Former Palace spox Roque: Only Marcos campaign offered to take me in

Former Palace spox Roque: Only Marcos campaign offered to take me in
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque with fellow Cabinet secretaries on October 8, 2018.
Sec. Bong Go / Released, file

MANILA, Philippines — Only the campaign of presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. wanted him, former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said, adding he was hurt because he had expected some other candidate to adopt him.

"There really was no other party that offered to adopt me (as a candidate)," he said said on One PH's "Sa Totoo Lang" on Thursday. 

Roque, who stumped for the son and namesake of the ousted dictator earlier Thursday, said that he had hoped that the unnamed candidate would adopt him because of "there was a time when they were in desperate straits, I was the only one who spoke up for them." 

He said that he had hoped his loyalty to the candidate would be rewarded but was instead told that it would be difficult to include him on the slate because he used to be presidential spokesperson.

Under prodding by "Sa Totoo Lang"'s hosts, Roque ruled out Sen. Manny Pacquiao — candidate of one wing of the administration PDP-Laban party — and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso. He declined to name the candidate he meant, stressing only that he was hurt by the rejection.

As presidential spokesperson, Roque had traded barbs with many of those now running for president, including Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Panfilo Lacson but not labor leader Ka Leody De Guzman. Roque has since said that he was only doing his job.

"That is the most important reason," Roque said in English of his joining the ticket of Marcos and of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who is running for vice president. "I did not apply but they offered to adopt me."

Hinted at support for Go

Roque, a lawyer who was twice appointed as presidential spokesperson, had said in an interview on One News' "The Chiefs" last month that he was inclined to support Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go, whom President Rodrigo Duterte was backing for president.

"I (would be a) hypocrite If I were to say that I cannot support Sen. Bong Go because he was my colleague in the Cabinet for a long time and one of the closest political allies that I have," Roque said then.

"So I have to be honest, regardless of the decision of the party, [People's Reform Party], I think it will be very difficult for me not to support Sen. Bong Go."

Go has since said he is withdrawing from the presidential race, a decision that Duterte said he respects.

Roque said in November that he was running to "clear his name" over criticism he faced while campaigning for a seat on the  International Law Commission.

"I feel enough is enough. I am not going to be bullied by these people and if I have to, I will stand for election to prove that the people support me," he said of statements linking him to alleged crimes against humanity in the course of the government's "war on drugs." — Jonathan de Santos





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