Thursday, November 23, 2017

Let's get to know the people named by Speaker Alvarez as part of PDP-Laban's 2019 senatorial slate

Last November 17, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez named some of the people whom he wants to be part of PDP-Laban’s senatorial slate come 2019.
From left to right: Benitez, Tolentino, Roque, Uson, Nograles, Roman | Photo from Rappler

The party’s secretary general, Pantaleon Alvarez, announced the roster of his senatorial bet in Cebu, Friday.

Alvarez’s announcement of the 6 people he wants to be representing PDP-Laban in 2019 caused an eyebrow-raising fuss to some as it drew flak from the unrelenting critics of the administration.

The issue did not only put the latter in deep waters but also those who were included on his list.

Meanwhile, 4 of the 6 people Speaker Alvarez named were already named by the Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III last October 6 as members of the PDP-Laban’s slate for the 2019 elections.

The senate president, however, said that the party is still deciding whether or not Mocha Uson and Harry Roque would be included as they believe the two can be considered as the “Speaker’s nominees”.

Apart from Mocha Uson and Harry Roque, the other 4 who were named were Davao City Representative Karlo Nograles, Negros Occidental Albee Benitez, Bataan Representative Geraldine Roman, and Francis Tolentino.

Let’s get to know them one by one!

Mocha Uson
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Assistant Secretary

PCOO’s assistant secretary, Margaux Justiniano Uson, was appointed for social media under the Presidential Communications Operations Office on May 9, 2017. Her monthly earning is at least P106,000 every month or $2,073.

Used to be a leader of an all-female dance group Mocha Girls, The 34-year-old Uson was a former board member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) before being appointed to the government.

She used to run a blog in which she featured sex tips, advocacy for breast cancer awareness, and the passage of the then-Reproductive Health Bill.

She started her involvement with the Duterte camp when her girl group joined the president’s campaign sorties. She strongly believes Duterte would end criminality in the country.

With her 5 million followers and counting in her Facebook page Mocha Uson Blog, she uses it as her platform to continuously support the administration by conveying the incumbent administration’s achievement.

She studied medicine from the University of Santo Tomas but was not able to graduate to pursue her chosen craft in the entertainment industry.

Uson is a daughter of the late Judge Oscar Uson from Tayug, Pangasinan who was killed in 2002 after receiving death threats.

The staunch Duterte supporter, though not closing any doors for 2019’s senatorial elections especially when Pres. Duterte asks him to, said she has no intent in running.

Harry Roque
Presidential Spokesperson

Replacing Ernesto Abella, Harry Roque is the newly-appointed Presidential Spokesperson whose appointment was announced on October 27 by Duterte himself.

Roque used to represent Kabalikat ng Mamamayan (KABAYAN) in the House of Representatives before becoming the President’s voice

He was removed in January 2017 as a member "and consequently, from representing the party” due to "dishonorable behavior” rooting from the congressional hearing into the proliferation of illegal drugs in November 2016 inside the New Bilibid Prison.

Atty. Roque, known for his human rights advocacy, handled high-profile cases with the Center for International Law (CenterLaw), particularly cases of families killed during from the Maguindanao Massacre, of the slain journalist Gerry Ortega, and of the slain transgender Jennifer Laude, to name a few.

He also handled at least 70 members of the Malaya Lolas group consisting victims of rape and sexual slavery during the Japanese Occupation.

Shortly after his appointment of being the President’s new spokesperson, Roque was placed in the spotlight of controversy after his ambivalent remarks about the mediaof which some pro-Duterte bloggers called him out for.

Roque was also believed to have bigger political dreams.

Geraldine Roman
Representative, 1st District of Bataan

Representing the first district of Bataan, Geraldine Roman is the first openly transgender woman to hold a congressional seat to the Congress. Born to a political family, some of the Romans have been elected to the Congress as early as 1998. This was when patriarch Antonino Jr was first elected and served until 2007 while Herminia, his wife, took over and has been in service starting 2007 until 2016. Their daughter, Geraldine, in turn, took over soon after her Mother left the government position.

Roman ran under the Liberal Party (LP) during the elections in 2016 but left in May 2017 to join the administration party PDP-Laban.

The representative said was caused by her desire to look after her constituents' welfare.

As member of the“equality champs”, she co-authored House Bill Number 4982 or “An Act Prohibiting Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE)”.

The said bill of anti-discrimination was approved by the House of Representatives in September 2017.

Francis Tolentino
Political Affairs Presidential Adviser

Served as mayor of Tagaytay City from 1995 to 2004, the President's political adviser is the previous chairperson of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

He initially ran for a senate seat under Liberal Party in 2016. However, he asked to be removed from the party's slate after hiring sexy dancers for a lawmaker’s birthday celebration that put him in hot water.

Tolentino then ran as senator independently but did not make it to the top 12 as he landed on the 13th spot.

Karlo Nograles
Representative, 1st District of Davao City

Currently, Nograles is serving his 3rd term as Davao City's 1st District's representative.

Son of the former House speaker Prospero Nograles. He is from a powerful political family in Mindanao formerly known to be the President Duterte's enemy.

Both families were long-time political enemies over government positions in Davao City. The two reconciled when the former Davao City mayor ran and eventually won the presidency.

In September 2017, the previously National Unity Party (NUP) member switched to PDP-Laban.

Some of the laws that Representative Nograles authored and were passed since him being a congressman in 2010 were the Green Job Act (Republic Act 10771) that gives special tax deductions to environmental-friendly companies, the JobStart Philippines Act that helps the youth get employment, and the Republic Act 10741 that strengthened the operations of the National Labor Relations Commission.

Alfredo Benitez
Representative, 3rd District of Negros Occidental

Now on his 3rd term as 3rd District of Negros Occidental's representative, Alfredo “Albee” Benitez currently chairs the Committee on Housing and is the lead convenor of the House of Representative’s Visayan Bloc.

Benitez is considered one of the richest among congressmen who was first elected to Congress in 2010 and authored of the Sugarcane Industry Development Act.

The representative was the former provincial chairperson of the Liberal Party. He eventually left the political party in December of 2015 and supported Senator Poe's presidential candidacy in May 2016 elections.

Soon after Poe lost, Benitez turned to PDP-Laban.

Source: Rappler

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