FORMER Presidential spokesman Harry Roque yesterday dropped his Senate bid to run for a seat in the House of Representatives under a party-list.
In his last Palace press briefing, Roque said he dropped the plans to try for a Senate seat after doing poorly in surveys.
Instead, Roque will run as representative of the Luntiang Pilipinas Party-list. Under the new group, Roque will be the first nominee while Ciara Sotto, Senate President Tito Sotto’s daughter, is the second nominee.
“It’s time to be my own person again. I knew as a spokesperson that I had no personal views. That period has ended. As a pro, I knew that my personal opinions would matter since I would be advocating only the position of the President,” Roque said.
Roque said he made the decision on President Rodrigo Duterte’s advice after they talked Sunday night.
“He advised that the best option right now is to go back to Congress which was really one of my options,” Roque said.
Roque said his bid for party-list House seat was influenced by the landslide in Itogon, Benguet which left more than a hundred dead, as well as the President’s plans to protect the environment.
“If you recall the President has repeatedly said he wants open pit mining closed. This will be the advocacy that we will be pushing in Congress,” Roque said.
Roque denied reports he fell from Duterte’s grace, saying he has since planned to run as congressman.
“It was clear to both of us that I was running in this year’s elections. I was surprised that the offer came for Press secretary,” Roque said. “I did not think that I’m the right person for that job because I am really not from the press.”
Roque said he will file his certificate of nomination and acceptance for the party-list on Tuesday.
“I have no regrets,” Roque said on leaving his post.
Meanwhile, resigned Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson yesterday filed her certificate of candidacy (CoC) for representative of AA Kasosyo Party-list.
She said President Duterte has promised to support her bid to enter politics.
Uson said she will advocate for the welfare of the overseas Filipino workers if she wins in the 2019 polls.