President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday named Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles as acting presidential spokesperson, replacing Harry Roque who filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator in the 2022 national and local elections.
“If you could be acting spokesperson for a while until we find a [replacement]. I do not want to burden you with so much, alam ko ‘yung paperwork dadaan sayo eh (I know the paperwork pass through you,” Duterte told Nograles during his prerecorded “Talk to the People” aired late Monday night.
Nograles, a lawyer, once served as spokesperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and is currently the head of the Task Force on Zero Hunger, a government’s campaign to fight hunger.
Citing Roque’s decision to seek a Senate seat, Duterte said the law stated that any government officials are automatically resigned after filing their COC before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“You know, you are automatically out of the government once you filed a COC. No order or formal ritual is needed, except that when you file – at that moment you ceased to be a government employee,” Duterte said.
Roque bid goodbye as presidential spokesperson and IATF-EID spokesman during his last Palace press briefing on Monday before heading to the Comelec to file his COC on the final day of filing of statements for withdrawal and substitution.
Roque, a former congress representative, is running for senator under the People’s Reform Party, substituting Paolo Mario Martelino.