MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday said he has “found resolve” to seek a Senate seat in the 2022 elections after opposers of his nomination to the UN International Law Commission (ILC) staged a protest in New York City.
Filipino-American members of the Bayan-USA and US-based human rights groups held a demonstration in a New York City restaurant last week where Roque was attending a private reception. The Palace official was in New York City to push his campaign to bag a post in the ILC, which develops and codifies international law.
According to Roque, the protest made him decide to prevent allies of what he called “extremist groups” to get elected in office.
“When I found out what the extremist groups did, I found a resolve to actually run. Why? Because I don’t want to see their allies elected to office,” he said in an interview over ABS CBN News Channel.
Roque said he deplored accusations of the protesters that he is a “war criminal” because he has devoted his life to protecting and promoting human rights.
“I felt, enough is enough. I’m not going to be bullied by these people and if I have to, I will stand for the elections to prove that the people support me,” the President’s mouthpiece said.
Roque, however, said his final decision to run in next year’s polls would still depend on the advice of President Rodrigo Duterte and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
The Palace official previously expressed intention to run for senator in the May 2022 elections but also said he will only push through if Duterte-Carpio runs for president to succeed her father.
However, the President’s daughter was a no-show during the eight-day filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for national posts before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Manila, seemingly dropping a presidential bid.
Duterte-Carpio filed her COC for reelection in Davao City. Roque was not able to file his COC for senator.
However, should Roque finally decide to vie for a Senate spot, he can still do so as the People’s Reform Party (PRP) announced that it has a slot for Roque in its senatorial slate. Candidate substitution is allowed by the Comelec until November 15.
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