MANILA, Philippines – Veteran news anchor and reporter Jiggy Manicad formalized his bid for a Senate seat on Wednesday, October 17 as he filed his certificate of candidacy for the position at the Commission on Elections office.
He is running as an independent candidate.
Manicad, who spent the last two decades as a journalist, was initially in the shortlist of senatorial bets of President Rodrigo Duterte's national political party PDP-Laban.
He is also endorsed by the regional party of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio, Hugpong ng Pagbabago.
Facing his former media colleagues after filing his candidacy, Manicad said he would use his knowledge and experience as a reporter in crafting laws in the interest of Filipinos.
"Bago ako sa politics pero hindi ako bago sa issues na araw-araw kino-cover din natin (I may be new to politics but I'm not new to the issues we cover everyday)," he said, mentioning his past coverage of human trafficking, farmers' woes, and the plight of overseas Filipino workers.
Manicad admitted to the reporters he faced on Wednesday that he was "nervous."
"Sa totoo lang, para akong ikakasal. Ito yung feeling na ikakasal ka, hindi ka makatulog sa gabi…Kinakabahan ako, hindi ko alam kung sasabihin niyo na, 'Parang pulitiko na ito magsalita ah!'" he said, eliciting laughter among the media.
(In truth, it's like I'm about to get married. This is the feeling before you get married, you can't sleep at night....I'm nervous because I don't know if you'll say, 'This one talks like a politician already!')
Manicad said that if he wins as senator, he would push for a "buffer fund" to lessen the impact of oil price hikes in the world market. He said this would be similar to the oil price destabilization fund implemented during the Ramos administration.
He also pushed for the channeling of a portion of tax revenue from OFW remittances to a "reintegration program" for returning OFWs.
One other issue he wanted more legislation on is how to encourage nationalism among Filipinos.
He pushed for mandatory singing of the national anthem not just on Mondays but everyday.
"Dapat matanim sa puso ng kabataan, sa ating lahat, yung kahalagahan ng mga salitang ito sa Lupang Hinirang (The importance of the words in the national anthem should be planted in the hearts of the youth, of everyone)," said Manicad.
He wants a "culture hour" in television networks "to show heroism and promote Filipino music."
In mid-April, Manicad bid goodbye to GMA Network where he was part of two shows, "Quick Response Team" and "24 Oras Weekend."
He had thanked his viewers and asked for their support as he embarks on "the next level of public service." – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.