PRESIDENTIAL Spokesperson Harry Roque denied Monday, November 6, that he is using his new position as President Rodrigo Duterte's official mouthpiece to campaign early for his 2019 senatorial bid.

Roque, a former Kabayan party-list Representative who is known to be eyeing a Senate seat in 2019, said he does not engage in a premature campaign for the next elections.

"I don't think so. There is no election period yet," Roque told reporters in Malacañang when asked if he is taking advantage as Duterte's new spokesman to gain popularity before the 2019 senatorial race begins.

Amid his alleged plan to run for senator, Roque announced Sunday that he was planning to install satellite offices in several provinces, including Cebu, to reach out to local journalists.

He, however, clarified that he was not politicking when he made the initiative to keep in touch with the local press.

"If the people don't want me to go to the provinces, I will heed that. But let us see how the public will first respond to it," said Roque.

"Certainly, on the basis of my first trip to Cebu, the local media seemed to be very appreciative of the initiative," he added.

On October 22, Duterte endorsed Roque's 2019 senatorial bid. It was followed by Duterte's announcement that Roque will be his new spokesperson, replacing Undersecretary Ernesto Abella.

The President, in an interview in Davao City on October 29, believed that Roque is "competent and able" to deliver his message to the Filipino people.

"It's in the messaging actually. We cannot speak the same words altogether but how we could convey that message from me would be the most important. I trust that he’d be able to come up to the expectations," Duterte said, referring to Roque.

The new presidential spokesman is set to take oath at the Malacañang Palace Monday afternoon. (SunStar Philippines)