Philippine Daily Inquirer - - LETTERS -

His ap­point­ment as pres­i­den­tial spokesper­son ap­pears to have af­fected Harry Roque’s abil­ity to rea­son prop­erly. Know­ing him for his well- crafted, log­i­cal and ten­able pub­lic state­ments, I was aghast that even be­fore he ac­tu­ally took his oath of of­fice for his new job, he al­ready started to sound like a ra­bid fol­lower of Pres­i­dent Duterte who does not hes­i­tate to re­sort to fal­lacy when and if he thinks this will pro­tect and pro­mote the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Let’s take his an­swer to ac­cu­sa­tions that Mr. Duterte is a hu­man rights vi­o­la­tor dur­ing an in­ter­view with CNN’s Chris­tiane Aman­pour: “The Pres­i­dent is a lawyer and was a pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor for 10 years. I would say that it was never his in­ten­tion to con­duct a war on drugs that would vi­o­late the Con­sti­tu­tion and fun­da­men­tal hu­man rights.”

This is a non sequitur. It is just like say­ing that a priest could not be guilty of sex­ual of­fense be­cause he is a priest and had been in the priest­hood for 10 years. Or that since the pur­pose of the po­lice is “to serve and pro­tect,” it is not pos­si­ble that a po­lice­man could be in­volved in any crime es­pe­cially if he has been a po­lice­man for some time al­ready.

Roque’s logic also wrongly as­sumes that Mr. Duterte lived by his pro­fes­sional oath and was ex­em­plary in his con­duct as a pros­e­cu­tor. Where was Roque when Mr. Duterte said dur­ing a press con­fer­ence on Aug. 21, 2016, that as a pros­e­cu­tor, he had planted ev­i­dence? And even grant­ing that that was one of the Pres­i­dent’s out­landish jokes and that he was, af­ter all, a model pros­e­cu­tor, Roque’s state­ment as­sumed that Mr. Duterte could not have changed since then.

Roque’s proof that his prin­ci­pal is not a hu­man rights vi­o­la­tor is also like say­ing that a bril­liant lawyer who grad­u­ated from and taught for 15 years in ar­guably the top law school in the land and is ex­pected, there­fore, to be a paragon of sound rea­son­ing could never be guilty of a fla­grant non sequitur such as this. ROMMELMENDOZA, rom­mel­men­doza48@ya­hoo.com

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