Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque clarified that President Rodrigo Duterte was not serious when the latter said that Roque should not run for Senate because the soldiers do not like him.
In a press briefing in Malacanang on Tuesday, Oct. 9, Roque said that he does not believe that Duterte was serious when he made the said statement during a dinner with the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association on Thursday, Oct. 4.
The Presidential Spokesman added that the President wants him to accept the Press Secretary position he has been offering him since his administration decided to revive the Office of the Press Secretary.
“Hindi naman ako naniniwala na galit sa akin ang mga sundalo. Hindi rin ako naniniwala na seryoso yung Presidente nung sinabi niya iyon. I think he was underscoring the fact that he has offered me a job and he wants me to take on the job,” Roque told reporters.
“I hope I’m not wrong in my understanding of what the President said and how he said it,” Roque added.
Roque also admitted that he was taken aback with the statement of Duterte since he previously supported his plans to run for senator
“Whatever has happened in the last few days were really major deviations from plans that even the President knew about. Come on for the past five or six months, he has been calling me senator. He, for all intents and purposes, has been endorsing my bid for the Senate,” Roque explained.
The spokesperson also mentioned that he is still discussing with Duterte whether to accept the position of Press Secretary, which will become available once the Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO) will be reverted to Office of the Press Secretary.
Prior to this, Roque hinted on leaving his post after he “failed” to disclosed where the President was when the latter did not show up in a Malacanang event on Tuesday. It was the President himself who admitted that he went to the hospital for some medical examinations.