Roque, uson join senate race
COMMUNICATIONS Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson and Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque will run for the Senate under the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban in 2019, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, the party’s secretary general, said on Friday.
Alvarez made the announcement at a mass oathtaking in Cebu.
In a text message, Alvarez said Uson and Roque were part of the “partial list” of their party’s candidates for the senatorial race.
“It’s only a partial list,” Alvarez said when asked to confirm the reports that, apart from Uson and Roque, the others in the senatorial slate were Reps. Karlo Nograles (Davao City), Alfredo Benitez (Negros Occidental), Geraldine Roman (Bataan) and former Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino.
PDP-Laban president and Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III earlier bared his personal choices to be included in their party’s line-up.
Pimentel did not include either Uson or Roque in his list, which he disclosed to reporters on Oct. 6.
Nograles, Tolentino, Roman and Benitez were among Pimentel’s personal choices along with House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas.
Pimentel said he, too, would seek reelection.
Sought for comment, Roque confirmed that he took his oath as a PDP-Laban member, but said he did not have funds for a Senate run.
Over in Malacañang, the Palace on Friday denied that the government is employing a “keyboard army” to amplify support for President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, which is drawing massive criticism here and abroad as a result of the high death toll resulting from it.
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said there was no need to employ such group as Duterte earned 16-million votes in the 2016 elections.
“The Presidential Communications Operations Office does not employ a ‘keyboard army’,” Andanar said.
“What President Duterte has are millions of supporters, 16 million of which turned up at the polling precincts throughout the land.”