Harry Roque taking weekend to think on being Duterte’s spokesperson

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque will be taking the weekend to think regarding his position of being the spokesperson of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“The President asked me to stay and offered me a position which currently that does not exist yet. While there was no categorical agreement on what to do, I did say I will consider it and I wanted the weekend to think it over,” Roque said.

“In my decision on whether or not to run or accept whatever the Office of the President may have, I will consider the fact in this capacity as a spokesperson I must know everything about the President,” he added.

“I do concede that his going to the diagnostic exam was something that I did not know and therefore I’m inclined to believe that perhaps I’m not in a position to continue with this current function,” he said. “I will think twice about my options. I need the weekend now to decide. It goes without saying that if I do file [for senatorial run], I’m considered resigned from this position.”

“As you can see I cannot be effective as a spokesperson unless I know everything about the President. Now people think I lied. I’m telling the nation I did not. I did not know,” he said.

This comes after Roque was not able to confirm if President Duterte indeed made a visit to the hospital. Moreover, October 11 to 18 is set by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the filing of certificate of candidacy for the upcoming May 2019 elections.

“I assure you that I have no information that he did go to a hospital and I’m given information whenever things like this happen. I have inquired and I have my sources and he was just in his residence,” Roque said on October 4.

However, on the evening of October 4, Duterte confirmed that he went to Cardinal Santos Medical Center for check up.

“About three weeks ago, I had my endoscopy and colonoscopy. Then, I was about to have a… Sana ngayon Cabinet meeting ‘yung yesterday but ‘yung reading ng akin ano… Somebody advised my doctor just also to repeat and get some samples there both dito uli. So I stayed there for one hour sa Cardinal Santos,” Duterte said during a dinner for Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association, Inc.

The President also voiced against Roque’s plan to run for senate seat.

“Ayan sila si Roque, gusto mag-senador. Sabi ko, “Tama ka na. T*** i** diyan. Standby ka. Bigyan kita ibang trabaho. Hindi ka manalo diyan.” “Bakit?” “Ah ‘yung mga sundalo ayaw sa iyo.” Itinuro ko kayo at saka si Calida. “Sundalo ayaw sa iyo,” Duterte said.

Sources: https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/10/05/roque-ponders-fate-after-being-kept-in-the-dark-about-presidents-health/; http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2018/10/05/Roque-mulls-resigning-Duterte-health.html; http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1050016; https://pcoo.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/20181004-Speech-of-President-Rodrigo-Roa-Duterte-during-the-dinner-with-Philippine-Military-Academy-Alumni-Association-Inc.-PMAAAI.pdf