Roque hurt by Duterte's remark on his potential Senate bid

Ruth Abbey Gita
PRESIDENTIAL son and former Davao City vice mayor Paolo “Pulong” Duterte is running for congressman in 2019 midterm elections to take revenge on opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, President Rodrigo

BELEAGUERED Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. admitted that he was hurt by President Rodrigo Duterte's statement that he is unlikely to win the 2019 senatorial race.

During his taped guesting at comedian Vice Ganda's "Gandang Gabi Vice" show aired on Sunday, October 14, Roque revealed for the first time that he was actually hurt by the President's low confidence in his potential Senate bid.

"Well, of course, as a human being, yes, kasi parang (because) you don't have to announce that to influence everyone else," Roque told Vice Ganda, when asked if he felt bad about Duterte's remark.

"Pero by hindsight, totoo namang mahirap (But by hindsight, it's true that it's difficult for me). Number two, parang feeling ko (I perhaps feel like) well, that only means he wants me to stay," he added.

To recall, Duterte on October 4 offered Roque a new government post, as he frankly said that his spokesman has no fighting chance of winning the 2019 senatorial derby.

Roque admitted that he found it complicated to make a final decision on whether to run for senator or stay in the Palace, following the President's remark.

"'Yun ang mahirap dun (It's difficult for me). That's keeping me from running not because he will influence but because parang ayaw rin niya yung idea na tatakbo ako (he does not want the idea of me seeking an elective post)," he said.

"And sabi nga niya (He told me), 'Stay put and I will give you another job.' So I want to come up with a decision na (that) I want one and something that the Preisdent will approve of as well," he added.

To date, Roque said he was still "very seriously" considering the President's proposal.

He said he would make sure that his final decision has the President's support.

"Well, kung kagustuhan lang, gusto kong tumakbo. Pero ang realidad, hindi mo alam kung mananalo ka 'no. And syempre kapag ikaw ay mag-desisyon na gumawa ng isang bagay, eh gusto mo ring makamit kung ano yung makamit mo," Roque said.

(I really want to run. But in reality, you don't know if you will win. But of course, if you make a decision to do something, you want it to be achievable.)

"I'll have to decide but of course, I don't want to... Number one, I want the support of my boss. I mean let's face it, 70 percent of the Filipinos [support him]," he added.

On October 11, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo was designated as Duterte's spokesperson after Roque went on leave last week. (SunStar Philippines)