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Roque still PRRD spokesman


LAWYER Harry Roque still serves as the spokesperson of President Duterte and has not yet made up his mind about running for senator in the 2019 elections.

“I have not resigned,” Roque said in a text message to report­ers, days after President Duterte revealed he threatened to resign after being kept in the dark about his recent hospital visit.

“Still not sure I will run for Sen­ate,” said Roque, who was expect­ed to travel to China yesterday for a personal trip until the weekend.

Roque likewise denied reports that he sent feelers to Kabayan party-list group to be its nominee in the upcoming midterm elec­tions. “Absolutely false,” the for­mer party-list lawmaker said.

Roque appeared to be caught be­tween a rock and a hard place after Duterte has discouraged his Sen­ate bid and later offered the job of Press Secretary to someone else.

Duterte made the offer to Presi­dential Chief Legal Counsel Salva­dor Panelo after believing Roque was decided on running for sena­tor despite his advice.

“Sabi niya hindi siya takbo ta­pos tatakbo siya. Tapos ngayon naman hindi. Ang problema ko sa totoo lang, kay may na-target na rin ako na to take his place. I did my homework very fast,” Duterte said in a press conference in Mala­cañang last Tuesday.

“I’ll assign in temporary or in added function. Tutal tiga-an­nounce man lang ‘yan si Sal Pan­elo. With all sartorial elegance, medyo maganda siguro tingnan,” he added.

Roque initially asked for some time to think whether or not he will accept the new job as Press Secretary or run for senator in next year’s elections.

Prior to the President’s an­nouncement about Panelo, Roque told reporters that he was still in talks with the President about his plans.

He is expected to make his deci­sion next week or before the dead­line of the filing of the Certificate of Candidacy on Oct. 17. (Gena­lyn D. Kabiling)