Harry Roque’s protest: ‘I did not lie’

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Opinion -

That looks like it won’t be hap­pen­ing. In­stead, he is given the op­tion to head the of­fice of press sec­re­tary, which still does not ex­ist and if cre­ated out of the Pres­i­den­tial Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Oper­a­tions Of­fice, might dis­lodge its present PCOO chief, Martin An­da­nar. Roque’s stay­ing seems doomed to cre­ate an up­heaval in the Pres­i­dent’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion ap­pa­ra­tus. was but it didn’t sound clear enough to jour­nal­ists who fo­cused on the de­nial, not on ab­sence of knowl­edge, by the spokesman.

The head­lines of course were about Roque’s de­nial, fol­lowed the next day by Duterte’s ad­mis­sion.

Roque did not use the tack of White House press sec­re­tary Sara Huck­abeeSan­ders who would’ve said, “I don’t know the an­swer to that, will get back to you.” A no-com­ment, not de­nial. Or po­lice re­gional chief Gen. De­bold Si­nas who when asked, “Are jour­nal­ists safe from ar­rest?” promptly shot back, “Yes ... for now.” Not iron-clad prom­ise, an as­sur­ance just for the mo­ment.

Which raises the spec­u­la­tion that Duterte must have in­tended to “burn” Roque and give him a rea­son to quit or ac­cept an­other job in the government.

Roque couldn’t say he wasn’t warned about serv­ing as pres­i­den­tial spokesman. Friends and crit­ics alike called out the po­ten­tial con­flict of in­ter­est: Roque’s per­sonal be­liefs, as ex­pressed in what he said and did be­fore he came aboard the Duterte ship of state, clashed with the Pres­i­dent’s views and style.

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