MANILA – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque has dropped a hint that he would run for senator in the May 9, 2022 national and local elections as a substitute candidate.
While he reiterated that he is still praying for guidance on his possible senatorial bid, Roque alluded that he is willing to seize the opportunity to seek a Senate seat.
"Pinagdarasal po natin na sana po mabigyan tayo ng pagkakataon dahil nais nating ipagpatuloy ang nasimulan. Kung kinakailangang tumakbo ulit, bakit hindi (We are praying for that chance [to run for senator] because we want to continue what we have started. If there is a need to run, then, why not)?" Roque said in his latest vlog uploaded Wednesday.
Roque adhered to his word that he would abandon his plan to join the senatorial race, unless Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte guns for the presidency.
However, Roque on Oct. 20 bared that Sara had persuaded him to run for senator despite her decision not to join the presidential derby next year.
Roque also revealed that he could still run for senator since his political party, the People's Reform Party (PRP), had fielded a placeholder candidate.
Under the country's Omnibus Election Code, political parties only have until Nov. 15 to replace their candidates for the 2022 elections.
A former House Deputy Minority Leader before being appointed as presidential spokesperson, Roque said he knows "what it takes to be a successful legislator."
"I'm really praying to God," he said when asked about his 2022 political plans. "I know what it takes to be a successful legislator. Nagawa ko na po iyan. Napatunayan ko na po iyan. Record po ang nagawa ko noong first termer. Pito pong major bills ang naisabatas ko (I was able to do that. I was able to prove that. I made a record as a first termer. Seven of my major bills were signed into law)."
Roque is the primary author of several laws, including Republic Act (RA) 11223 or the Universal Health Care Act.
He was also a law professor at the University of the Philippines who specialized in constitutional law and public international law for 15 years.
Roque expressed confidence that he is qualified to become a senator, considering his track record and credentials.
"Labinlimang taon po akong nagturo ng batas. Siguro, kaya kong gumawa ng batas. Aktibista rin po ako sa ninanais kong baguhin ang lipunan (I taught law for 15 years. Perhaps, I can craft measures. I am also an advocate for change in society)," he said.
Asked about his "biggest dream" for the Philippines, Roque said: "I want us to be progressive and peaceful. I want everyone to live peacefully who exist with each other and I want the youth to be able to dream and I want to see those dreams to become [real]."
Roque first became Duterte's spokesperson in October 2017 until he resigned the following year to run for a seat in the House of Representatives under the Luntiang Pilipinas party-list.
He later decided to run for senator under PRP but eventually withdrew after suffering from "unstable angina coronary disease."
Roque then returned as Duterte's spokesperson in April last year. (PNA)