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The return of lawyer Harry Roque as Presidential Spokesman has not been received well by some people.

Roque will return to his old job in Malacañang, replacing Salvador Panelo as spokesman of President Duterte in the middle of the government efforts to deal with the coronavirus emergency. Panelo will remains as Chief Presidential Legal Counsel.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has voiced his support for Panelo as an effective spokesperson, saying he “loved” the media.

“No one loved the media with more patience and understanding of their need for stories than Sal; no one loved the media more than Sal,” Locsin tweeted.

The appointment of Roque also did not sit well with former Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño. The former lawmaker said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles is already doing a good job.

Nograles, who serves as Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management for Emerging Infectious Diseases, holds regular press conferences on government’s coronavirus response.

“Oh, Harry Roque is back. Tsk, tsk. Karlo Nograles was doing such a good job,” Casiño tweeted.

Former Quezon Rep. Erin Tañada said Roque should be covered by the one-year appointment ban if he ran and lost in the recent national elections.

“If he ran as a nominee under the party list elections & lost, it is my humble opinion that he is covered by the 1yr ban on appointment of losing candidates. He will be entitled to government position one year after May 13, 2019 that will be May 12, 2020 since 2020 is a leap year,” Tañada said.

Roque resigned as Duterte’s spokesman in October 2018 to run for an elective post. He decided to run for Luntiang Pilipinas party-list nominee but pursued his Senate bid instead. He later dropped from the Senate race in February 2019 due to health reasons.

Panelo confirmed that he will be replaced by Roque as the President’s spokesman. He said the Office of the President wishes Roque all the best as he returns to his old post.

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