MANILA Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday denied claims that he was using his current position to campaign as senator in the 2019 mid-term elections.
Critics claimed Roque was holding press conferences in different parts of the country to campaign early, the latest of which was held in Zamboanga del Norte on Saturday.
Roque was mum on whether he indeed had plans to run as senator and instead chose to clarify who was paying for his fans.
He said that Cebu governor and now Cebu 3rd District Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia paid for his fans.
I think the issue is: Who paid for the fans? I'll answer that: Deputy Speaker Gwen Garcia, as in fact all the fans are in Cebu. I want her to send a lot more fans here, Roque said in a Palace briefing.
Roque, a former congressman himself, earlier said that he considers Garcia as his best friend forever.
He, however, said that Garcia did not pay for transporting the fans in Manila.
Ang binigay niya lang sa akin fans, hindi niya sinagot iyong pagta-transport sa Manila (She only gave me fans, she didn't pay for their transport). So I'll make the suggestion: Can you also pay for transporting the fans to Manila? Roque quipped.
Roque saw no problem with holding press conferences nationwide, noting that regional reporters were appreciative of this effort.
I do know that journalists all over the country seem to be very appreciative, Roque said.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez first floated the idea of Roque seeking a senatorial seat under the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino�Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) last year.
Roque earlier thanked Alvarez for the endorsement but said that he was currently focused on being Presidential spokesperson.
"I cherish the encouragement and (I am) humbled by the endorsement. I am, however, focused on my new job as the President's spokesperson and my priority right now is to do my absolute best in communicating the message of the President to our people," Roque said.
He also said he did not have funds to pursue a Senate bid.
In an earlier published version of the article, the word fan/s was incorrectly written as funds. The writer of the article was referring to fans not funds being transported. We regret the misinterpretation.
Source: Philippine News Agency