MANILA, Philippines – Former Akbayan party-list representative Risa Hontiveros takes her chances for the third time as she runs for senator in the May 2016 national elections.
Accompanied by her family and supporters, Hontiveros arrived around 9 am on Wednesday, October 14, at the office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Intramuros, Manila, to file her certificate of candidacy (COC).
Hontiveros will run as a guest candidate of the “Daang Matuwid” coalition, led by the ruling Liberal Party. (READ: Ruling coalition completes 12-person Senate slate)
In a speech after filing her COC, Hontiveros said that on her third try, she likewise listed down 3 reasons behind her third Senate bid. (READ: 3rd try: Will politics be sweeter for Risa Hontiveros?)
“Unang-una na po, upang ipakita na ang Senado ay hindi lamang para sa mga may mabibigat na apleyido. Ang Senado po ay espasyo rin para sa mga ordinaryong mamamayan ngunit may ekstraordinaryong pangarap para sa ating bansa at para sa mga tao,” she said.
(First of all, to show that the Senate is not only for people with prominent surnames. The Senate also provides space for ordinary people with extraordinary dreams for the nation and for the people.)
She also pushed for a universal healthcare program. Hontiveros was appointed as a director of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) by President Benigno Aquino III in November 2014. She took her oath of office in June 2015.
“[Lahat ng Pilipino] saan mang dako ng ating bansa ay dapat may de-kalidad at abot-kayang serbisyong pangkalusugan. Dapat po ay mayroon tayong matatakbuhan, at hindi tayo ang tatakbuhan o sasasarhan sa oras na kailangan natin ng kalinga.”
([All Filipinos] in all corners of the country should have access to quality and affordable health care. We should have somewhere to run to, and not be shunned during our time of need.)
Lastly, Hontiveros vowed to continue the fight against corruption.
“Bagama’t, oo nga, marami na tayong nagawang malalaking hakbang para dito sa mga nakaraang taon, kailangang ipagpatuloy pa rin ang prosesong iyan ng paglilinis, kahit pa sa Senado,” she said.
(While, it’s true, we have done a lot of important steps these past years, we have to continue that cleansing process, even in the Senate.)
Asked about her chances, Hontiveros cited the improvement of her ranking in recent surveys, saying that it “continues to give her much hope.”
“I am within striking distance of the Magic 12,” she said. “I am confident that this time, we will win.”
Hontiveros first ran for senator in 2010 and was also within striking distance of victory, placing 13th with over 9 million votes. (READ: Part 1: Progressives in disarray: Risa Hontiveros’ loss)
She tried again in 2013, but only ranked 17th with nearly 11 million votes. – Rappler.com
Editor’s Note: We have corrected this report to state that Risa Hontiveros was appointed to PhilHealth in November 2014, not in June 2015, when she was sworn in.