Roque goes on leave; skips Palace briefing

MANILAPresidential Spokesperson Harry Roque will be on leave starting Monday (Oct. 8), his staff said, giving no specific reason.

Presidential Spokesperson will be on leave starting today, Monday, October 8. All requests for statements kindly post here for his corresponding response, Roque's staff told media in a statement.

Roque will not be holding regular Palace briefings.

He will also not be joining Duterte at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders' Gathering in Bali, Indonesia this week.

Earlier, Roque said he will announce his decision on the President's suggestion for him to remain as Presidential Spokesperson on Monday.

Duterte advised Roque, a former congressman, against vacating his post since he has a slim chance of winning as senator in next year's midterm elections.

On Wednesday, Roque denied that Duterte went to the hospital, only to be contradicted by the President himself the following day.

Duterte had a checkup at Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City.

Roque was also apparently uninformed about Duterte's announced trip to Hong Kong. He earlier told media that the President was in Davao City, where he usually spent weekends.

On Saturday, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar bared that Duterte has offered Roque to lead the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS).

Andanar made this remark after Senate President Vicente Tito Sotto III made a proposal to revert the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) to the OPS.

The PCOO chief said his agency is likely to be replaced by the OPS but noted that it was a sacrifice he was willing to make to keep Roque as spokesperson.

During the previous administration, the OPS was split into the PCOO and the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO).

The PCDSPO was also abolished and its functions were transferred to the PCOO. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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