By Genalyn Kabiling
House Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia has thrown her support behind Presidential spokesman Harry Roque by distributing his promotional hand fans in Cebu ahead of the 2019 elections.
Roque however quickly fended off speculations that he was using his office to increase his chances of winning a Senate seat in next year’s polls. He said the hand fans, which reportedly carried his image and accomplishments, was actually paid for by the Cebu representative.
“That was given to me by Gwen Garcia. It’s too much of a waste not to distribute it especially since we first distributed the fans in Cebu,” he said during a Palace news conference after getting flak online for the distribution of the political hand fans.
“It was also for an occasion involving a cooperative founded by mother of Deputy Speaker Gwen Garcia,” he added.
Roque, who has been previously endorsed by President Duterte as possible senatorial candidate, said in jest that he hopes Garcia would pay for the transport of the hand fans from Cebu to Manila.
“All the fans are in Cebu. I want her to send a lot more fans here but it is too expensive,” he said. “I’ll make the suggestion: Can you also pay for transporting the fans to Manila,” he added.
On allegations he was using his provincial press conferences for early campaigning, Roque said: “I do not think so. What I do know is that the journalists all over the country appear to be very appreciative.”
Roque and Garcia are known to be close friends. Roque served as Kabayan partylist representative before joining the government as the President’s spokesman.
Roque has been conducting press conferences not only in Malacañang but also in the provinces since he was appointed late last year.