Roque confirms shooting campaign ad for possible Senate bid

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 9) — Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque pushed through with doing a campaign advertisement for his possible Senate bid, although he has not made a final decision to run after President Rodrigo Duterte discouraged him from doing so.

"The truth is, I shot it because it's been paid for," Roque said in a Palace press briefing, confirming earlier reports.

He said he paid for the advertisement "months ago," when it was clear to him and the President that he would seek a Senate seat.

"Come on, for the past five or six months, he's been calling me senator. He's been for all intents and purposes endorsing my bid in Senate," Roque added.

He admitted he was "taken aback" when the President said in an October 4 speech that he would not win in the 2019 senatorial elections.

"It was a game-changer; it was a change in tone," Roque said. He stressed that he has no hard feelings against Duterte, adding that the President only wants him to stay as spokesperson.

Roque earlier said he would spend the weekend to think about his options, as he hinted at resigning from his post, after he was also left "in the dark" about the President's hospital visit last October 3.

READ: Roque mulls resigning after remarks about Duterte's health  

On Tuesday, Roque said he is still talking to the President about it. He'll have to make a decision soon, as the filing of candidacies for the May 13, 2019 midterm elections happens from October 11 to 17 this year. The campaign period runs from February 12 to May 11, 2019.

Roque went on leave on Monday, but he said that this leave was scheduled long ago. He said he will again take a leave of absence from October 11 to 12 to attend a conference in China.