Roque still unsure of Senate run

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 11 2018 01:03 PM

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. Alfred Frias, Malacanang Photo

MANILA - As the filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2019 elections kicked off Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said he is “still not sure” whether he will run for senator.

Roque’s expected Senate bid became uncertain after President Rodrigo Duterte told him to stay in the administration and defer his plan to run. The President said Roque would not win in the polls.

The outspoken lawyer, who is a laggard in the recent senatorial surveys, was initially offered by the President to head the soon-to-be revived Office of the Press Secretary, but the chief executive changed his mind and said he would give the job to his chief legal counsel, Salvador Panelo.

Duterte said he decided to take back his job offer to Roque after the latter said he will just resign and lamented that he was left in the dark about the President’s trip to the hospital.

In a text message to reporters, Roque said he has not resigned.

It remains to be seen whether he will file his COC for any elective post, as he is scheduled to fly to China on Thursday for a private engagement and will be back on Monday, Oct. 15.

‘FEELERS’ TO KABAYAN?

Roque also branded as “absolutely false” the claim of Kabayan party-list group that he has sent “feelers” to become its nominee in the upcoming polls.

In a statement, Kabayan said it was not “surprised” that Roque was seeking to be one of its nominees.

“We were not surprised on receiving a feeler through a member of our Board on the desire of former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque to be a nominee of KABAYAN Partylist in the 2019 elections. We also note his intent that a certain Jesse Hermogenes Andres also become a nominee,” Kabayan said in a statement.

“We are quite pleased that Mr. Roque considers the value of KABAYAN Partylist, even at this very late hour. Unfortunately, Mr. Roque is no longer a member of KABAYAN Partylist as he was removed in January 2017. Likewise, Mr. Andres is not a member of KABAYAN Partylist.”