Roque quits as Palace spokesman to pursue Senate bid

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque lodged his certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator in the 2022 elections on Monday, November 15, the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) deadline for candidate substitution. Inquirer.net photo

HARRY Roque has stepped down from his posts as spokesperson of Malacañang and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases to pursue his senatorial bid.

He announced his resignation on Monday, November 15, confirming that day’s Palace press briefing as his last.

“Ito na po ang huling araw na makakasama niyo ako bilang inyong presidential spox, IATF spox, at spox ng bayan (This is my last day as presidential, IATF, and national spokesman),” said Roque.

“Masaya akong mission accomplished na po tayo. Iiwan ko ang trabaho ko na mas mabuti kumpara sa ating nadatnan (I am happy to have accomplished this mission. I will leave my job better than when I arrived here),” he added.

Roque explained that he is running for senator in the 2022 elections.

“Babalik po tayo sa larangan ng pulitika, babalik po tayo sa Kongreso, sa Kamara ng Senado. Nais ko pong maging action man sa Senado (We will go back to politics, to Congress, in the Senate. I want to be an action man in the Senate),” he said.

Roque ended the press briefing with a video message from Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio endorsing him as senator.

“Si Harry Roque, ang ating Palace spokesperson, ay magiging Senate action man (Harry Roque, our Palace spokesperson, will be a Senate action man),” said Duterte-Carpio.

“Ibigay natin nang todo ang buong suporta natin para sa kaniyang kandidatura para sa Senado (Let us give our full support for his Senate candidacy),” she added.

Roque later filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator under the Peoples’ Reform Party (PRP) of the late Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

Replacing him will be Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, who was designated by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte as presidential spokesperson for the time being.

“He (Roque) will be running for senator. Alam mo, once you file your certificate of candidacy, automatic ‘yan out ka sa gobyerno (you’re out of the government). No other formal ritual is needed except that when you file, tapos ka (you’re done). At that moment, you cease to be a government employee,” the Chief Executive said during his pre-taped public address.

“So kung maaari ikaw na lang sana ang acting na muna (So if possible, you take over as acting spokesman) until we find a replacement. I do not want to burden you with so much,” he added.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at ritchel.mendiola@asianjournalinc.com.

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