'Para sa healthy buhay at hanapbuhay': Risa Hontiveros files COC, seeks reelection for senator

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel and Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 01 2021 01:33 PM | Updated as of Oct 01 2021 03:26 PM

Senator Risa Hontiveros talks to the press after filing her certificate of candidacy (COC) for reelection as senator at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City this October 1, 2021. Photo from Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News.
Senator Risa Hontiveros talks to the press after filing her certificate of candidacy (COC) for reelection as senator at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City this October 1, 2021. Photo from Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News.

MANILA (UPDATE) — Senator Risa Hontiveros has filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) for the May 9, 2022 polls, as she seeks a second term in the upper Congress. 

“Hindi lang sana isa pa, kundi Risa pa. Yes, naghahanda na po tayo para sa sususod na eleksyon at sana’y pagbigyan niyo akong maglingkod muli bilang senador ng bayan,” she said on Friday after filing her COC at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City, where the Commission on Elections had set up a tent for COC filing as part of anti-COVID measures. 

(Not just another one, but another Risa. Yes, we are preparing for the next election and I hope you will allow me to serve again as the senator of the nation.)

“Para po sa akin ‘di lang po dapat healthy ang katawan at isipan kapag nakikipagbakbakan sa loob at labas ng bahay. Dapat harapin ang bulsa, pagkain, hanapbuhay at ang pamayanan. Kaya naman nais ko po sanang ituloy ang mga nasimulan natin noong 2016, mga bagay na pinangako at siyempre tinupad,” she added. 

(For me, it should not only be the body and mind that should be healthy when fighting inside and outside the house. We must deal with pockets, food, employment, and the community. That is why I would like to continue what we started in 2016, things that were promised and of course fulfilled.)

She hopes to continue her service for a better healthcare system and battle against corruption.

“Kung track record din lang, mula pagsugpo sa korapsyon, pagkalinga sa kababaihan at pagpanawagan para sa ating manggagawa laluna sa ating frontliners at healthcare workers at ang ating pakikipagtulungan para sa mas maayos na pagtugon sa panahong ito ng pandemya, ‘yan ay ilan lamang sa mga ipinaglalaban natin as promised,” the incumbent senator said.

(If we're talking track record, from fighting corruption, the welfare of women and heeding the call for our workers especially our frontliners and healthcare workers, and our cooperation for a better response in this time of the pandemic, that’s only a few of what we’ve fought for as promised.)

“Dahil sa ngayon hindi lang COVID ang pandemya. Nariyan pa ang iba’t iba pang mga sakit, ang lumpong ekonomiya, ang pagkalugi ng maliliit na tindahan ang pagkagahaman ng mga may kapangyarihan at ang pangungurakot ng iilan,” she added.

(Because right now the pandemic is not just COVID. There are other diseases, the crippled economy, the bankruptcy of small businesses, the greed of those in power, and the corruption of the few.)

Hontiveros, along with Atty. Chel Diokno, is a guest candidate of the Liberal Party (LP), which has nominated party leaders detained Sen. Leila de Lima and Sen. Kiko Pangilinan in the senatorial elections. 

She was a representative of the Akbayan Citizens' Action Party (Akbayan) in the 13th and 14th Congress of the Philippines.

The former congresswoman failed her senatorial bids in 2010 and 2013 under the ticket of late President Benigno Aquino III and was appointed as a board member of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) in 2014. 

She finally won on her third attempt in the 2016 elections under Aquino's Koalisyon ng Daang Matuwid, placing 8th overall with 15,543,570 votes.

Hontiveros said her victory after her third bid for senator helped her stay grounded and deliver all her promises as a government official. 

“Hinding-hindi tayo pwedeng sumuko. Pwede tayong magreklamo, magalit, mapuyat pero hindi tayo bibitaw. Eksperto tayo riyan sa hindi pagbitaw, tatlong beses tayong sumubok para mabigyan ng pagkakataon maging senador and what I found out is this, that third time’s the charm. Noong 2016, tayo po ay nanalo dahil po sa inyong suporta, mga kababayan. Tumaya ang taumbayan ng tiwala at ginawa ko ang lahat upang masuklian ‘yan,” Hontiveros said. 

(We can never give up. We can complain, get angry, lose some sleep but we will not give up. We are experts in not giving up, I tried three times to be given a chance to be a senator and what I found out is this, that third time’s the charm. In 2016, we won because of your support, compatriots. The people bet on trust and I did everything to reciprocate that.)

“Kaya naman, isa pa upang maiangat natin [ang] kalidad ng buhay ng bawat Pilipino. Isa pa, para sa maginhawa, matiwasay at kampanteng mga tahanan. Muli, ako po si Risa Hontiveros, salamat sa inyong patuloy na suporta at tiwala para sa isang healthy buhay at hanapbuhay, tumaya tayo, isa pa,” she added. 

(Therefore, it is another way for us to raise [the] quality of life of every Filipino. Another, for convenient, peaceful, and comfortable homes. Again, I am Risa Hontiveros, thank you for your continued support and trust for a healthy life and livelihood, let's bet one more time.)

She added that she is not overconfident as she runs for reelection and just believes in the power and trust of the public.

“I’m never overconfident pero kahit sa mga araw na hindi pa ako sigurado o a hundred percent optimistic kahit sa mga araw na may ilang porsyento ng pessimism, lagi akong hopeful,” Hontiveros said.

(I’m never overconfident but even on days when I’m not sure or a hundred percent optimistic even on days with a few percent pessimism, I’m always hopeful.)

“‘Yun po, bilang lifelong activist at ngayon pulitiko, tingin ko tungkulin namin na piliin lagi na umasa at baon ‘yung tiwala at suporta na una nang ibinigay ng ating mga kababayang botante noong 2016. Umaasa ako at hinihingi muli ang kanilang suporta para makapagtrabaho pa ako sa kanila muli sa Senado,” she added. 

(That is, as a lifelong activist and now a politician, I think it is our duty to always choose to rely on and build on the trust and support that our fellow voters first gave in 2016. I hope and ask for their support again so that I can still work for them again in the Senate.)

Hontiveros said she is open to working with other parties and candidates to build a “united front” against the current administration. 

“Umaasa ako na darating din ang sandali, kahit panahon na ng kampanya, na magbuo pa rin sila ng united front, bakit? Para wakasan na ang Dutertismo … Sana, sa kabilang ng kalahating dekada na sobra-sobra tayong pinaghati at pinag-away na may mas malawak na pagkakaisa na mabuo simula sa isang united front patungo sa isang mas malusog at maginhawang kinabukasan simula May 2022,” she said. 

(I hope that the moment will also come, even during the campaign period, that they will still form a united front, and why? To end Dutertismo … I hope, despite the nearly decade that we have been excessively divided and pitted against each other that a greater unity will be formed starting from a united front towards a healthier and more comfortable future starting May 2022.)

“Open akong makipagtrabaho sa lahat ng partido at kandidato na magwawakas sa Dutertismo at gagabay po ang ating publiko tungo sa isang new and better normal.”

(I am open to working with all parties and candidates that will end Dutertismo and guide our public towards a new and better normal.) 

Hontiveros is the primary author of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill seeking equal rights for the LGBT community. 

In 2020, she led an inquiry into the pastillas scheme, which supposedly allowed illegal Chinese tourists and workers to enter the country after paying P10,000 to P150,000 to immigration officials.