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Harry Roque files candidacy for 2022 Senate race

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Resigned presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday filed his candidacy for the 2022 senatorial elections, joining five other Duterte Cabinet members in the tight race. Clad in a green polo, Roque filed his certificate of candidacy at the Commission on Elections main office in Intramuros, Manila past 2:20 p.m., substituting a certain Paulo Mario Martelino under the People’s Reform Party.

Earlier in the day, Roque held his last press briefing as President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesperson. The Palace has yet to announce who would take over his post.

“Ito na po ang huling araw na makakasama ninyo ako bilang presidential spox, IATF spox at spox ng bayan,” Roque said.

“Masaya akong mission accomplished. Iiwan ko ang trabaho ko na mas mabuti kumpara sa ating nadatnan,” he added.

Roque previously expressed his intention to seek a Senate seat in the next year’s elections, declaring that he would run only if Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio pursues a national post.

An activist-lawyer, Roque first took on the job as Duterte’s spokesman in 2017. Prior to that, he was a representative of the Kabayan party-list group in the House of Representatives.

He attempted to run for the Senate during the 2019 midterm elections, only to back out in February 2019 or just before the start of the official campaign period due to health reasons.

In his last Palace briefing, Roque said he did not regret serving as the spokesperson of President Duterte.

“Never po. Serving a person who has been given the mandate to rule by the people is serving the people. The voice of people is the voice of God,” he said.

Roque is the sixth Duterte Cabinet member who would vie for a Senate seat in 2022, joining John Castriciones (agrarian reform secretary), Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan (information and communications technology secretary), Salvador Panelo (chief presidential legal counsel), Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol (Mindanao Development Authority chairman) and Mark Villar (public works secretary).

 

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