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Roque draws flak over Miss World Philippines question on moms running for President

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Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque drew flak online over his question during the Miss World Philippines pageant on Sunday night wherein he asked whether a woman with very young children should run for President.

Roque asked, “The frontrunner in all the surveys for the post of President is a woman. If she were to ask you, should she run for President even if her children are very young? What advice would you give her?”

Shaila Rebortera of Cebu Province responded by saying that modern women are strong and brave, whether in pursuing their career, taking care of family or doing both.

"Other women are strong and brave because they sacrifice their career for their family. And if our candidate would like to pursue becoming a President despite sacrificing time for their family, in exchange of serving the Filipino people, then I would definitely support that," Rebortera said.

Some netizens called Roque sexist, while another cited that New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave birth while she was in office and is praised worldwide for an efficient COVID-19 response.

There were some netizens also who called Roque unprofessional and cheap, if not misogynist.


Roque however, said his question posed to the Miss World Philippines contestant is a valid question.

"OA (over acting) [to say it was misogyny]. It was a valid question," Roque said.

Roque then snapped and said those not in favor of his question should try being a judge in a beauty pageant.

"If they disagree, you are entitled to your opinion. Mag-judge rin kayo (You should try being a judge in a beauty contest then)," he said.

The Philippines already had two Presidents who were married and were already mothers when they took office: Corazon Aquino from 1986 to 1992 and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from 2001 to 2010.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte is leading pre-election polls on possible Eleksyon 2022 presidential race contenders, but she filed her certificate of candidacy for reelection last Saturday.

Her father President Rodrigo Duterte, however, said Mayor Sara will run for President with Senator Bong Go as her running mate.

Vice President Leni Robredo is also being urged to run for President in the 2022 polls.

GMA News Online also asked the Office of the Vice President for comment but has yet to receive a reply. —KG, GMA News

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