Panelo: Roque became ‘ambivalent’ in his 2019 Senate bid
Former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque became “ambivalent” in his plans for the 2019 midterm elections, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo claimed that Roque’s inconsistencies with his decision about next year’s elections has prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to replace him as Palace spokesperson.
“Ang naging problema yata kay Secretary (Roque) naging ambivalent siya. ‘Di mo malaman kung tatakbo o hindi e tapos nagfile siya ng leave so there was a vacuum so the President had to fill that up,” Panelo said in an interview over CNN Philippines.
Panelo made the remark a day after Roque announced that he is abandoning his Senate bid and will instead run for a seat in the House of Representatives under the Luntiang Pilipinas party.
Roque, a former Kabayan rep. said running for the House again was Duterte’s advice during their meeting.
This, according to Panelo, is a practical move by Roque who consistently lagged behind in recent senatorial surveys.
“Siguro nga kasi sa survey parang malayo siya eh baka ‘di abutin pagdating ng eleksyon, I think that’s practical,” Panelo said.
Roque’s decision to shelve his Senate dream comes a week after the President, in a speech in Malacañang, said he believed his spokesman doesn’t have a winning chance in the 2019 senatorial race.
Earlier, Duterte also said he is getting impatient of Roque’s “inconsistency” regarding his plans for the 2019 elections.
“I hope I would not offend Harry. Sabi niya magtakbo siya ng Senador, So sabi ko, sige. Automatic may naisip na ako, Sabi ko, Sal, ikaw muna. If you want it, then I’ll scout for another legal adviser.’ Tapos, kinabukasan sabi niya (Roque), hindi na raw. Tapos kinabukasan (uli) sabi tatakbo na naman…bigla akong nahilo,” he said.
The President then suggested to Roque to defer his plans of running until the 2021 elections so he could have more time to prepare. /muf
Click here for more elections stories.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.