MANILA—"Let the people decide."
This was President Rodrigo Duterte's response when sought for comments regarding Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson's possible 2019 senatorial bid.
"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 Davao City.
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 presidential campaign.
"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.