HOURS after stepping down as presidential spokesperson, lawyer Harry Roque filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator via substitution Monday afternoon, November 15, 2021.

Roque substituted for Paolo Mario Martelino, who withdrew his candidacy also on Monday.

The former presidential spokesperson is running under the political party of former senator Miriam Defensor Santiago – the People Reforms Party.

“Naghain po tayo ngayon ng ating COC para sa posisyon ng senador sa ilalim po ng partido ng dating senador Miriam Defensor Santiago, ang Peoples Reforms Party,” said Roque in an interview during his filing of COC.

He said he decided to run for senator in the 2022 elections because he wants to ensure the full implementation of the Universal Health Care law and push for livelihood of every Filipino.

“Tayo poy tumatakbo dahil naniniwala po tayo doon sa ating kampanya bilang spokesperson: ‘Ingat Buhay para sa Hanapbuhay,” he said.

He said providing and ensuring livelihood for the Filipino people is very important especially that the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic is ongoing.

“Tayo po ang nagsulong ng Universal Health Care a 17th Congress... Hindi pa po tapos ang ating misyon, kailangang mapatupad ng husto ang Universal Health Care, pero ngayon po, importante rin na habang hindi pa nawawala si Covid-19, lahat tayo ay makapaghanap buhay,” Roque said.

He vowed to fight those who will oppose measures that will help provide livelihood to the Filipino people.

He also clarified that since he already filed his COC, he is no longer the spokesperson of Malacañang.

He said during the press briefing Monday morning, November 15, that he talked to and asked for permission from President Rodrigo Duterte and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio about his political plans.

He vowed to support the President and Duterte-Carpio, stressing “hindi po kami maghihiwalay ng aking presidente.” (SunStar Philippines)