Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Opinion - NEWS SENSE

HE for­mer ac­tivist lawyer and party-list con­gress­man who has been of­fi­cially speak­ing for Pres­i­dent Duterte since Novem­ber last year was ex­pected to de­cide to­day (Mon­day, Oct. 8) on whether (1) he re­signs maybe to run for the Sen­ate or (2) he stays in government but moves from the job of spokesman to some­thing else.

Be­fore the week­end, Harry Roque was at some cross­roads. He most prob­a­bly prefers the Sen­ate race but the Pres­i­dent him­self pub­licly told him not to run. Re­call that he signed up be­cause the ti­tle would mount him on the na­tional stage, which he thought would be his ticket to the ex­clu­sive sen­a­tors’ club.

But that’s not the point of Roque’s near com­bus­tion last Thurs­day (Oct. 4) when the Pres­i­dent pub­licly made him look like a liar by an­nounc­ing that he un­der­went an en­doscopy at the Car­di­nal San­tos hos­pi­tal in San Juan City to check fur­ther “growth” in his di­ges­tive tract. The day be­fore, Roque told reporters Duterte “just took his day off” af­ter can­celling a Cabi­net meet­ing. “I as­sume that I have no in­for­ma­tion that he went to the hos­pi­tal.”

Was that not say­ing he did not know if the Pres­i­dent was hos­pi­tal­ized? It

Had Roque known about the Car­di­nal San­tos hos­pi­tal “visit” and even the pre­vi­ous find­ing of the “sus­pected cancer” in an ap­par­ently ear­lier checkup (Wed­nes­day’s di­ag­nos­tic test was a fol­low-up), he could’ve sought guid­ance on how the spokesman should handle it. Maybe he would’ve not even com­mented un­til he’d know more.

Roque is now much bet­ter known than be­fore he be­came spokesman but that, he must re­al­ize more sharply, may not per­suade enough num­ber of vot­ers to send him to the Sen­ate.

He might stay on, as press sec­re­tary or some other of­fi­cial n in the government. There will be enough seats to be va­cated by Cabi­net mem­bers who’ll run for elec­tive of­fice.

Or he’ll slug it out at the cam­paign trail and con­tinue to de­fend his work with the Pres­i­dent, which will be very much an is­sue if he runs.

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