Roque, who is contemplating running for senator, also clarified that he has not yet quit as presidential spokesperson. Bolando, File
Roque denies seeking Kabayan party-list nomination
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - October 11, 2018 - 2:12pm

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday denied that he asked his former party-list Kabayan to name him as a nominee in the 2019 midterm elections.

Roque, who is contemplating running for senator, also clarified that he has not yet quit as presidential spokesperson. 

“People, I have not resigned,” he said.

This, after Kabayan party-list issued a statement on Roque supposedly sending feelers for his possible return.

“We are quite pleased that Mr. Roque considers the value of Kabayan party-list, even at this very late hour. Unfortunately, Mr. Roque is no longer a member of Kabayan party-list as he was removed in January 2017,” the group said, adding that the president’s mouthpiece supposedly expressed his desire for lawyer Jesse Hermogenes Andres also become a nominee.

The party-list said its list of nominees is already complete. 

Reps. Ron Salo and Paul Hernandez represent Kabayan at the House of Representatives.

“Nonetheless, we fully support Mr. Roque’s dream of becoming a senator, and Kabayan party-list wishes him all the best, should he file his certificate of candidacy,” it said.

Confict within Kabayan

In January 2017, Kabayan removed Roque, its first nominee during the 2016 elections, as a member of the party-list. Kabayan members accused Roque of going against the party’s ideals for his line of questioning about Sen. Leila De Lima’s personal life during a House probe.

Roque also filed at least seven ethics cases against Salo in response to a disbarment case against him.

It remains to be seen whether the president’s mouthpiece will push through with his plans to run for senator as he is still in talks with President Rodrigo Duterte, despite the chief executive’s statement that the former human rights lawyer will not win.

The president has also indicated that he will appoint Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo as press secretary, a post he had reportedly initially offered to Roque.

Duterte on Tuesday said that Roque had informed him of his plan to seek Senate seat.

“Sabi niya, mag-resign siya. Sabi ko ‘di sige. Then immediately I… namili na kaagad ako ng replacement but I cannot tell you now kung sino sila,” Duterte said before mentioning Panelo moments later.

(He said he was resigning, so I said 'go ahead'. Then, immediately, I... I chose a replacement but I cannot tell you now who that is)

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