Legarda eyes House seat in 2019 polls
Saying she still has a lot of advocacies to pursue, Sen. Loren Legarda wants to stay in the legislature and will run for representative of Antique province in the May 2019 elections.
Legarda, who is on her second consecutive term as senator and thus barred from seeking reelection, announced her political plans at the Meet Inquirer Multimedia forum on Thursday.
She has transferred her residence and voter registration to Antique.
“Let me just say, for the past 20 years I’ve been serving our country well, and the world. And I would like to continue being in parliament. And in doing so, I can help all agencies in government and continue to do my global work with the UN (United Nations),” she said. “Yes, I would like to continue being part of Congress.”
She would like to help the “beautiful and historic” province of her grandfather, Ariston Gella.
Gella was Antique’s lone delegate to the Malolos Congress that crafted the Constitution, she noted. His brother Bartolome had served as its governor.
Province mates have been prodding her to run as their representative, Legarda said.
Antique has a population of more than a million, living in 18 municipalities.
“It is pristine. It is rich. It is beautiful, but the people are, unfortunately, still vulnerable and poor,” Legarda said. “For so long, it’s been neglected and deprived.”
“And while I have served our country well, I believe that there’s a strong clamor, that the people of Antique have always asked me to represent them in Congress,” she added.
Rumored to be considered for a Cabinet post, Legarda said she preferred to remain in Congress. Heading a department would “niche me in just one advocacy,” she said.
“As you know, [my advocacies] run from culture to climate, from agriculture to education, from health to infrastructure and finance and foreign relations. So I don’t want to clip myself and just do one thing. There’s so much I still want to do,” she said.
Having been in politics for 20 years, she said she had matured on the job and knew how to solve the problems facing her.
Legarda topped the 1998 and 2007 senatorial races, and got the second highest number of votes in the 2013 senatorial polls. The reason for her good showing, she said, was an “open secret.”
“I just work very hard. I do my job well. I work very hard, I love my job. I want to bring government closer to the people and I’m able to communicate, I think, what I do to the people,” she said.
One has to work with passion, discipline and complete staff work, she said.
“I always think everything is an emergency situation. The deadline is always yesterday,” Legarda said.
She said she might do a “guidebook” on her stellar showing in the polls to help fellow politicians.
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