Duterte unaware of Roque’s sudden leave
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has yet to be notified about the sudden leave of his mouthpiece, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr., Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go said on Monday, October 8.
In a phone-patch interview with Palace reporters, Go said Roque would personally inform the President about his leave on the sidelines of the Cabinet meeting at the Malacañan Palace on Monday afternoon.
“I cannot speak para kay Secretary Harry Roque. Hantayin na lang natin. Sabi niya he will talk to the President later,” Go said, when asked if Roque’s leave is an indication that he wants to leave the Cabinet.
(I cannot speak for Secretary Harry Roque. Let’s wait. He said he will talk to the President later.)
“Sa ngayon, hindi pa yata [alam ng Presidente]. Maybe mamaya malalaman na niya (As of now, the President is not yet aware. Maybe he’ll know about it later),” he added.
Roque has gone on leave starting October 8, one of his staff told Palace reporters in a media advisory.
His leave came four days after he was frankly told by the President that he was unlikely to win the 2019 senatorial race. Duterte also advised Roque to stay in the executive branch, promising the Palace official of a new post in the Palace.
Go said Roque gave no reason for his unprecedented leave, but noted that the latter would merely go on leave on his “media duties,” such as his daily press briefings at Malacañan.
“Nakausap ko si (I talked to) Secretary Roque an hour ago. Ang sabi niya (He said), he will attend the meeting[s] -- the Cabinet meeting, and meeting with two ambassadors,” he said.
“Wala ho siyang sinabing reason but parang sinabi niya, leave lang naman yata siya sa kanyang media duties, ‘yung sa kanyang arawaraw na pag-briefing (He cited no reason but perhaps, he said he would go on leave on his media duties, on his regular press briefings),” Go added.
Asked if Roque already accepted Duterte’s offer, Go believed Duterte’s mouthpiece was “still weighing his options.”