Harry Roque was set to continue serving as a Presidential spokesperson.
HARRY ROQUE — The Presidential spokesperson was set to continue serving as President Rodrigo Duterte’s mouthpiece after backing out of his senatorial bid in 2022.
Roque reiterated in a text message to reporters Friday evening that he will only run for senator in the 2022 elections if Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte will run for president.
“That’s what I declared,” Roque told reporters.
Likewise, Roque echoed Mayor Sara’s statement that there will be “no substitution” as far as her candidacy in 2022 was concerned.
Roque said last June that he would only pursue his senatorial bid if Mayor Sara would run for president. He reiterated it last October 7, saying that he has hinged his political future to that of the lady mayor’s.
However, Mayor Sara didn’t give in to her supporters’ clamor for her to run for the presidential seat in the 2022 elections up to the last minute of the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) at 5:00 pm Friday.
Instead, it was former PNP chief Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa who filed his certificate of candidacy for president under the Cusi-led PDP-Laban party. He’s also a member of Mayor Sara’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) party as well.
But this development was still enough to fuel rumors that Mayor Sara will eventually file for Bato’s substitution, thus inserting herself in the presidential race. Political aspirants can be substituted until November 15.
Mayor Sara has declared that she wanted to finish her third term as Davao City Mayor as she filed her certificates of candidacy for reelection last October 2.
Meanwhile, Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon told CNN Philippines’ The Final Word that the substitution option for candidates was “already allowed” and cannot be removed.
However, COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo that candidates who have filed their COC under a political party can’t transfer to another party to substitute for a candidate of that alliance after October 8.
According to Jimenez, a candidate must withdraw his certificate of nomination and acceptance (CONA) he/she initially filed under his/her old party if he/she wanted to switch to another party and replace a candidate of that political alliance.