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Harry’s hubris: Roque offered free hand to cleanse PCOO but stuck to running

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Former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque may have been the first Press Secretary of the present administration had he accepted President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer for him to stay in the executive branch.

A Politiko source said Roque was given the lucrative offer to cleanse the Presidential Communications Operations Office of “non-performing assets” or incompetent employees if he shelved his electoral bid.

The PCOO would have been abolished and its personnel absorbed into the Office of the Press Secretary once it was revived.

Roque, however, stuck to his guns and chose to run for senator.

When Duterte appointed Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo as Presidential Spokesperson, Roque found himself with no choice but to continue with his candidacy. The problem, however, was his poor rating in pre-election surveys.

On Monday (October 15), Roque announced he was no longer running for senator and will instead seek a return to the House of Representatives by being the first nominee of Luntian party-list.