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Duterte endorses senatorial bid of Roque

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By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has endorsed the senatorial bid of Presidential spokesman Harry Roque more than a year before the 2019 presidential elections.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte discusses matters with Presidential Spokesperson Atty. Harry Roque on the sidelines of the 22nd Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañan Palace on February 5, 2018. (ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte discusses matters with Presidential Spokesperson Atty. Harry Roque on the sidelines of the 22nd Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañan Palace on February 5, 2018.
(ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The President urged the public to vote for Roque, a former lawmaker, during the launch of a new medical center in Cebu City yesterday.

“Secretary Roque. Ito, ma-senador talaga ’to, Botohi ninyo ni ha. (Secretary Roque, he can be a senator. Vote for him, okay?)” Duterte said in his remarks.

Roque was among the government officials present in the President’s public engagement in Cebu province.

Earlier, the President also backed the senatorial plans of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, saying his longtime friend is a “good guy.”

The President appointed Roque, a former human rights lawyer, as his spokesman in October. Since his appointment, Roque has conducted press conferences not only in Malacañang but also in the provinces.

His frequent trips to the provinces have drawn suspicion he was eyeing a senatorial seat next year.

Roque however said he would rather leave his fate in the Lord’s hand as he focuses on his job as presidential spokesman. He has also denied using his office to campaign for the 2019 senatorial elections.

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