'Senator' Roque in 2022? Duterte spox says he is 'looking forward to retirement'

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 01 2020 05:07 PM

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque during a press briefing of the IATF-EID at the Quezon Memorial Circle on July 30, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Tuesday he was "looking forward to retirement", when asked if he would run for senator in 2022. 

In a press briefing last week, Quezon Governor Danilo Suarez called Roque 'senator'. Suarez immediately took back his statement, saying, 'Excuse me, Secretary pa pala. Sa 2022 pa.' 

(You're still a secretary until 2022.)

Asked if he would run in the next elections, Roque said, "After what I've seen with the kind of media reporting, the kind of trolls that the opposition has, I'm looking forward to retirement from government service."

Roque, a lawyer, said he only joined the government in 2016 when he became a congressman, representing the Kabayan Party-list.

In October 2017, he was tapped to replace then Sec. Ernesto Abella as the mouthpiece of President Rodrigo Duterte, a position he held for a year.

He had sought to take part in the 2019 senatorial race but withdrew after undergoing a heart procedure.

A week before the filing of candidacy in October 2018, Duterte said Roque has a slim chance of winning the Senate race, something the latter acknowledged as survey results then showed reelectionist and former senators would dominate the polls.

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Roque was hired again as Duterte's spokesperson in April this year, replacing Salvador Panelo, and has been conducting press briefings both from Malacanang and other parts of the country.

"I'm happy to say that actually I have been there and done that, and I look forward to having my privacy again come 2022," Roque said on Tuesday.

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