MANILA - (UPDATED) Veteran broadcast journalist Jiggy Manicad officially made the jump into politics on Wednesday after filing his candidacy for senator in the 2019 midterm elections.
Manicad left Philippine media in April 2018 after more than 2 decades in service.
He resigned from broadcast giant GMA Network Inc., days after the ruling PDP-Laban party revealed that he was on its possible list of senatorial candidates.
In Pulse Asia's pre-election survey, Manicad got 4.7 percent, placing 33rd to 43rd in rank.
Manicad said he decided to enter politics because of the lack of laws on some controversies exposed by the media, like the use of OFWs as drug mules -- a story he broke as a reporter.
"Walang policy na nabubuo out of those exposés. Iyun ang gusto kong pasukin -- yung gap na iyun, makabuo ako ng mga polisiya," he told radio DZMM.
(No policy came out those exposés. That is the gap I want to enter.)
He said he will also champion measures to fan nationalism, slash fuel prices and set up buffer funds for farming technology.
"Palagay ko panahon na para ilagay natin iyung totoo na may kapa sa damdamin ng mga mamamayan at iyung talagang nakasalamuha nila kahit papaano," he added.
(I think it's time that we elect people that have a true grasp on the sentiments of the public and those that truly interacted with them.)
WITH OR WITHOUT PDP
Manicad was not in the initial Senate slate of PDP-Laban that was confirmed by its president, Senator Koko Pimentel last week.
The former mediaman said he will run as an independent candidate with the backing of the regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago led by President Rodrigo Duterte's daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
He said he will not back out of the Senate race even if he does not make it to the final PDP-Laban senatorial line-up.
Manicad started his journalism career as a researcher for ABS-CBN's news magazine program "Magandang Gabi Bayan," and eventually made a name as reporter and TV host at GMA Network.
He was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of 2012.