CNN Philippines — Lawyer Harry Roque is back as President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesperson, Senator Bong Go said Monday.
Go told reporters about the news ahead of a scheduled noontime press briefing in Malacañang. He clarified that current Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, a long-time ally, will continue to work for Duterte.
"Maaaring kailangan niya lang talaga sa panahong ito na merong tagapagsalita, separate po ng opisina, I'm guessing," Go said, a former close aide of the President.
Roque last held the position in October 2018, when he resigned to run for a seat in the House of Representatives under Luntiang Pilipinas party-list.
However, he later scrapped this plan to run for a Senate seat, against the advice of Duterte, who thought that he would not win.
Roque eventually abandoned his political ambitions for the 2019 polls, withdrawing his candidacy due to a heart condition.
Despite falling out of the political spotlight, Roque returned to the headlines as the lawyer of the whistleblowers in the alleged PhilHealth dialysis fund scam.
Roque, a former House Deputy Minority Leader, was known as a human rights lawyer who represented victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, the kin of Palawan-based environmental advocate and journalist.