking ceremony in Cebu Friday as among those being considered
in their party’s senatorial slate.
“Hindi naman basta-bastang tao ang Speaker of the House, kita mo naman ang kanyang
organisasyon, ‘yung kanyang impluwensiya at ‘yung bigat ng kanyang credentials, ‘yung credibility ng
Speaker plus the fact that binanggit po ang pangalan ni Asec. Mocha ni Speaker na considered as one of
the Senatorial bets of the PDP-Laban,” Andanar said.
Andanar said Uson’s huge social media following, especially on Facebook with 5.3 millions
followers, could greatly ensure her a senatorial victory.