Money matters in politics, and that resource has been a key difference in the lead up to the May 2022 elections when compared to the previous polls in 2019.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, who by his own admission is a frustrated senatorial candidate, gave this assessment on Wednesday, Oct. 20 during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay news forum, which he attended virtually.
“I have to tell you the truth, it’s a lot more difficult to run [in the elections] this time around,” Roque said.
“Unlike 2019, I have no money. Before, if you remember, in 2019, I had so many commercials as early as November . In the Manny Pacquiao fight I had no less than 14 commercials,” he noted.
“But now, wala (there’s nothing), it’s completely dry,” the Malacañang official.
The filing of the certificates of candidacy (COC) for the May 2022 polls came and went earlier this month, with Roque failing to confirm his senatorial run.
Aside from Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s refusal to run for president next year, Roque mentioned his supposed lack of campaign funds as another factor in his decision to not pursue his Senate dream.
“At the time of filing for instance, I had so much more campaign contributions already in 2019. There’s hardly any money that came in this time around.
“I think it’s because times are really hard and the traditional campaign donors are unable to give any contributions. And that is actually now part of reality. You cannot run if you do not have the money,” he said, alluding to the onset of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020.
“Well, I’m not surprised that the incumbents can afford to run, they have cash flows. But for those who are not incumbents, I don’t know where they will get the amount of money needed to run and win a seat in the Senate,” he said.
Although he filed his candidacy for the May 2019 senatorial race, Roque backed out in February that year after developing a heart ailment.
Prior to this, Roque, 54, had a short stint as party-list congressman.