Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson and presidential spokesperson Harry Roque will be running for the Senate under the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) banner in 2019, according to House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, the party's secretary-general.
Alvarez made the pronouncement at a mass oathtaking event in Cebu on Friday and confirmed the development to GMA News Online.
In a text message, Alvarez said Uson and Roque are part of the “partial list” of their party's candidates for the senatorial race.
“Partial list lang yan,” Alvarez said when asked to confirm reports that apart from Uson and Roque, also included in the senatorial slate are Representatives Karlo Nograles (Davao City), Alfredo Benitez (Negros Occidental), Geraldine Roman (Bataan), and former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Francis Tolentino.
In a separate text message, however, PDP-Laban president and Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said there was “no party decision yet.”
“You can consider them as [the] Speaker’s nominees. [The] party will decide in due time,” Pimentel said.
Last October 6, Pimentel bared his personal choices to be included in their party’s line-up, which did not include either Uson or Roque.
Nograles, Tolentino, Roman, and Benitez were among Pimentel's personal choices, along with House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas. Pimentel said he, too, would seek re-election.
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.
Uson, for her part, clarified that she didn't take the oath to be part of the party.
Roque said he didn't understand what Alvarez announced at the mass oath-taking since it was said in Visayan.
"I think he said lets bring them to the Senate... They will work for us in passing crucial legislation. I had this translated. I dont speak Visayan," he added. —with Trisha Macas/JST/MDM/NB, GMA News