Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said he is willing to sacrifice his own post just to prevent presidential spokesperson Harry Roque from pursuing his Senate bid.
PPD, File
Andanar says Palace to bring back Office of Press Secretary
( - October 6, 2018 - 10:29am

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on Saturday said the Malacañang is planning to revive the Office of the Press Secretary.

In an interview over DZMM, Andanar said the Presidential Communications Operations Office will be reverted to the OPS.

Andanar said that the OPS will consolidate the functions of the PCOO, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning and the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson.

During the Senate hearing on the 2019 budget of the PCOO Wednesday, Senate President Vicente Sotto III proposed the revival of the OPS to replace the PCOO, an agency whose reputation has been marred by blunders and controversies.

Sotto said that President Rodrigo Duterte is “receptive” to the proposal.

Andanar also confirmed that presidential spokesperson Harry Roque was asked to lead the OPS.

When asked about his fate should the reestablishment of OPS push through, Andanar said he is willing to sacrifice his own post just to prevent Roque from pursuing his Senate bid.

“Sec. Harry Roque is important in communications,” he explained.

Roque on Friday said that Duterte had offered him a post that “does not exist yet.” He did not elaborate.

“We had a command conference where the president asked me to stay and offered me a position, which currently does not exist yet. While there was categorical agreement on what to do, I did say, “I’ll consider it.’ And I want a weekend to think it over,” he said.

Will he stay or will he quit his post? Roque said he would announce his decision on Monday.

This development comes a week before the filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2019 midterm polls, which is slated from October 11 to 17.

The latest Pulse Asia survey for next year’s senatorial candidates showed that 76 percent of the respondents said they were aware of Roque. But only 7.7 percent said they would vote for him.

He ranked in the 29th to 36th bracket. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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