New Duterte mouthpiece denies gearing up for 2019 elections

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 06 2017 06:33 PM

MANILA – Newly appointed Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. on Monday denied he was using his post to gear up for the 2019 elections.

Roque is widely believed to be eyeing a Senate seat in 2019, prompting speculations that his recent media blitzkrieg and visits in several parts of the country were aimed at boosting his appeal to voters.

Just last Sunday, Nov. 5, he was in vote-rich Cebu to hold a press conference before the local media there.

The Presidential spokesperson, however, denied using his new position to prepare for the elections.

“I don’t think so. There is no --- there is no election period yet ‘no. But if the people really don’t want me to go to the provinces, I will heed that. But let’s see how the public will first respond to it,” Roque told Palace reporters.

Roque, known for his being media- and tech-savvy, said he wants to go around the country so that the provincial media would not feel neglected.

“The rationale really is, in the course of answering calls from the media, some are saying, ‘Please, don’t stop your current policy of answering everyone because past spokespersons have ignored the local media altogether,’” he said.

“So, I told them that, ‘I go by the policy of first come, first serve if I can answer, so I would not discriminate between the Malacañang Press Corps, international media or the provincial press corps.’”