Esther Margaux “Mocha” Justiniano Uson, 36, has confirmed that she is running in the 2019 midterm elections in the Philippines. This was days after she resigned as assistant secretary for social media of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).
Prior to this, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III announced that Uson will not be included in the senatorial slate of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban). When asked earlier why she was not in the lineup, he said it was self-explanatory.
“Nasabi naman ni Senator Koko na it’s self-explanatory (Senator Koko has already said it’s self-explanatory),” Uson said in a news forum on October 10, 2018. “Independent (candidate) ako [I will be an independent candidate].”
Uson is still not sure what seat she will seek during the 2019 midterm elections. She is likely to run for either the Senate or the House of Representatives.
This was not the first time Uson revealed her plan to run for an office. During a brief meeting at the Malacañang Palace on October 9, 2018, she informed President Rodrigo Duterte about her political plans and she received support from him.
“I will support you,” Duterte told Uson. In addition, he clarified that it was her who decided to resign as an assistant secretary of the PCOO and that he did not fire her.
“All these years, when she was under heavy criticism, I supported her,” Duterte said of Uson. He added that she was protected by her freedom of expression.
On October 3, 2018, Uson appeared in a budget hearing at the Senate and announced her resignation. She explained that her resignation may facilitate the approval of the proposed 2019 budget of the PCOO.
Here is a statement from Uson: