Harry Roque drops Senate bid

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 15 2018 11:51 AM | Updated as of Oct 15 2018 01:24 PM

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MANILA (UPDATE) - Former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday said he is no longer running for senator in the 2019 polls, as he opted to run for party-list representative.

Roque, who took the task of being President Rodrigo Duterte’s mouthpiece last year, said he will run as a nominee of Luntiang Pilipinas party-list group at the House of Representatives.

He said he arrived at this decision following a conversation with the President on Sunday.

Roque was widely known to be eyeing a seat in the Senate, but things changed for him days before the filing of the certificate of candidacy for the midterm polls when Duterte himself said his spokesman would not win in the polls.

Roque said his poor performance in the senatorial surveys also played heavily on his decision to back out of the Senate race.

“I knew it would be a difficult climb to Senate if I would persist,” he said.

“It was a hard reality to accept that perhaps we need to do more to provide to the people that we are worthy for the Senate.”

The President, appearing to acknowledge Roque’s slim chance of winning in the Senate race, instead offered him to become the head of the Office the Press Secretary.

Roque said while he was grateful for the offer, he declined it because he “never had any experience as a journalist.”

Abandoning his seat in the lower chamber a year ago, Roque took on the job to speak on behalf of the feisty chief executive, replacing the soft-spoken pastor, Ernesto Abella.