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5 times Roque got it all wrong

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Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque may be leaving his post soon to pursue his senatorial ambitions, but the flubs he committed in the 11 months he served as President Rodrigo Duterte’s mouthpiece would remain.


Roque has reportedly resigned from the post, with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo taking over. Panelo made his Malacañang press briefing debut on Friday (October 11).


Here are some unforgettable—and possibly regrettable—things Roque did when he was commonly seen at the podium in Malacañang.


  1. Roque left in the dark on Duterte

    Roque found himself being accused of lying about Duterte’s whereabouts when he insisted that the President did not undergo a medical checkup – a claim disproved by Duterte himself in a speech hours later.

    In explaining this, Roque said he had been “left in the dark” and said he is “to believe that perhaps I am not in a position to continue this current function.”


    1. Press conference with fishermen on Chinese activities in WPS self-destructs

      Roque once organized a press briefing with three Zambales fishermen following a report which showed Chinese coast guard personnel taking their catch.

      What should have been a show of how fishermen are faring better now with Duterte’s warming up to China turned awkward, as fishermen admitted that their catch was being taken by Chinese coast guard.

    2. ‘No true news without fake news’

      As the mouthpiece of the administration blamed for the spread of false information, Roque defended the existence of fake news, saying that it is necessary for us to know what real news is.

      He has gone as far as actively campaigning against a proposed law which seeks to impose penalties on government officials who spread false information and said he would resign if the bill passses Congress.

    3. Roque ‘forgets’ legal practice

      Roque was once a prominent law professor who took on controversial high-profile cases before getting elected as Kabayan party-list representative in 2016 and then becoming Duterte’s spokesperson. But since then, people, especially former colleagues, could not help but notice how he made a degree turn for the President.

      Among them is Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman, who chided Roque for “forget[ting] his law since he became the official apologist” of Duterte.

      Lagman was reacting to Roque’s insistence that it is up to Robredo to disprove Duterte’s claim that her hometown of Naga City in Albay is a “hotbed of shabu.”

      The opposition lawmaker reminded Roque of the legal principle that “he who alleges must prove his allegation.”

    4. Roque ‘forgets’—again—about law on EJKs

      When Duterte admitted that his “only sin” were extrajudicial killings (EJK), Roque was quick to point out that there is no such thing as “EJK” in the Philippines or in international law. But there is: No less than the Supreme Court defined extralegal killings in Manalo vs Secretary of National Defense as “killings committed without due process of law, i.e. without legal safeguards or judicial proceedings.”