Roque still hopeful on Duterte's support if he runs for senator

Anjo Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 11 2018 12:35 AM

MANILA - Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Wednesday said he is giving himself a week to reach a decision on a possible run for the Senate.

Speaking to ABS-CBN News, Roque said the decision to run is a difficult one to make.

"Well, kinakailangan nang magkaroon ng decision next week no, dahil ang last day ng pagsusumite ng kandidatura ay until 17th of this month," he said.

"Wala pa rin talaga akong desisyon. Napakahirap po talagang pagdesisyunan yan. Ang sinasabi ko, handa ako sa lahat ng possibilities. Handa ako kung ako'y tatakbo, at handa ako kung hindi ako tatakbo."

Roque clarified that he has not yet resigned from his post as the President's spokesman.

He added that he is still included in the senatorial lineup of political parties allied with the current administration.

"Ang alam ko naman, kasama ako sa listahan ng administration candidates, kasama ako sa listahan ng Hugpong, at kasama ako sa listahan ng PDP at iba pang partido," he said.

Roque said he is confident that he will receive the President's endorsement if he runs.

Duterte, however, earlier said Roque will not win if he decides to run for senator in the 2019 elections.

"Siyempre we have to be realistic, no. The endorsement of the President is very important," he said.

"Pagdating sa mga endorsements, mukhang pati naman si presidente ie-endorso ako, bagama't karinyo brutal na, sabi niya, 'wag na ako tatakbo at bibigyan niya ako ng ibang trabaho. I just take that to mean, stay."

Roque said he has not yet talked to Duterte on whether to run for senator.

"Ang problema kasi hindi kami talaga nakapag-usap ni Pangulo in the way that I'm accustomed to talking to him dahil ang daming gustong kumausap sa kanya lalo na't malapit na ang deadline. But I'm still hoping to find the opportunity," he said.

He also brushed aside questions on the creation of the post of Press Secretary which was reportedly offered to Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.

"In the first place, the office does not exist. So wala pang ganong opisina, at ako nga po isang taon naging tagapagsalita, wala akong naging executive order creating the office of the presidential spokesperson. So wala naman pong posisyon na tanggapin o tanggihan," he said.

Roque on Tuesday confirmed that he had a shoot for a campaign advertisement over the weekend, but said he was still unsure whether to run for the Senate.